Regarding Courtland Milloy’s Aug. 25 column, “50 years later, black leaders’ words lack their forebears’ fire”:

I attended the 50th-anniversary march on Saturday, and I had feelings similar to Mr. Milloy’s: nice speeches, but no overall sense of urgency. However, I think the Rev. Al Sharpton’s speech did suggest more action is needed. I was encouraged by the large number of young people who attended with their parents. I hope they realize how much their voices are needed. As an educator, sometimes I wonder.

As an African American woman, I was proudest of the powerful female speakers. Few women spoke at the 1963 march. While listening Saturday to all the women speakers, I thought of Dorothy Height and the legacy of the National Council of Negro Women, which she led for so long. Driving home, I felt encouraged to help empower more women in my community to become future leaders. I’m glad I attended.

Michelle Rankins , Cleveland