Howard Helps Sharpton ‘Reclaim the Dream’ PDF Print E-mail
By Jarondakie Patrick -- Black College Wire   

D.C. residents, members of human and civil rights organizations, and students gathered Saturday, Aug. 28, at Paul Laurence Dunbar High School to participate in the “Reclaim the Dream” march and rally.

The march and rally were organized by Al Sharpton, president of National Action Network, to celebrate the anniversary of the “I have a Dream Speech” given by Martin Luther King 47 years ago.

Ryan C. Hamilton/The Hilltop
Sharpton addresses crowd

"They told me others would be at the mall and they would be standing where Dr. King stood," Sharpton said. "Well they may have the mall but we have the message."

Sharpton told the crowd at the "Reclaim the Dream" rally "they may have the platform, but we have the dream."

There were some D.C. residents who chose not to participate because of the media controversy surrounding  the Tea Party rally “Restoring Honor,” and the “The Reclaim the Dream” march occurring on the same day.  

Pier Parks, a resident of Northwest D.C. and clinical analyst, was surprised to see the march passing through Chinatown in Downtown D.C., and it was a peaceful march. She decided not to participate out of fear of violence.

“[I was] afraid there would be violence and controversy,” said Parks. “And people can be passionate about politics and race.”  Parks says race is a very sensitive subject regardless of a persons ethnic background.

“I just didn’t want to get caught up in any situation that could harm me,” Parks said.

There were some people standing at Paul Laurence Dunbar High School – the first public high school in the U.S. for African Americans—who were not afraid. These students were from Dunbar High School and Howard University.

Corine Jackson, a sophomore chemical engineer major, said the march gave her chills.

“It gives me pride that I was able to stand for something,” Jackson said.  

Organizations stood with signs raised for the L.G.B.T. community, statehood for D.C., jobs for the unemployed, and asking for the government to bring the troops home.

Young girls dressed in black t-shirts with khakis chanted, “Blacks, Latinos, Asians, and Whites...We came to D.C. to show that we have a Dream.”

Jackson says she will reclaim the dream by using her education in engineering to help her community with mentoring and giving the youth inspiration.

Jarondakie Patrick writes for The Hilltop, the Howard University student newspaper, which originally published this article.

Posted Aug. 30, 2010
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