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East TN pastor revisits "March on Washington" 50 years later

12:11 AM, Aug 26, 2013   |    comments
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An East Tennessee pastor, known for his ties to the county's civil rights movement, revisited an important part of his past this weekend.

Reverend Harold Middlebrook presides over Canaan Baptist Church in East Knoxville. He attended the first "March on Washington" with his friend Martin Luther King Jr. 50 years ago.

Middlebrook attended the march once again Saturday in Washington D.C. too for a special commemoration event. He said it was important to take part in the ceremony so he could remind himself how far society has come and where it still has to go.

Previous Story: HomeGrown Reverend Harold Middlebrook

"Washington, 50 years ago occurred at a time of struggle," he said.

He said the atmosphere in Washington was "electric" with the type of excitement activists witnessed in 1963.

"I wanted to be out in the crowd where the people were," he said.

Middlebrook credited King with bringing together thousands of people with the same dream. He said despite King's death in Memphis, he always knew the fight for equality would go on.

More Information: "50 Years of Change: Share the Journey"

"They can kill the dreamer, but the dream lives on," he said.

There are still plenty of events planned this week across the county in honor of the March on Washington. Locals will gather Wednesday at 5:30PM in the Five Points neighborhood of East Knoxville to remember the march. 10News will also air an hour long special named "50 Years of Change: Share the Journey" Friday at 7PM.

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