By Prisca Sam-Duru
The screening of the documentary film on “the March on Washington” and “I Have a Dream” Speech by Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. at the US Consulate General in Lagos last week, greatly exposed the importance of non violent revolution all over the world.
Screening of the film titled “The March”, a 1964 documentary by James Blue was part of activities organised to mark the 50th anniversary of the march led by Luther King Jr. whose non violent struggles, resulted in the emancipation of black Americans.
The 40 minutes film describes the events of the 1963 civil rights March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom which has remained till date, one of the largest political rallies for human rights in United States history. The March, which took place in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday, August 28, 1963 had American footsoldiers of about 250,000 participating in the campaign for civil and economic rights for African Americans. During the march, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. stood in front of the Lincoln Memorial and delivered his historic “I Have a Dream” speech advocating for racial harmony. The March is widely credited with helping to pass the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
In his opening speech, Financial Management Officer at the U.S. Consulate, Mr. Carl Scotts said “the program was a follow-up to the Consulate’s program on the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington.”, adding that it is “expected the documentary to serve as a reminder of the importance of the march and the need to continue to fight for freedom and equality all over the world.”
Addressing participants at the screening, president of Campaign for Democracy, Dr. Joe Okei-Odumakin stressed the need to employ Martin Luther King Jr’s method of peaceful protest and for individuals to unite in the fight against inequality all over the world.
Odumakin urged “Nigerians not to be divided along religious or ethnic lines but to come under the same umbrella to stand up against discrimination, injustice and corruption in Nigeria.” emphasising that, “We shall not go violent and we will not be provoked to go violent but we shall move together to make Nigeria great again,” she said.
Other guests at the event include the Executive Director of ACTS Generation, an NGO that guards against domestic violence and abuse. Ms. Laila St. Matthew-Daniels, Founder and Executive Director, African Sustainable Small Enterprise Export Development Foundation (ASSEED) Ms. Shade Bembatoum-Young, Ms. Lucy Kanu, Mr. Femi Segun, Mr. Busola Holloway and Mr. Rotimi Von.