Many people from the Bay Area attended the 1963 March on Washington. For some, it inspired a lifelong commitment to civil rights. Joe Rosato Jr. reports.
Many people from the Bay Area attended the 1963 March on Washington.
For some, it inspired a lifelong commitment to civil rights.
"We're still talking about it, we're still quoting it, we're still trying to live it, and we're still trying to make it happen," said Reverend Cecil Williams, who was there to hear Dr. Martin Luther King's famous speech that defined the civil rights movement.
"The speech set the degree by which we are able to overcome awful situations, difficult situations, even now," Williams said.
Williams would later meet King, but on that day he was simply another voice among more than 200,000.
"All of these people coming together in Washington, D.C. was very empowering, I felt much more power," he said.
The inspiration of the march stuck with Williams, who on that same year took the reins of San Francisco's Glide Memorial Church and began a lifelong journey ministering to everyone from celebrities to the down-and-out.
"When I came to San Francisco, immediately after that march I began to understand that I had to do a lot more in regards to the civil rights thrust," Williams said.
Also in the crowd that day was Amos Brown, a fiery young civil rights activist who knew King.
"I had gone to jail with Dr. King in Atlanta in 1960-61 and marched with him throughout the south," Brown said.
Like Williams, Brown was deeply inspired by the march and King's speech.
Brown later became the pastor of San Francisco's Third Baptist Church.
"I never forgot it and I made in my enduring, continuous effort, to speak for justice, for peace," he said.
View more in Joe Rosato Jr.'s video report above.