Thousands march in 7th annual HK on J

February 8, 2013 9:00:00 PM PST
State and national civil rights leaders in Raleigh, along with the public, marched in Saturday's seventh annual HK on J rally.

The march to the Legislative Building began at 10:30 a.m. near Shaw University.

Organizers believed 145 organizations, including student groups, faith-based groups, and civil rights groups were in attendance.

Before they hit the streets, North Carolina NAACP President Rev. William Barber held a worship service to help inspire participants Friday evening.

"We gather here tonight in this pre-worship service in style of the mass meetings of the 1960s movement," said Barber.

The advocates for equality said every step they take will be to end poverty.

"There are 1.7 million poor people in North Carolina. Six hundred thousand of them are children, 44 percent of them are African-American children, over 200,000 are white children," said Barber.

"The issue is front and center," said activist William Lucy, who marched with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. "He was assassinated fighting poverty. He stopped in Memphis, Tenn. and saw 1,300 sanitation workers who worked every single day yet did not raise themselves out of poverty."

Lucy and the rest of the group have been joined by thousands more from around the nation to push King's message.

"He saw that as the ultimate contradiction in a nation as rich as ours that did not provide a decent living for working people to raise themselves and their families out of poverty," said Lucy.

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