Cape Gazette

Hundreds celebrate 50th anniversary of Civil Rights Act

Peaceful gathering inspires unity, vigilance
By Deny Howeth | Jul 14, 2014
Photo by: Deny Howeth West Rehoboth Children and Youth Program participants lead the march with inspiring songs.

Fifty years after the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was passed, more than 300 people gathered in Georgetown July 2, waving flags and carrying signs recalling the civil rights struggle and calling for continued efforts for justice and equality.

Sponsored by Sussex Unity, the march to began at St. Michael's Church on Edward Street and culminated beneath a tent in Bedford Park, with speeches and songs honoring the passage of the Civil Rights Act and offering inspiration to carry forward the spirit that led to the legislation.

Many people who attended the the event recalled the marches of the 1960s, noting the work that was begun 50 years ago is not finished. They called on the crowd to remain vigilant.

Cape Henlopen High School Chorale offered song, as did Booker Street Church of God Youth Choir and Greg Fuller. Millsboro resident Darien Jones, a 2013 Sussex Tech graduate and a sophomore at Morehouse College, presented President John F. Kennedy’s June 19, 1963 speech, in which he called on Congress to take action to ensure civil rights and especially voting rights.

Also speaking was the Honorable Battle Robinson, a U.S. Department of Justice attorney who worked on the Civil Rights Act, who presented Sen. Everett Dirkson’s monumental June 10, 1964 speech.

Diaz Bonville, West Rehoboth Children and Youth Program Director; offered President Lyndon Johnson’s remarks in signing the bill, while the Rev. John Moore Sr., Calvary Baptist Church Youth Pastor, powerfully delivered Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Dec. 10, 1964 Nobel Peace Prize speech.

Among the many who attended the walk were Milton Town Council member Estelle Parker-Selby, Jane Hovington of Lower Sussex NAACP, Jane Lord and Charlotte King of League of Women Voters of Sussex County, Bob Smith of Mid-Atlantic Cherokee, Bruce Little Drummer of Nanticoke Lenni-Lenape tribe, Eli Ramos of the Governor's Advisory Council on Hispanic Affairs, 2006-2011.

Rev. John Moore, youth minister of Calvary Baptist Church, reads Dr. Kings Speech from Dec. 10, 1964. (Photo by: Deny Howeth)
Cynthia Copley and Ptery Iris stand together while listening to the program. (Photo by: Deny Howeth)
Darien Jones, a Morehouse College graduate, reads an excerpt from John F. Kennedy' speech of June 19, 1963. (Photo by: Deny Howeth)
Cheryl Fruchtman, Linda Cavanaugh and Judy Cousins stand together while listening to recollections of the civil rights movement. (Photo by: Deny Howeth)
Bernice Edwards, Sussex County Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, and Greg Fuller walk and sing together during the march. (Photo by: Deny Howeth)
Standing room only crowds the tent at Bedford Park. (Photo by: Deny Howeth)
Standing room only crowds the tent at Bedford Park. (Photo by: Deny Howeth)
Jeff and Timothy Nordstrom travelled from Bethany to support unity. (Photo by: Deny Howeth)
The march covered several blocks in Georgetown and culminated at Bedford Park. (Photo by: Deny Howeth)
Geraldine Jones of Sussex County Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, finds humor in one of the powerful speeches. (Photo by: Deny Howeth)
Pastor George Fisher of Friendship U.M. Church remembers the marches and speeches of the '60s. (Photo by: Deny Howeth)
Liberty Hanzer of the Lower Sussex NAACP Youth Council leads the Pledge of Allegiance at the anniversary event in Georgetown. (Photo by: Deny Howeth)
Diaz Bonneville and Greg Fuller listen to recollections of the struggles in the '60s. (Photo by: Deny Howeth)
Comments (1)
Posted by: Thomas Adams | Jul 14, 2014 09:15

Also attending were State Sen. Brian Pettyjohn as well as State Rep. Ruth Briggs King and her challenger Paulette Rappa, who walked side by side during the march.


No one from Sussex County Council was present, according to the Sussex County Post.






The Sussex County Post covered this story on July 7 (link below), noting that also in attendance were

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The price of liberty is eternal vigilance.