Local NAACP chapter heads to D.C. for 50th anniversary of historic march

AUGUSTA, GA (WFXG) - Dr. Charles Smith said he will never forget the first time he met Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

"I had an opportunity to shake his hand and even today to shake his hand was like squeezing charming tissue," Smith said.

Smith and the Augusta chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, or NAACP, is sponsoring a trip to Washington, D.C. to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington.

"While a lot has been accomplished within these fifty years, much still needs to be done to improve the way of life to make his dream, totally, a reality," said Smith.

Segregation, inequality along racial lines and police brutality were some of the things that drew thousands to Washington in August of 1963.

But Dr. Smith says there are issues right now which make this visit important.

The Supreme Court knocking down Section 4 of the Voters Right Act of 1965, is one of them. This could free states to enact Voter ID laws, allow them redistrict and return the power to states to regulate elections.

"We have a bill right here in Augusta that may still go back to the general assembly to try to shift voting strength from general elections back to July," said Smith. "The only option we have is to mobilize, get people registered to vote and get them to the polls."

Dr. Smith says he is hopeful the march will get people talking and voting to create change all over.

There are a few spots available for the August 24th trip. For those interested in going Dr. Smith's contact is below.

50th Anniversary March

Cost: $85 round trip

Contact: Dr. Charles Smith at augustanaacp@earthlink.net or 706-284-0275