March's anniversary opens discussion on other social issues

AVONDALE, OH (FOX19) - The 50 years since the March on Washington has brought about progress and a number of changes in the struggle for civil rights.

Fred Shuttlesworth Jr., the son of Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth, says the March on Washington was just another day at the office for his legendary father.

However, it was a march that would have a profound effect on the course of this nation.

Shuttlesworth Jr. says it was a special time in this nation's history as men of faith like his father and Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. joined some 250,000 others at the Washington Monument.

"Black folks, white folks... It wasn't about color then, it was about, 'wow, this is just terribly impressive'. In the perfect place at the perfect time," he told FOX19.

The March on Washington opened up discussion on a number of other social issues, not the least of which is economic equality, where Cincinnati NAACP President James Clingman says more work is needed.

"Health, jobs as well as other indicators point to the fact, the fact that we have not advanced economically in the last 50 years," said Clingman.

Clingman says blacks are still unemployed at twice the rate of whites, which creates what he calls a wealth gap.

"We have to concentrate more on economic empowerment closing this wealth gap that we talk about. Fifty years ago, it was five times between blacks and whites. Today, it's six and a half times so we're really moving backwards," he said.

That's one of the reasons Fred Shuttlesworth remained a champion of civil rights until his death in 2011.

The legacy of Fred Shuttlesworth is not only reflected in his children, but in archives at the Greater New Light Baptist Church located on North Fred Shuttlesworth Circle in Avondale.

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