West Virginians who were there will share memories and reflections
WV Press Release Sharing
CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The Charleston Branch of the NAACP, Our Future WV, the WV Faith Table and partner organizations have issued the following media advisory:
Today at noon, the Charleston Branch of the NAACP, Our Future WV, the WV Faith Table and partner organizations will host a special “This Day in History, August 28, 1963” event to celebrate the 60th Anniversary of the March on Washington. Kathy Ferguson, Executive Director of Our Future WV, will have a conversation with several West Virginians who were there. Al Anderson, Rev. Ron English, Gibbs Kinderman, and Betty Rivard will share memories and reflections from that historic day and hearing Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech.
Press and members of the general public are invited to join the host organizations to honor this historic moment. Participants can register to attend the virtual commemoration at:
Hosts: ACLU of WV, Common Defense-WV, NASW-WV, NAACP of Charleston WV, Our Future WV, Rise Up WV, WV Citizen Action Group, WV Citizens for Clean Elections, the WV Faith Table WV.
Moderator: Kathy Ferguson, Executive Director, Our Future WV
- Al Anderson is a R&B singer and shoe repairman from Osage, WV. He grew up in the Scotts Run area outside of Morgantown, where Osage is located. In 1963, Mr. Anderson was living and working in D.C., as a retail manager. He gave his employees the day off, before any had to ask, so they could go, too. When he wasn’t working his day job, Anderson was fronting bands that backed up the top touring acts, such as the Isley Brothers, who regularly sold out venues in the capital city’s thriving music scene.
- Rev. Ron English of Charleston, WV was born in Atlanta, Georgia in 1944. Rev. English grew up in the community surrounding the Ebenezer Baptist Church of Atlanta and his family was close with the family of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. English is a graduate of Morehouse College and served as ministerial assistant to Drs. Martin Luther King Jr. and Sr. He delivered a prayer at the funeral of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Rev. English was called to the First Baptist Church of Charleston in 1972 where he served for 21 years.
- Gibbs Kinderman of Union, WV spent most of his adult life in public and non-profit service in Pocahontas County. While a college student he had a summer job with the Public Health Service in 1963. All Federal employees in the District were given the day off due to anticipated traffic problems the day of the March. Having a day free, he decided to go down to the Lincoln Memorial to check things out. The day’s events were transformative, moving him to become a volunteer for the Mississippi Summer Project in 1964.
- Betty Rivard is a retired social worker and planner for the WV Department of Health and Human Resources, a professional landscape photographer, and a columnist for the Charleston Gazette-Mail. Ms. Rivard traveled to DC from New York City, where she spent the summer after her freshman year at Barnard College working as a clerk typist at the YMCA HQ. She attended the March with family friends, then traveled to visit her parents and sister, who had just moved from San Francisco to Morgantown. She currently resides in Charleston.
WHAT: A virtual forum to celebrate the 60th Anniversary of the March on Washington, and hear from West Virginans who were there on that historic day, August 28, 1963.
WHEN: Monday, August 28 at 12 PM