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In 1963, Essie Williams, of Cleveland, lived in Alabama and was forced to endure racism, hate and segregation as a part of her daily life.

“We had to step off the sidewalk for a white person. We couldn’t drink at the water fountains. If you wanted to go downtown to get a sandwich, you had to go to the back door of the restaurant,” Williams said. “It was humiliating, devastating.”

Williams was one of more than 1,000 people to march on the mall in Cleveland Wednesday evening, 50 years after the legendary March on Washington.

The march and program that followed at the Cleveland Public Auditorium was, in part, to honor those who fought so hard for civil rights.

“I was so inspired by Coretta Scott King and Rosa Parks, so this is my dress code. I just wanted to represent the ladies who are not here to let them know we are still here for them,” said Kimberly Hinton, who was wearing a vintage 60s black dress and handbag with white gloves and pearls.

Some marched to finish what was started so many decades ago.

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