Fifty years ago this week, Nat Williams hoisted his hopes and aspirations onto a bus bound for Washington, D.C.
Within a few hours, the 31-year-old civil rights worker from Harlem had joined 250,000 others, the vast majority of them African-Americans, to call for jobs and justice.
In the late summer sun, they walked from the Washington Monument to the Lincoln Memorial, spilling onto the National Mall, and listened to the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. preach to the nation on the yearnings and perils of being black in mid-century America.
Williams, who now lives in Montclair, called the March on Washington and King’s “I Have a Dream” speech “a beautiful thing.”
“We came back with such a good spirit,” he said last week.