For Many, the March Was a Family Event

Like many who came with their families, one New Yorker came to the march with his son, determined to provide a vivid history lesson.

Posted: 08/24/2013 05:56 PM EDT

(Photo: Jonathan Hicks/BET)

For Leroy Barr Jr., making the drive from his home in Brooklyn, New York, to Washington for the historic march was all about putting historical events into context for his 11-year-old son.

“I thought it was critically important for my son to be here and to give him a sense of history," said Barr, who is assistant secretary and co staff director for the United Federation of Teachers in New York City.

“It gave me the opportunity to explain to him about history, about the fact that he is able to enjoy things in life because of the sacrifices made by others who came before him,” Barr said in an interview with BET.com.

Barr was not the only one who came to the march with their children. For many, the March on Washington represented an opportunity to acquaint a new generation with the struggles and history of the civil rights movement.

In fact, the scene in Washington was filled with people who came with children and teenagers. Some nonprofit organizations who are involved in youth programs came to Washington with teenagers by the bus loads.

But it was an event that drew a wide array of families. Some came with their children by bus. Some flew to Washington and others, like Barr, got in their cars and drove to the nation’s capital.

In fact, Barr also took his son to various protests in New York City where citizens protested against the police department’s stop-and-frisk program, saying he wanted his young son to learn first-hand about important issues.

“I want my son to learn, going to events like this, that he has the obligation to pay back to others just as others did for him,” Barr said. “He needs to know that he stands on the shoulders of giants. That’s something I don’t want him to ever forget.”

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