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Celebrating Soul



The coalition of African-American organizations that came together for the historic August 28, 1963, march on Washington, D.C., didn't agree on everything, so they decided to focus on the big issues: eliminating school segregation and discriminatory hiring practices, creating a minimum wage, developing programs to build job skills among the unemployed, and ensuring that no citizen would be disenfranchised at the voting booth, regardless of race or economic condition. Nearly 300,000, mostly African-American protesters descended on the nation's capital for an event that climaxed with Dr. Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech, launching a campaign for equal rights that is ongoing half a century later.

On August 31, 2013, as a prelude to the annual Stone Soul picnic, 1340-AM WLOK, the first black-owned radio station in Memphis, is hosting the Memphis Children's March to commemorate the 50th anniversary of King's speech and the March on Washington. Participants in the Memphis march will meet at 11 a.m. at the corner of Riverside and Georgia.

The Stone Soul Picnic is a day-long music festival in Tom Lee Park showcasing a variety of national and regional gospel acts. This year's event is branching out to also include a tribute to Stax Records. Artists slated to perform include Vincent Tharpe and Kenosis, Men of Vision, the Bell Singers, Temple of Deliverance Women's Choir, Memphis Baptist Ministerial Male Chorus, Supreme Harmonettes, Brown Singers, Echoaires, Mighty Kings of Harmony, Salem Harmonizers, Apostolic Deliverance Temple Choir, Spiritual Excitement, the Whitehaven District Choir, Billy Rivers & the Voices, Tan & the Violinettes, O'Landa Draper's Associates, and Darrel Petties & Strength in Praise.

The WLOK Stone Soul Picnic, Tom Lee Park, Saturday, August 31st, 1-10 p.m. The Memphis Children's March starts at noon with participants meeting at 11 a.m. at Riverside and Georgia. Free.

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