BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The plea for more jobs is at the center of a march from Maryland to Washington D.C. this holiday weekend. As Gigi Barnett reports, demonstrators say their message is aimed at Capitol Hill.

Inside the Union Baptist Church in West Baltimore, there are prayers for a tough task ahead.

“We march because we are called to address the issues of the injustice in our times,” said Dr. Helena Hicks.

That issue is jobs and this group is demanding more of them. So, on this Martin Luther King holiday weekend, the group plans to take that message to lawmakers on Washington– on foot.

“Will they hear us? We know they know the problem exists. We think that as our movement gathers steam and more and more people go out and march each day, they’ll listen,” said volunteer organizer Sharon Black.

The first stop on the journey is the old Reed’s Drugstore, where the first recorded lunch counter sit in occurred back in 1955. Dr. Helena Hicks was one of the Morgan State students who desegregated the drug store, which is now in danger of being redeveloped. She says these modern-day walkers are continuing King’s legacy.

“I think they are brave souls and they are really the salvation of this country, because if we don’t do something about jobs and equal pay, we are going to be something other than what we are now,” Hicks said.

The group says nearly 60 percent of young people in Baltimore don’t have jobs. It’s in part why Professor Kostis Papadantonakis is joining the journey. He says this is the kind of March Dr. King would lead.

“People need hope. If there was one message that Dr. Martin Luther King left, [it] was not to give up hope,” Papadantonakis said.

The three-day walk is about 41 miles long and demonstrators will end up in the nation’s capital on Monday, the official King holiday.

Members from several different civil rights groups including the Baltimore Southern Christian Leadership Conference and Occupy Baltimore joined in the march.

Comments (5)
  1. topper says:

    I am tired of giving desperate people breaks…giving them jobs just help out…. only to have them either steal from you a few months later or sue you for slipping on something. Don’t tell me, It’s not their fault.

    1. Diane King says:

      No respect for upper management, downright nasty attitude when asked to actually do work, poor work quality with lots of mistakes when it’s done, using and abusing company resources for personal stuff, constant time off work with every imaginable crisis and excuse, and then it’s difficult to get rid of the problem. In the last 20 years, this has been my experience — without exception.

  2. shayla says:

    If they arrive in DC on Monday, won’t all of the offices be closed for MLK anyway? It would have more impact if anyone were to be around to take note.

  3. Steven Spiegel says:

    Black People already have most of the MTA jobs go on the streets and see if you can find a White Bus Driver in Baltimore Almost Impossible. And how about ssi and welfare offices they have all those jobs summed up also.I dont understand how Black people think they are not treated fair . It has come to a point were white people cant get a fair deal anymore because of all this. I seems as though they would like us to just had them the keys and get out of the country. We allow them to have groups like the naacp and if we had the same it would be considered racist.l Then they have other groups such as United Negro college fund. I could see me opening up a charity that only goes to white college students there would be riots in DC. Its time 4 us to all be created equal not onesided . Until we put away all our differences and speical fundings for programs that are geared just for 1 race and to all be created equal as American Citizens we will live the life of racists.

  4. Mike says:

    First off, if you want a job use your commone sense if you have any.

    Marching to DC will not get you a job. Getting up off your lazy butt and pounding the pavement applying for a job will get you one.

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