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Interviews with news makers and discussion of topics important to Southwest Michigan. Subscribe to the podcast through Apple itunes and Google. Segments of interview are heard in WestSouthwest Brief during Morning Edition and All Things Considered

WestSouthwest: A Coloma man remembers MLK and the March on Washington

Melvin Earl Rutherford


Retired school teacher Harold Bragg was at the historic March on Washington in 1963. He was back in the nation's capital this past summer to mark the 50th anniversary of that march and Martin Luther King Junior's "I have a dream" speech. 

Bragg shared his memories of that 1963 march, and the 2013 commemoration with WMUK's Earlene McMichael. The "March for Jobs and Freedom" in Washington D.C. came just four months before a snowy night in Kalamazoo when King spoke to a crowd of about 2,000 at Western Michigan University. 

Credit Melvin Earl Rutherford

Bragg says his parents taught him to “never return hatred with anything but love,” even though repeatedly injustices were done to him and his family. He says his paternal grandfather was shot dead in the South by a racist.

On the day of the historic "March on Washington" Bragg says he remembers how well the races got along that day. And the same was true 50 years later when he was back in the nation's capitol.

Gordon Evans became WMUK's Content Director in 2019 after more than 20 years as an anchor, host and reporter. A 1990 graduate of Michigan State, he began work at WMUK in 1996.
Earlene McMichael was WMUK's local host of NPR's Morning Edition from August 2012 through October 2021. A former, long-time Kalamazoo Gazette editor, reporter, and columnist, she was a news anchor at WHCU-FM when it was owned by Cornell University, her alma mater.
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