Sixty years after the, actress and activist Rita Moreno nonetheless will get goosebumps interested by that historic afternoon.
“I got here dwelling a very totally different particular person,” Moreno advised CBS Information’ John Dickerson. “And I’ve not modified since then.”
Moreno was contemporary off her groundbreaking finest supporting actress win for her position as Anita in “West Facet Story” on the 1962 Academy Awards, changing into the primary Latina to win an Oscar.
Singer and activist Harry Belafonte invited Moreno to take part within the march together with different celebrities, together with musician Sammy Davis Jr., who’s pictured standing subsequent to Moreno about “10 or 12” ft away from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Morena recalled.
“I used to be so thrilled to have been invited to be part of this, and I’ve Harry Belafonte to thank,” she stated. “He determined that he wished a Hollywood contingent to be current there as a result of he wished Dr. King to know that there have been individuals in Hollywood of nice conscience.”
The occasion, the place King delivered his, sparked a second of profound change inside Moreno, she stated. “I do not assume that I understood till I stood there, on [the Lincoln Memorial], simply how vital this was. How vital it was to make your self heard. That is precisely what I needed to do.”
Though she was “terrified” of repercussions from attending the march — resembling getting blacklisted from Hollywood or dealing with bodily assaults — Moreno remained steadfast in her conviction. “In some unspecified time in the future in life, one has to take duty,” she stated. “One needs to be liable for what’s.”
Reflecting on the progress the U.S. has made in civil rights and race relations over the previous 60 years, Moreno acknowledged there may be nonetheless work to be accomplished.
“Quite a bit has modified, and nothing has modified,” Moreno stated. “It simply completely sears my soul, the thought that there’s a lot hatred on this nation. What the hell occurred?”
Nonetheless, Moreno finds hope in seeing youthful generations choose up the place she left off.
“I am 91 now, and I am so sorry that I am unable to do demonstrations the way in which I used to then,” Moreno stated. “I want I might be round for one more 20 years, as a result of man, I would get on my excessive horse and do some speaking.”