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'To Not Be Loud And Wait For The Moment'

Trudi McGowan was 36 in August 1963, black, living in Pimlico. She now lives in Edgewater, MD

All I had to do was get my clothes together because this group that I was with, Walt Lively and those people in East Baltimore, they got all of [the food] together. So, you know, we didn’t have to worry about eating. We just needed to worry about leaving on time and meeting at a certain time.

We were not supposed to be getting upset or anything. If we were arrested, we would be arrested believing that we would be released and rescued, but just don’t let anything happen to us. That was the main thing was for us to go in peacefully and show that place what we were about and who we were.

The fact that this many people could be gathered together and you could hear a pin drop because they were anticipating what this was actually going to be about. You could wonder and you could think what it was going to be about...to understand that that many people could be together to stay in the place where they were standing, to not be loud and just wait for the moment.

The crowd was quiet (during Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s speech), but you heard some “amens” —of course, you got preachers in there and all like that--and then a stillness at some point. And as he gave his speech, talking about his children and what he expected, actually it put you in a feel that if this happened how great it will be.

Those people that have made the difference that are no longer here. They were such a part of that movement, and they did so well that we that are left to work hard to keep those things going, especially keep peace and work among ourselves so that we can make this a better place to live.