WASHINGTON (ABC7) — Iconic scenes from the March on Washington in 1963 help to tell the story of the civil rights movement. And to keep the message alive.
One of the photographers who captured some of the powerful images that day spoke with ABC7's Carl Willis about the parallels between that movement and the one happening today.
A World War II veteran, David Johnson would become a prolific photographer.
"I had considerable influence of photographing my neighborhood and the people that I lived with and worked with," Johnson says.
He created a legacy by capturing images of everyday life and the Fillmore Jazz Era in his adopted home of San Francisco.
Johnson's eye and his mission to observe and document humanity with dignity and respect put him in the right places when the force of the Civil Rights Movement came marching into focus.
And he was there when iconic figures like John Lewis and Jackie Robinson brought the cause out west.
Ultimately, Johnson's talent and his interest in the Civil Rights Movement led him to the March on Washington in 1963.
One of his iconic photographs shows a family in that massive crowd with determined expressions, the son with his hands folded as if to be in prayer.
Just one picture from Johnson's album of photographs that we pulled from the Library of Congress.
Being an eyewitness to history isn't lost on Johnson.
As he reflects on these moments of the past, he sees contrasts and parallels between that movement and the one happening today.
"...still have reasons to remain active and reasons to hold our country accountable for what we'd like to have the world see America as," Johnson says.
"We've made tremendous accomplishments but still have miles to go. Miles to go. America still has to stand up and be the country that we say we are."