She’d go on to join the National Women’s Political Caucus, worked in Rep. Shirley Chisholm’s 1972 presidential campaign, and for Nelson Rockefeller when he was governor of New York and vice president under Gerald Ford.
In the weeks leading up to the march, “there was anticipation that this was a once-in-a-lifetime event — very special, and we were very proud to be part of it,’’ Taylor recalled.
And because of her father’s connections, the family could get close to the action, Taylor said.
“My father was always involved in NAACP and the Urban League, and as a minister he knew King and Wyatt Tee Walker,’’ another Harlem pastor, King’s chief of staff and first full-time director of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.
“I can remember walking along the water,’’ the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool, “almost all the way to the front, being off to the left of the podium.’’
The crowd swelled to 250,000, and authorities were convinced there would be riots, but for Taylor, “there was never any trepidation…It was a celebration. A homecoming.’’
Nor were there riots.
“All the generations were there,’’ Taylor said, “babies on up to old people.’’
Taylor came to Miami in the late 1970s, when she worked for the Small Business Administration as a public information officer. She settled in Miami after the 1980 race riots.
“I don’t like to call it a riot. I think it was a rebellion,’’ Taylor once told the Miami Herald.
“I believed as a black person that there was opportunity everywhere’’ in Miami, she said. “But it was not until I came to Miami that I actually felt the impact of this whole thing called racism. It was so backward to me, but it was also a challenge. The first thing I did was go into business.’’
Today, she owns Little Havana To Go, a gift shop on Southwest Eighth Street.
In the 1980s, she served as assistant to Mayor Maurice Ferré and led the Florida Caribbean Coalition of 100 Black Women. Her list of community affiliations includes executive committee of the Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau and chairperson of the Heritage Tourism Committee and Black Hospitality Initiative, and on the board of the Adrienne Arsht Performing Arts Center and the Little Havana Merchants Association.
All this may have happened even if she hadn’t gone on the march, said Taylor, because her parents were politically involved.
Still, she recalled that the speeches, capped by King’s immortal words, “had this huge, transforming effect. It was a message of hope for sure. Then there was the beauty of being out there with so many different kinds of people.’’
ALBERT D. MOORE , SR.
When King delivered his “I Have a Dream’’ speech, it wasn’t the first time he’d used some of its soaring rhetoric in an oration.
And it wasn’t the first time that Albert D. Moore Sr. had heard it.
Moore, 95, a retired Miami-Dade County assistant manager, Daily Bread Food Bank chair and one-time national treasurer of the Congress of Racial Equality, was among a group of civil rights leaders who listened as King rehearsed the speech at Miami’s blacks-only Hampton House motel.