Rozell W. “Prexy” Nesbitt has spent more than 50 years working as an educator, activist, and speaker on Africa, foreign policy, and racism. In 1966, 22-year-old Prexy was back home in Chicago after spending a year studying in Africa and eager to get involved with the Chicago Freedom Movement. The Movement’s West Side headquarters were located in his boyhood church, Warren Avenue Congregational. Prexy was part of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s security detail during his historic 1966 march through Chicago’s Marquette Park.
Dr. King reflected on the Marquette Park March as “the first step on a 1,000 mile journey.” This march, occurring in a major Northern city, is as integral to the legacy of Dr. King and the history of the civil rights movement as the March from Selma to Montgomery or the March on Washington.
The Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Living Memorial Project commemorates the 50th anniversary of Dr. King’s historic August 5, 1966 march through Chicago’s Marquette Park. This video is part of the project’s efforts to capture the stories of individuals directly involved in this important march. Recalling the larger legacy of the march – and remembering the struggle for justice and equity – is more urgent now than ever in our city, across our nation and around the world.