Freddie Gray's name tragically joins the seemingly endless list of young African American men brutally murdered at the hands of police.
"History shapes and molds our perceptions of our past, present and future; it informs and builds a narrative: it provides lessons applicable to today's reality."
The death toll is estimated at perhaps as many as 750,000, out of a total U.S. population of only 30 million at the time.
"My 12-year-old cousin Tamir Rice was tragically shot to death by Cleveland police on November 22, 2014."
"We had not seen this kind of excessive police force used against protestors since the civil rights movement of the 1960's"
The meeting's theme was "Support City Officials Who Fight for Equality, a Living Wage and Against Racism."
"What a glorious task we are given," said Obama. "We know the march is not yet over, the race not yet won. Change depends on what we do."
America's racial history "still casts its long shadow upon us," Obama said Saturday as he stood in solidarity and remembrance with civil rights activists.
The VMF is a historical, cultural, and educational organization that brings together people from a wide variety of backgrounds.
We Stand on Their Shoulders" was the theme as young and old packed the house Feb. 28 to hear poems, dramatizations and accounts from history.