"I saw the poverty and the racism, even in New York City," he said.

Richardson moved to Harford County in 1975 at the beginning of his career with veterans' hospitals in the Baltimore area.

He retired in 2008.

Richardson continued his education, earning a master's in psychology from Loyola University in 1982 and his doctorate of ministry in pastoral counseling through the Graduate Theological Foundation in Indiana.

He worked to ensure he was "more than qualified" for his field, bearing in mind blacks often were turned away from jobs after being told they were not qualified.

"I did these things so I would be able to compete, and I've been placed in a position where I could compete," he said.

In his view, Richardson said, America has moved closer to achieving King's dream of racial equality, but blacks still face the same issues of poverty, unemployment and discrimination they did 50 years ago, and he feared voting rights were in jeopardy after the U.S. Supreme Court's recent move to strike portions of the 1965 Voting Rights Act.

The decision had cited the racial progress made since 1965.

"I think that evil is a reality, and I think it has a lot do with people's moral values," Richardson said. "It has a lot do with values and one of those values has to do with respect for all people."

While he was not able to attend the March on Washington in 1963, he did travel to Washington Saturday for the 50th anniversary events.

"It was quite an experience, to be there, to see the people," Richardson said.