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Wednesday, August 28, 2013

50th Anniversary Of March On Washington

Note: Now that the event has ended, we have removed the live video stream.

Fifty years ago today, Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech at the March on Washington (video below).

The “Let Freedom Ring” commemoration today on the National Mall in Washington marked the anniversary with speeches and performances by people including President Obama, civil rights leaders and members of the King family (full video here).

Audio of Here & Now’s two hours of special coverage is available above. See more stories on the anniversary here.

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Watch: Martin Luther King’s ‘I Have A Dream’ Speech

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  • http://www.worktogethernj.com/ Erika Vaughn

    I want to thank all who struggled for future generations to be successful. There has been much change since the 60s, however, there is much more that needs to be done. Happiness and freedom should be given to all, no matter what a person’s skin color, sexual orientation, or gender is. As human beings on Earth, we all have a right to be successful. No one person is greater than another. Being a 21 year old African and Chinese American woman, I am a huge activist for equal rights for all. I am truly grateful for how quickly America changed and I believe we, as a people, can change society more.

    • Joe

      Erica,
      Agreed — but it is the equally important violence/non-violence part of the message that has been hushed in recent years. Civil Rights didn’t get Dr. King shot, IMO. Opposition to Vietnam and The Poor People’s Campaign probably did. What would MLK have to say about Iraq, Afghanistan, et al?

      • http://www.worktogethernj.com/ Erika Vaughn

        You are right, Joe. The fact that America feels obligated to get involved in violence around the world is hurting us. The government tries to help but it’s only making things worst. Millions die everyday and, unfortunately, our aid might be the cause of it. I think MLK would be astonished by Iraq and Afghanistan. I think he would be even more flabbergasted by what is going on in Syria now.

  • B. R.

    Here and Now is interviewing Linda Wertheimer? Why didn’t Linda _cover_ the event? Well, I hope H & N enjoys its artificiallly boosted ratings.

  • it_disqus

    I love the dream speech by Dr. King challenging us all to come together regardless of race, color or creed and to focus on character. I downloaded it and played it with my sons on the way to school during all the Martin/Zimmerman trial. We discussed Treyvon’s right to walk the street and his violent history. We discussed Zimmerman’s community service, his racial profiling. Stand your ground and gun rights also. We didn’t come up with any answers, but we had a discussion.

  • Tom Jackson

    To a degree I agree with Peniel Joseph, but I don’t think this was a venue for in-depth policy outlines, given the audience (and the fact that Jamie Fox’s hysterical
    impersonation of Harry Belafonte is what many young people will remember.
    Part of Obama’s brilliance was to givethe dream and the real heroism back to the people who rose King up (stillremaining within the bounds of American national consensus). Continual references to the Dreamer today by speakers actually diminished the dream andthe movement that made its articulation and closer approximation possible. Obama started with porters and maids and laborers.
    Obama hewed closer to moral vision than policy wonkery, even as he built upon Jimmy Carter’s sobering indictment of our racial and economic shortcomings. Even toward the end Obama practiced some voice verging with King’s labor speeches.
    But he made clear that the economic justice agenda of 1963 was as compelling and palpable, and that we dishonor those who marched by thinking they were only fighting racial discrimination or seeking to advance their special interests.
    So what could have been a self-congratulatory worship service for a safely dead martyr actually became relevant for everyone, not just for those who still suffer racial or identity or gender discrimination. That Obama frankly acknowledged black unemployment was still double white unemployment and in fact higher than 1963 and tied this fact to every Americans aspiration for “middle-class” security was precisely the strategy Bayard Rustin, A. Philip Randolph, and Martin Luther
    King pursued.

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