This week marks the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, where Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his famous “I have a dream” speech. To commemorate the event, tens of thousands of people have returned to the National Mall this week, remembering this pivotal point in history and refocusing efforts on the future.
According to The Huffington Post, Eric Holder, the nation’s first black attorney general, told a crowd that if not for the march 50 years ago, he would not be in office, nor would Barack Obama be president.
“They marched in spite of animosity, oppression and brutality because they believed in the greatness of what this nation could become and despaired of the founding promises not kept,” Holder said.
The article also quoted Martin Luther King III, the oldest son of the slain civil rights leader, at a weekend rally. “The task is not done. The journey is not complete. We can and we must do more.”
Here is a weekly roundup of national, regional and local articles commemorating the 50th anniversary.
A Minute with … Sundiata Cha-Jua, expert on African American history – University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
“The year 1963 was the most pivotal year in the history of the civil rights movement, and perhaps in the modern black liberation movement. 1963 was the centennial anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation. That weighed heavily on African-Americans and provided urgency to their struggle for freedom, self-determination and social transformation. Moreover, the march took place in the shadow of the Lincoln Memorial.”
Local NAACP members ‘walk where heroes walked’ – The State Journal-Register
“Shawn Brooks stepped off the bus Sunday afternoon in Springfield, feeling the aftereffects of the 15-hour ride from Washington, D.C.
A day earlier, the 18-year-old joined tens of thousands for the 50th anniversary of the “March on Washington.””
Did The March On Washington Improve Blacks’ Economic Outlook? – Illinois Public Media
“This week marks the 50th celebration of the March on Washington — perhaps you’ve heard something about it? — and it’s a little hard to resist the urge to compare the America of 1963 to 2013, to see how they’ve diverged.”