Americans Celebrate MLK Jr.'s March on Washington, 60 Years Later, With Event on National Mall

Credit: X/Twitter

Next Monday, August 28, 2023, will mark the 60th anniversary of civil rights leader Martin Luther King's historic March on Washington, but Americans got an early start on the celebrations Saturday with an event attended by thousands, assembled on D.C.'s National Mall, to take part in a march and listen to speeches:


The event was convened by the Kings’ Drum Major Institute and the Rev. Al Sharpton ‘s National Action Network. A host of Black civil rights leaders and a multiracial, interfaith coalition of allies rallied attendees on the same spot where as many as 250,000 gathered in 1963 for what is still considered one of the greatest and most consequential racial justice and equality demonstrations in U.S. history.[...]

Speakers warned that King’s unfinished dream was in danger of being further whittled away. “I’m very concerned about the direction our country is going in,” Martin Luther King III said. “And it is because instead of moving forward, it feels as if we’re moving back. The question is, what are we going to do?”

Also speaking at the event was Yolanda King, the 15-year-old granddaughter of the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.: 

If I could speak to my grandfather today, I would say I’m sorry we still have to be here to rededicate ourselves to finishing your work and ultimately realizing your dream. Today, racism is still with us. Poverty is still with us. And now, gun violence has come for places of worship, our schools and our shopping centers.


Sharpton addressed the crowd, and while his words also evoked MLK Jr.'s dream, like Ms. King's remarks, tied it to current progressive political aims:

Sixty years ago Martin Luther King talked about a dream. Sixty years later we’re the dreamers. The problem is we’re facing the schemers. The dreamers are fighting for voting rights. The schemers are changing voter regulations in states. The dreamers are standing up for women’s right to choose. The schemers are arguing whether they are going to make you stop at six weeks or 15 weeks.

Once the speeches finished, a march commenced to the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial.

Fittingly, the official account on X/Twitter for the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historical Park, which is holding its own commemoration event in Atlanta on Saturday, shared an image of the pamphlet that was distributed at the event in 1963: 


2024 Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy paid tribute to the anniversary of King's "I Have A Dream" speech by posting a video of it on Twitter/X:

The legacy of Dr. King belongs to every American. We should listen to his words and celebrate the hard-fought progress that has been gained--in part, inspired by this pioneer's vision of peace among our citizens.


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