News / USA

US Celebrates 50th Anniversary of Civil Rights March

Marchers pose for pictures as they commemorate the 50th anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington Aug. 2013.
Marchers pose for pictures as they commemorate the 50th anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington Aug. 2013.
VOA News
Tens of thousands of people gathered in Washington Saturday to remember the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr's landmark "I Have a Dream" civil-rights speech half a century ago.

In 1963 African-Americans were struggling to overcome racial discrimination that restricted voting by blacks in parts of the United States, blocked their access to good jobs, and left many mired in poverty.

King's speech highlighted a march by 250,000 people, which showed the growing political clout of the non-violent movement that eventually won new laws protecting civil rights for blacks and others.

  • A tourist points to the exact location where Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., gave his famous 'I Have a Dream' speech, at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, Aug. 22, 2013.
  • Rev. Al Sharpton (2nd R) links arms with Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) next to Martin Luther King III (R) as they begin to march during the 50th anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, Aug. 24, 2013
  • Crowds rally at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington, Aug. 24, 2013.
  • Marchers gather along the reflecting pool on the National Mall during the 50th anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington Aug. 24, 2013.
  • Rev. Bobby Turner or Columbus, Ohio, places his hand on the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, Aug. 22, 2013, in Washington.
  • A marcher holds an U.S. flag bearing the image of President Barack Obama during the 50th anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington Aug. 24, 2013.
  • Crowds line the Reflecting Pool to watch the 50th anniversary ceremony of the 1963 March on Washington ceremony, with the Washington Monument in the backround, Aug. 24, 2013.
  • U.S. Park Police watch over the Lincoln Memorial during sunrise early in the morning before the start of the ceremony honoring the 50th anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington, Aug. 24, 2013.
  • Marchers file towards their seats at the ceremony at the Lincoln Memorial honoring the 50th anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington, Aug. 24, 2013.
  • Marchers pose for pictures as they commemorate the 50th anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, Aug. 24, 2013.
  • A marcher holds a sign as she attends the 50th anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, Aug. 24, 2013.
  • The Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial in Washington, Aug. 22, 2013.
  • Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. acknowledges the crowd at the Lincoln Memorial for his "I Have a Dream" speech during the March on Washington, D.C. in this Aug. 28, 1963 file photo.

Fifty years later, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder told a new march that civil-rights pioneers made it possible for him to be the first African American to head the Justice Department. He also said much work remains to be done to protect voting rights for blacks and fully extend civil rights to other groups like Hispanics and gays.

Veteran civil rights activist, the Reverend Jesse Jackson, said 50 years after King's speech, "We are free but not equal," and urged his listeners to keep dreaming, keep the faith, and keep hope alive.

Speaking to the same group, civil-rights leader Julian Bond complained that economic indicators show blacks still lag far behind whites. He denounced a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision that he said damaged the voting rights that "we fought and died for."

Wednesday is the actual anniversary of the speech (August 28). It will be marked by speeches from U.S. President Barack Obama, the country's first African-American president, as well as former presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton.

The civil-rights movement attracted attention in the mid-1950s when King, a young black preacher, led a successful effort to desegregate public buses in Montgomery, Alabama.

King won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964 and was assassinated in 1968 in Memphis, Tennessee.

You May Like

Pundits Split Over Long-Term US Role in Afghanistan

Security pact remains condition for American presence beyond 2014; deadline criticized More

US Eyes Islamic State Threat

Officials warn that IS could pose a threat to US homeland More

Video Ukraine: Captured Troops Proof of Russian Role in Separatist Fight

Moscow says Russian troops crossed into Ukrainian territory by mistake More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocksi
X
George Putic
August 25, 2014 4:00 PM
How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ukraine: Captured Troops Proof of Russian Role in Separatist Fight

Ukrainian officials say they have captured Russian soldiers on Ukrainian territory -- the latest accusation of Moscow's involvement in the conflict in eastern Ukraine. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the Ukrainian side of the battle, where soldiers are convinced of Russia's role.
Video

Video Rubber May Soon Come From Dandelions

Synthetic rubber has been around for more than a century, but quality tires for cars, trucks and aircraft still need up to 40 percent or more natural rubber content. As the source of natural rubber, the rubber tree, is prone to disease and can be affected by bad weather. So scientists are looking for replacements. And as VOA’s George Putic reports, they may have found one in a ubiquitous weed.
Video

Video Jewish Life in Argentina Reflected in Yiddish Tango

Jewish people from across Europe and Russia have been immigrating to Argentina for hundreds of years. They brought with them dance music that was eventually mixed with Argentine tango. The result is Yiddish tango -- a fusion of melodies and cultural experiences that is still evolving today. Elizabeth Lee reports on how one band is bringing Yiddish tango to Los Angeles.
Video

Video Peace Returns to Ferguson as Community Tries to Heal

Thousands of people nationwide are expected to attend funeral services Monday in the U.S. Midwestern city of St. Louis, Missouri, for Michael Brown, the unarmed African-American teenager who was fatally shot by a white police officer August 9 in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson. The shooting touched off days of violent demonstrations there, resulting in more than 100 arrests. VOA's Chris Simkins reports from Ferguson where the community is trying to move on after weeks of racial tension.
Video

Video Meeting in Minsk May Hinge on Putin Story

The presidents of Russia and Ukraine are expected to meet face-to-face Tuesday in Minsk, along with European leaders, for talks on the situation in Ukraine. Political analysts say the much welcomed dialogue could help bring an end to months of deadly clashes between pro-Russia separatists and Ukrainian forces in the country's southeast. But much depends on the actions of one man, Russian President Vladimir Putin. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video Artists Shun Russia's Profanity Law

Russia in July enacted a law threatening fines for publicly displayed profanity in media, films, literature, music and theater. The restriction, the toughest since the Soviet era, aims to protect the Russian language and culture and has been welcomed by those who say cursing is getting out of control. But many artists reject the move as a patronizing and ineffective act of censorship in line with a string of conservative morality laws. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video British Fighters on Frontline of ISIS Information War

Security services are racing to identify the Islamic State militant who beheaded U.S. journalist James Foley in Syria. The murderer spoke English on camera with a British accent. It’s estimated that several hundred British citizens are fighting for the Islamic State, also called ISIL or ISIS, alongside thousands of other foreign jihadists. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from the center of the investigation in London.

AppleAndroid