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

Turkey's Erdogan: Women Not Equal to Men

Speaking at conference in Istanbul, President Erdogan says Islam has defined a position for women: motherhood More

Ahead of SAARC Summit, Subdued Expectations

Some regional analysts say distrust between Pakistani, Indian officials has slowed SAARC's progress over the year More

Philippines Leery of Development on Reef Reclamation in S. China Sea

Chinese land reclamation projects in area have been ongoing for years, but new satellite imagery reportedly shows China’s massive construction project 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.
Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Changei
X
November 24, 2014 10:09 PM
Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Change

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Mali Attempts to Shut Down Ebola Transmission Chain

Senegal and Nigeria were able to stop small Ebola outbreaks by closely monitoring those who had contact with the sick person and quickly isolating anyone with symptoms. Mali is now scrambling to do the same. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Mali on what the country is doing to shut down the chain of transmission.
Video

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests at a Crossroads

New public opinion polls in Hong Kong indicate declining support for pro-democracy demonstrations after weeks of street protests. VOA’s Bill Ide in Guangzhou and Pros Laput in Hong Kong spoke with protesters and observers about whether demonstrators have been too aggressive in pushing for change.
Video

Video US Immigration Relief Imminent for Mixed-Status Families

Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the Washington, D.C., area may benefit from a controversial presidential order announced this week. It's not a path to citizenship, as some activists hoped. But it will allow more immigrants who arrived as children or who have citizen children, to avoid deportation and work legally. VOA's Victoria Macchi talks with one young man who benefited from an earlier presidential order, and whose parents may now benefit after years of living in fear.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid