Tens of thousands of Americans converged on Washington Saturday to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, a turning point in the 1960s U.S. civil rights movement at which Martin Luther King Jr. gave his galvanizing “I have a dream” speech.
Organizers say today’s march was not a commemoration but a continuation of the demands made in 1963.
Martin Luther King Jr.’s only grandchild Yolanda Renee King, 15, told the gathering that if she could speak to her grandfather today, she would say, “I am sorry we still have to be here to rededicate ourselves to finishing your work.”
“Sixty years ago, Dr. King urged us to struggle against the triple evils of racism, poverty, and bigotry,” she said. “Today, racism is still with us. Poverty is still with us. And now gun violence has come for our places of worship, our schools, and our shopping centers.”
“When people say my generation is cynical, we say cynicism is a luxury we cannot afford,” she said. “I believe that my generation will be defined by action, not apathy.”
“We have made progress, over the last 60 years, since Dr. King led the March on Washington,” said Alphonso David, president and CEO of the Global Black Economic Forum. “Have we reached the mountaintop? Not by a longshot.”
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