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60 years later: The March on Washington

Thousands of people are expected to gather in the nation's capital Saturday to mark the 60th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.'s historic march.
60 years later: The March on Washington
Posted at 8:53 AM, Aug 25, 2023
and last updated 2023-08-25 08:55:05-04

Sixty years ago in Washington, D.C., a historic gathering of some 200,000 people was marked by a historic speech.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech noted that while the country's founders had promised the right to life, liberty and happiness, that promise had been deferred for Black Americans.

His dream was that one day all men would be treated as equals.

Racial friction can still be seen in protests around the country, ignited by cases like Minneapolis police killing George Floyd in 2020. The Black Lives Matter movement was born of discrimination and police violence against Black Americans.

SEE MORE: MLK Jr.'s family reflects on his legacy, goals for our nation

The 2012 killing of Trayvon Martin in a Florida neighborhood by George Zimmerman and the death of 12-year-old Tamir Rice by a Cleveland police officer, who thought the child was playing with a real gun — these incidents leave many in the Black community wondering if the dream will ever be realized.

King's oldest son, Martin Luther King III, will speak Saturday in Washington to mark the 60th anniversary of that historic day of Aug. 28, 1963. 

King III said in 2023, he thought the country would be closer to accomplishing his father's dream of true equality for African Americans and that Black children would not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

SEE MORE: 'Letter From Birmingham Jail': The injustice of silence

King III, who was about 5 years old when his father spoke to the throngs in D.C., says he's troubled by what he calls an attempt to revise Black history in the U.S., including in states like Florida and Alabama, which are pushing back on college credit African American history courses for high schoolers.

This Saturday's events marking the anniversary are scheduled to be centered around the Lincoln Memorial where King made his speech. A march is planned for early afternoon that will pass the Martin Luther King Jr. memorial — a showing his son says the country needs more of.


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