Thousands of people gathered at Lincoln Memorial on Saturday (August 26) to mark the 60th anniversary of the March on Washington, the pivotal event in the civil rights movement where Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech, NPR reports.
In 1963, over 250,000 people convened in Washington aiming to end discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.
This year’s rally saw a number of speakers address the work that still needs to be done, 60 years after King’s call for equality.
In a speech, Ashley Sharpton, an activist with National Action Network and daughter of the Reverend Al Sharpton, urged Americans to “turn demonstration into legislation.”
Margaret Huang, the president and CEO of the Southern Poverty Law Center nonprofit civil rights advocacy group, warned the crowd of new laws that are threatening to erase gains that began with King’s speech 60 years ago.
“These campaigns against our ballots, our bodies, our school books, they are all connected. When our right to vote falls, all other civil and human rights can fall too, but we’re here today to say ‘not on our watch,’” Huang said.
Other speakers included King’s son Martin Luther King III, his granddaughter Yolanda Renee King, and House Democratic leader Hakeem Jeffries. Gun violence against Black people was denounced as the crowd chanted “No justice, no peace.”
On Monday (August 28), President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris are set to meet with march organizers at the White House for the official anniversary of the March on Washington.
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