Tens of thousands of people marched to the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial and down the National Mall on Saturday, commemorating the 50th anniversary of his famous speech and pledging that his dream include equality for gays, Latinos, the poor and the disabled.
The event was an homage to a generation of activists that endured fire hoses, police abuses and indignities to demand equality for African Americans. But there was a strong theme of unfinished business.
“This is not the time for nostalgic commemoration,” said Martin Luther King III, the oldest son of the slain civil rights leader. “Nor is this the time for self-congratulatory celebration. The task is not done. The journey is not complete. We can and we must do more.”
Eric Holder, the nation’s first black attorney general, said he would not be in office, nor would Barack Obama be president, without those who marched.
“They marched in spite of animosity, oppression and brutality because they believed in the greatness of what this nation could become and despaired of the founding promises not kept,” Holder said.
See full story in Sunday editions of the Transcript