By Rachel Nostrant
(Reuters) – Thousands of Americans will converge on Washington on Saturday to commemorate the sixtieth anniversary of the March on Washington, a pivotal occasion within the Nineteen Sixties U.S. civil rights motion at which Martin Luther King Jr gave his galvanizing “I have a dream” speech.
The 1963 march introduced greater than 250,000 folks to the nation’s capital to push for an finish to discrimination on the idea of race, coloration, faith, intercourse or nationwide origin. Many credit score the present of energy with the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Organized by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and different civil rights teams, this yr’s march takes place on the Lincoln Memorial, the backdrop to King’s impassioned name for equality.
Kimberle Crenshaw, government director of the African American Policy Forum, stated the anniversary takes place at a troubling second for the nation.
“The very history that the march is commemorating is being not only challenged but distorted,” Crenshaw stated, referring to bans in a number of states on books and classroom instruction primarily based on so-called essential race concept, which views a legacy of racism as shaping American historical past.
She known as that and different strikes such because the elimination of an African American Studies course from public colleges in Florida and Arkansas a “concerted effort to silence conversation about that history.”
Opponents of CRT say it distorts historical past and is needlessly divisive and upsetting for college kids.
Speakers at Saturday’s march will embrace civil rights leaders such because the Reverend Al Sharpton, King’s son Martin Luther King III, his granddaughter Yolanda Renee King and House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries.
In phrases of the targets envisioned in King’s “dream,” the nation has come a great distance since 1963, stated Jonathan Greenblatt, nationwide director of the Anti-Defamation League, which performed a job within the marketing campaign for the Civil Rights Act’s enactment.
But, he stated, latest Supreme Court rulings setting again affirmative motion and entry to abortion have been a trigger for concern.
“We’ve seen an expansion of antisemitism, we’ve seen an intensification of racism,” stated Greenblatt, who can also be scheduled to talk on Saturday.
President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris on Monday will meet with march organizers on the White House to mark the 1963 assembly between organizers of the unique march and the administration of President John F. Kennedy.
The rally will embrace many younger individuals who traveled from across the nation.
Chanelle Johnson, vice chair of the National Council of Negro Women’s Youth and Collegiate Affairs, stated involving the youthful technology was essential.
“Learning is seeing all the things that some of the older generations went through to get to this point,” Johnson stated. “They said it back then, and they’re saying it now: the fight is not over after today or after this march.”