Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Let Freedom Ring

The Civil Rights Movement in the United States didn’t begin or end with the March on Washington, but it was certainly one of the defining moments of that struggle.  This week marks the fiftieth anniversary of the March on Washington.  A new book, Let Freedom Ring, is a collection of the iconic photographs taken by Stanley Tretick on that historic day.  Many of these images are being seen for the first time in this book.  Accompanying the images are some background text and brief excerpts from the speeches of that day.

The formal name of that historic march was “The March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom”.  Participants came from across the country seeking justice for all, but especially for African Americans who were not only enduring brutality and violence in the south, but poverty, discrimination and hopelessness everywhere.  Organizers and marchers included black and white, Catholics, Protestants, and Jews.  

Of course the one moment of the event that more than any other has remained with us is Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s “I have a dream” speech.  What many do not know is that those unforgettable lines were not part of his prepared text, but came to him at the podium.   While reading those words, his voice seemed to leap off the page and they gave me goosebumps.

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