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Social Issues
5 Ways Of Looking At “I Have A Dream”, 50 Years Later
August 28, 2013
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On August 28, 1963, 250,000 people gathered in Washington, D.C. at an event called the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.

The Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his famous "I Have a Dream" speech that day. You can watch the whole thing in the video above.

It's been 50 years since King's speech, and the anniversary is inspiring some powerful and thought-provoking looks back at the March, the speech itself and the effects of both.

Here are some sites and posts that are worth a look. Each of them offers a different perspective on a major moment in the history of U.S. civil rights.

5. CBC News: The 1963 March On Washington Told 50 Ways
Some images from CBC's interactive piece on the March (Photos: CBC News)

CBC News has put together this interactive piece, which offers 50 different perspectives on the speech and the March on Washington.

From a profile of Mahalia Jackson (whose rousing performance of 'I've Been 'Buked, and I've Been Scorned" on the day of the March helped calm the crowd and inspired King before his speech) to commentary from modern-day artists and activists, it's a rich look at the context, history and impact of that momentous speech.

4. The Washington Post Almost Completely Ignored The "I Have A Dream" Speech In Its Coverage
Some of the attendees at the March in front of the platform where the speeches were delivered (Photo: Kurt Severin/Getty Images)

The Washington Post was guilty of "journalistic malpractice" in its coverage of the March on Washington, writes Robert G. Kaiser, currently an associate editor with the Post. He was sent to cover the March for the paper as a young man.

In all, the Post sent 60 staffers to report on the March, but Kaiser writes that they were told to prepare for "a riot, for trouble, for unexpected events - but not for history to be made."

The next day, the paper's lead story was about the March, but it didn't even mention Martin Luther King, Jr.

In fact, in all of the Post's coverage of the March, the words "I have a dream" only appeared in one story - on page A15, in the fifth paragraph. Kaiser sums up the paper's approach to the coverage this way: "We blew it."

3. 50th Anniversary Website
The homepage of the 50th Anniversary site (Image:

Today, marchers are returning to the Mall in Washington, D.C. for what's being called 'The March for Jobs and Justice'.

The leaders of today's march will be "veterans" of the original 1963 event, and they will be accompanied by the Civil Rights Museum on Wheels, a transit bus from the segregation era that has been fully restored.

Along with information about today's march, the 50th Anniversary site offers an audio history of the original event, profiles of some "voices of the March" including Rosa Parks and John Lewis and this page featuring reminiscences from some people who were there in 1963.

2. Bayard Rustin: "The Gay Black Pacifist At The Heart Of The March On Washington"
Bayard Rustin in NYC with a map showing the route of the March, August, 1963 (Photo: AP)

Bayard Rustin was an openly gay black pacifist who helped organize the March on Washington. Writing in The Guardian, Gary Younge says Rustin "was kept in the background" by other organizers, and is "sometimes forgotten in civil rights history."

Despite the reluctance of some of his fellow march organizers, though, Rustin did lead the March, and did so "brilliantly," Younge writes. The piece gives a fascinating account of the work Rustin did to make the March come together, and some of the opposition he faced along the way.

Although he was not always recognized for his work during his lifetime (Rustin passed away in 1987), the White House recently announced that he would be posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

1. Listen To The "I Have A Dream" Speech Alongside Stunning Photos
Marchers on August 28, 1963 (Photo:

Google and Organic teamed up to create this site, We Are Still Marching, which features audio from the last five and a half minutes of King's speech - the section where he talks about his dream - alongside photos taken on the day of the March.

It also offers people the opportunity to record and share their own version of the speech, and listen to other people delivering it.

According to the creators of the site, "the web experience is about the quarter of a million people who marched on Washington that day, and those five and a half minutes."


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