Today is the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington. On this very date -- before any of us were born -- in 1963, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. stood at the Lincoln Memorial and said, “I have a dream.” Many parts of his dream have been realized, but there is still much to do.
Why does the March on Washington matter so much? If we go back to Dr. King's lifetime, America was segregated, especially in the South. There were separate drinking fountains, and African Americans had to sit at the back of the bus and were often denied the right to vote. There were well known instances of African Americans being killed for trying to vote or being killed for interacting with a white person in a way deemed inappropriate. These unjust events (and more) led to the Civil Rights Movement.
The March on Washington got hundreds of thousands of people to come together to say that this kind of treatment was not acceptable. Along with gathering together like-minded people, the March has gone down in history as an iconic event that helped bring about change. Below are ways you can take action on this historic anniversary.
+ Tweet #WhatsYourDream
The Emerging Leaders Commission, Reverend Jesse Jackson and MTV Act have set up a collab to keep Dr. King’s dream alive. You can share your dream with the hashtag #whatsyourdream. You can also visit YourDreamYourPledge.com to learn more and get more involved. Another important hashtag you can use is #mlkdream50.
+ Learn more about Dr. King
Dr. King grew up in a world and culture many of us can’t even fathom. By going to The King Center, you’ll learn just how important this work (and the work of other Civil Rights leaders and supporters) was in making change. It can also give you an idea of change that still needs to occur...and that the only real way to make change is through nonviolent activism!
+ Watch the original "I Have a Dream" speech
If you've never watched the whole “I Have a Dream” speech, how about you check it out now? 50 years ago today, Dr. King said: "I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character." It's one thing to read it, it's another to see it:
+ Support the Voting Rights Act
Congressman John Lewis, who spoke with Dr. King at the March on Washington 50 years ago today, recently told MTV Act about the importance of the Voting Rights Act. The Voting Rights act came about in 1965, and it basically says you can't discriminate against a person and keep them from voting. Recently the Supreme Court made changes to the Act, and many people are upset about it, because it could make it easier to discriminate and keep people from voting again. You can show your support for the Voting Rights Act by asking Congress to support the right to vote.