GLSEN | Martin Luther King, Jr. | News | Washington DC

Thousands Arrive in D.C. to Commemorate 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington

Marchonwashington

The Washington Post is publishing live updates from today's commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington:

The rally will include speeches from Attorney General Eric Holder, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and the Rev. Al Sharpton, among others. At 12:30 p.m., a march will leave the Lincoln Memorial, pass the memorial to the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and travel to the Washington Monument.

Live coverage here.

Starting with today's march, the nation will begin a series of events commemorating this historic civil rights moment leading up to the 50th anniversary on Wednesday of MLK Jr's "I Have a Dream" speech" at the Lincoln Memorial where Presidents Obama, Clinton, and Carter will speak.

ByardEliza Byard, the Executive Director at GLSEN, will be speaking at Wednesday's event, GLSEN reports:

Dr. Byard is the only leader of an LGBT organization selected to speak at the event.

Said Byard: “I am humbled and honored to represent GLSEN at the anniversary of one of the landmark moments in United States and world history. Dr. King and March on Washington organizer Bayard Rustin are personal heroes who have inspired me and influenced our work at GLSEN to create a better world for all. GLSEN has spent more than 20 years working to eliminate injustice and inequality directed at lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth in K-12 education, and I look forward to delivering a message of hope for a brighter future where every young person has an equal opportunity to get an education.”

GLSEN partner organizations working predominantly in the South nominated Dr. Byard to speak at the event, and the King Center selected her for the honor.

BondNAACP Chairman Emeritus, Julian Bond, in an email from the Human Rights Campaign, writes:

In August 1963, I was the Communications Director for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), led at the time by John Lewis, the march's youngest speaker that day.

A gay black man by the name of Bayard Rustin was one of the chief organizers – an early embodiment of the unity and commonality that bonded the movement for LGBT equality with the fight for equal treatment of African-Americans.

In his honor, HRC will help lead a commemoration of Bayard's incredible contributions to the civil rights movement on Monday. And it was recently announced that President Obama will posthumously award Rustin the Presidential Medal of Freedom – the highest civilian award in the United States.

Fifty years later, I can still feel the power of that noble, August day. Its weight is what drove me for years – from founding the Southern Poverty Law Center, to overseeing the NAACP as Chairman, not to mention the ten terms I served as a member of the Georgia legislature. And later, that exact same commitment to achieving equal rights is what convinced me to stand with the Human Rights Campaign in endorsing marriage equality.

Together we have marched millions of miles to land on the right side of history, and today we stand firmly planted, hoping only that more will join us, one by one, until everyone in this nation is truly free and equal. I know you are with the marchers today – in spirit and in solidarity – and I hope you'll follow the news coverage of today's powerful events.

(top image via david mixner, lower image via steven portnoy twitter,  8/24/2013)

2013

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Comments

  1. There's a good article in The Nation called "The Misremembering of ‘I Have a Dream’" that's really worth reading. It goes into how the speech, and the march itself, are often interpreted today in a way that probably shocks those that were there.

    For example, "Relatively few people know or recall that the Kennedy administration tried to get organizers to call it off; that the FBI tried to dissuade people from coming; that racist senators tried to discredit the leaders; that twice as many Americans had an unfavorable view of the march as a favorable one. Instead, it is hailed not as a dramatic moment of mass, multiracial dissidence, but as a jamboree in Benetton Technicolor, exemplifying the nation’s unrelenting progress toward its founding ideals."

    There was also an official from the Department of Justice ready to take control of the sound system in case things got out of hand and put on a recording of "He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands".

    As for the speech, it was a "searing indictment of American racism that still exists".

    Posted by: Eric | Aug 24, 2013 11:47:12 AM


  2. "... A gay black man by the name of Bayard Rustin was one of the chief organizers – an early embodiment of the unity and commonality that bonded the movement for LGBT equality with the fight for equal treatment of African-Americans. In his honor, HRC will help lead a commemoration of Bayard's incredible contributions to the civil rights movement on Monday. And it was recently announced that President Obama will posthumously award Rustin the Presidential Medal of Freedom – the highest civilian award in the United States."

    Ironic considering that many in the African-American civil rights establishment spent the last 50-years pretending that Bayard Ruskin barely-existed....or actively air-brushed him out of their histories.

    Posted by: Ted B. (Charging Rhino) | Aug 24, 2013 1:00:14 PM


  3. http://fablog.ehrensteinland.com/2013/08/24/i-have-a-check/

    Posted by: David Ehrenstein | Aug 24, 2013 1:19:47 PM


  4. Incredible. They should be embarrassed by the mega level of black community violence, black on black violence, 70%+ out of wedlock birthrates, 'authentic' urban black music/rap that glorifies violence, hate, misogyny, homophobia, majority black cities that are the most violent,poverty stricken and dysfunctional in the country, black community leaders who routinely defend patently dubious/bad black thugs and thug wannabes, this is a partial list. 50 effing years, trillions spent on social services, healthcare,food, housing, education, 'affirmative action'. The black so-called leadership and their white enablers should be embarrassed to show their face in public, instead they march and rally like it was 1963.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Aug 24, 2013 1:27:45 PM


  5. We had at least 10 shooting incidents in my city just today alone [the Caribbean festival is today, which makes the everyday level of violence worse] ALL involved young black men [not 'minority', but black]. A young black male was shot on a very popular and usually quite safe downtown street yesterday evening in front of tourists and locals, by another black male who escaped. It's ridiculous.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Aug 24, 2013 1:30:47 PM


  6. The time has come for us to address the issue of violent black men in this country. It's a matter quite close to my heart, as my father died as a direct result of black violence on his rectum, which was perforated by the large penises of several black men one fateful night spent away from my mother and I. Unfortunately he bled out with a smile on his face. Every since that day, I've made it my personal mission to condemn the black community anonymously on the Internet whenever I'm given the chance.

    Posted by: Ratbastard | Aug 24, 2013 3:25:07 PM


  7. Keep trying to blame others for the rot in the black subculture.

    Posted by: Hagatha | Aug 24, 2013 5:41:06 PM


  8. The time has come for us to address the issue of violent black men in this country. It's a matter quite close to my heart, as my father died as a direct result of black violence on his rectum, which was perforated by the large penises of several black men one fateful night spent away from my mother and I. Unfortunately he bled out with a smile on his face. Every since that day, I've made it my personal mission to condemn the black community anonymously on the Internet whenever I'm given the chance.

    POSTED BY: RATBASTARD | AUG 24, 2013 3:25:07 PM

    ========================

    The Canadian psycho Little Kiwi wrote the above post, not me.

    How many shootings and murders are the result of young black men in Toronto, Raymond?

    Posted by: ratbastard | Aug 24, 2013 7:23:07 PM


  9. You want more traffic to Towleroad, Andy? Then instead of running so many questionable celebrity articles, moderate your comments like Metafilter or other responsible sites to that we can have actual discussions instead of having a troll fest. Most of the time I use software to just block all of the comments all of the time. Why? Because the Towleroad comment section is just about as bad as YouTube, and that's saying something.

    Posted by: Mike | Aug 24, 2013 7:48:17 PM


  10. Mike - What has been said that isn't true?

    Posted by: Hagatha | Aug 24, 2013 8:59:05 PM


  11. This site is not a sociology lesson, or created to please you. It's a mix of unique comments, opinions, humor and serious matters. Go elsewhere for your "discussions." Comments here represent TODAY. Their variety is what makes the site informative and entertaining. I'm sorry the world can not be "tailored" to suit you. The "rainbow" has many colors. You do have the option to block yourself.

    Posted by: IQ | Aug 24, 2013 9:26:40 PM


  12. Once all of those involved 50 years ago and presently have perished, I sincerely hope that the historical legacy, significance and important lessons arising from these events remain firmly instilled in future generations which will continue to act to preserve and progress human equality for all as essential for a more perfect union.

    Posted by: Koskalaka Maricón | Aug 25, 2013 11:40:20 AM


  13. There were many speakers yesterday who mentioned civil rights for LBGT folks. But yet they get no credit here.

    Yes, I'm at work on a Sunday. My, what a lazy n-word I am.

    Thank you, Little Kiwi. You speak up when nobody else does. Thanks.

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Aug 25, 2013 11:58:01 AM


  14. Derrick - Your honesty is appreciated.

    Posted by: Hagatha | Aug 25, 2013 12:22:27 PM


  15. @"Derrick - Your honesty is appreciated."

    Your day of honesty will come also...just like George Wallace's did.

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Aug 25, 2013 12:27:11 PM


  16. Derrick - Oh , how deep! You and that field hand Sybrina Fulton have a nice day.

    Posted by: Hagatha | Aug 25, 2013 1:36:51 PM


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