Martin Luther King III was five years old when his father stood before a quarter of a million people from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial and spoke the words “I have a dream.”
Exactly 57 years have passed since crowds packed each inch of the National Mall to demand civil rights and economic opportunity. In some ways, a lot has changed. In others, much has stayed the same.
So King will be in the nation’s capital on Friday, along with the Rev. Al Sharpton and tens of thousands of other expected attendees, for another March on Washington.
The march will be a commemoration of a seminal moment in US history. It will also be also a commitment to continuing many of the same fights: ending police violence, dismantling systemic racism and ensuring access to the ballot box.
“Dad would be very proud that people are coming together to stand up against injustice,” King told CNN. “But certainly very sad that we’re still attempting to get justice.”
Friday’s event — called the “Commitment March: Get Your Knee Off Our Necks” — will bring to an end a devastating week, one that saw yet another Black man shot by police. It follows a summer that has seen a global outcry over the killings of Black Americans at the hands of law enforcement. And it takes place in the midst of a pandemic that has disproportionately affected people of color.