Brooke Wright

RLA D
April 24,2000


“I have a Dream”


In August of 1963, 250,000 Blacks and Whites marched defiantly from the
Washington Monument to the Lincoln memorial in hope of getting back
their independence. (look on visual one) This march on Washington had a great
effect on the human race since it brought Blacks one step closer to
equalism. The USA Today ranked this event a fifty out of the top one
hundred
in the century. Personally this event should have much more credit
because it showed how far the black community had come. The Black race had
taken huge steps to becoming more equal, like the Montgomery Bus Boycott and
the March on Washington, while under the leadership of the famous civil
rights leader, Martin Luther King.

 

There were many consequences Martin Luther King had to face on the road
to equal rights in the United States. Before the March on Washington he
had the Montgomery Bus Boycott. The segregation in facilities and
transportation disturbed the Blacks. Rosa Parks, a famous Black woman who, in 1955 did
not move when a white man wanted to take her seat on the bus. (Look on
visual one) For this small incident she was arrested for causing a “
commotion.” That same night, fifty Black leaders gathered to talk about the
incident and Martin Luther King was among them. They organized a plan to deprive the
Bus Company of 65% of its income, by having Blacks not ride the bus.
Because of this, Martin Luther King had to pay a fine of $500. Then eight months
later the Supreme Court ruled bus segregation violated the constitution.(look
on visual one) This is only a minor event compared to what he determined
to do to see the Black race in America got the respect they deserve.

 


The idea of the March on Washington upset many people, including
President Kennedy. The president thought, and said, that the huge crowd would be
“uncontrollable,” and he did not want the march to go on. Philip
Randolph, another Black leader, had a stood up to the president to show how
important this march was to the Black community. (Look on visual one) He stood up
to the president and said, “ It is not better, that they be led by
organizations disciplined by struggle, Mr. President. There will be a
march.” (Patterson, 113) He told people all over America about the
great proposal he decided to make. On May 17, 1963 President Kennedy said, “
Next week I shall ask the Congress of the United States of America to act,
make a commitment it has not fully made in this century to the proposition
that a race has no place in American life…, the right to be served in
facilities which are open to the public.” (113) The march had many motivating leaders helping them protest, which made
the Blacks want to try as hard as they could to succeed. The protest had a
mix of famous speakers such as Rosa Parks from the Montgomery Bus Boycott,
Daisy Bates, Philip Randolph, Roy Wilkins from NAACP, Whitney Young from the
National Urban League, James Farmer from CORE, John Lewis SNCC, and of
course Martin Luther King. (113) No one at the march cared about race,
it was just about their respect and rights.

Martin Luther King, the last
person to speak, left the most memorable speech in history. His speech talked
about how the Blacks, deprived of their rights by the whites and how racism
took over America. “I have a dream,” is the most important sentence, a
metaphor saying Blacks will someday gain their rights and want it to be soon.
He used Abraham Lincoln as a key figure in his speech since he chose to
sign the Emancipation Proclamation. The Emancipation Proclamation was
important to the Blacks because during the Civil War this document was signed and
it freed the slaves in the South. “Free at last, Free at last, thank God
almighty I am free at last.”( Compton’s, 243) This is a line of the
famous song sung by the slaves, which is the very last and most powerful line
of his speech, showing how much having freedom really does make a
difference to the Black race and they can finally fulfill their dreams. His speech,
so powerful; people remember it after many cherished years.

 


The goals of this march wanted decent houses, jobs for all,
integrated schools, and having a “first class” citizenship.(look on visual two)
The houses that they had were in the ghettos and slums, which were horrible
and crowded. They were unsanitary as far as living conditions. They had a
hard time trying to find a decent job because of the segregated facilities.
They even had separate water fountains and toilets because the whites did
not think they were good enough to have the privileges they do. The
segregated schools were not equal although they were supposed to be. The Plessy
vs. Ferguson act that congress passed said all segregated facilities must
be separate but equal. The school books the Blacks had to use were the old
torn and ratty ones that the whites no longer needed because they got brand
new books. As far as a first class citizenship goes, the Blacks just wanted
to fit in with the white society. They wanted a decent life and a good job
so they could support their family.

 


The effects of this event would last forever. The immediate and
long-term effects are the same and still around today. This march had a great
effect on the human race. If the whites were a little kinder to the Blacks and
had given them respect then, many think America’s history would have been
different. This event effected the nation because it shows how Blacks
are still human and should be treated equal no matter what color your skin
is because on the inside everyone is the same. This had a great effect on
Washington D. C. because the streets were overflowing with the
protesters. Although not everyone in America agreed with it, there is still racism
floating around in America because of earlier generations and it has
just ran through the family.

 


Martin Luther King was one of the most effective civil rights leaders
of all time who led 250,000 people through Washington. During this march
there were many important speakers and entertainers. It was open to everyone
and anyone no matter what color or race. It effected the nation, the entire
human race, and it still has some effects today. America’s eyes were
finally opened by this march to show that everyone has rights and no one can
just take them away from someone without a fight. Altogether Martin Luther
King lead a amazing march on Washington that forever changed the lives of
humans in America and will always be remember when the phrase, “ I have a
dream,” is mentioned.