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March on Washington: 50th Anniversary Tribute

To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, the staff of the DC Office of Human Rights created a video that recites powerful moments from powerful speeches given at the march in 1963. The video and transcript are below.




Text: March on Washington: 50th Anniversary Tribute from the DC Office of Human Rights staff

Words of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Spoken by Judge David Simmons

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal."

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.

I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

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.

Words of John Lewis

Spoken by Investigator Daniel Younathan

We want our freedom and we want it now! We do not want to go to jail, but we will go to jail if this is the price we must pay for love, brotherhood and true peace. I appeal to all of you to get in this great revolution that is sweeping this nation. Get in and stay in the streets of every city, every village, and every hamlet of this nation, until true Freedom comes, until the revolution of 1776 is complete. We must get in this revolution and complete the revolution.

Words of A. Philip Randolph

Spoken by Investigator Jaime Wojdowski

We are not a pressure group, we are not an organization or a group of organizations, we are not a mob. We are the advanced guard of a massive, moral revolution for jobs and freedom. This revolution reverberates throughout the land touching every city, every town, every village where black men are segregated, oppressed and exploited. But this civil rights revolution is not confined to the Negro, nor is it confined to civil rights for our white allies know that they cannot be free while we are not.

Words of Daisy Bates

Spoken by Judge Dianne Harris

We will kneel-in; we will sit-in until we can eat in any corner in the United States. We will walk until we are free, until we can walk to any school and take our children to any school in the United States. And we will sit-on and we will kneel-in and we will lie-in if necessary until every Negro in America can vote.

Words of Josephine Baker

Spoken by Lead Fair Housing Investigator Akita Smith-Evans

But you young people must do one thing, and I know you have heard this story a thousand times from your mothers and fathers, like I did from my mama…  You must get an education.  You must go to school, and you must learn to protect yourself.  And you must learn to protect yourself with the pen, and not the gun … the pen really is mightier than the sword.

Words of James Farmer, Read at March by Floyd McKissick

Spoken by Investigator Thomas Deal

We will not slow down. We will not stop our militant, peaceful demonstrations. We will not come off of the streets until we can work at a job befitting of our skills in any place in the land. We will not stop our marching feet until our kids have enough to eat and their minds can study a wide range without being cramped in Jim Crow schools.

Words of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Spoken by Language Access Analyst Stephanie Franklin

And when this happens, when we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, "Free at last! free at last! thank God Almighty, we are free at last!"