AncestorEbooks Celebrates the 50th Anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr’s Peaceful March on Washington, DC

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AncestorEbooks celebrates the 50th Anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr, and the 250K who marched on Washington, where he made his famous "I Have a Dream" speech.

Photo of Martin Luther King Jr at the 1963 March on Washington

Photo of Martin Luther King Jr at the 1963 March on Washington

“Nonviolence is the answer to the crucial political and moral questions of our time: the need for man to overcome oppression and violence without resorting to oppression and violence. --- Martin Luther King Jr celebrates and remembers 28 August 1963, when Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr led the March (of over 200,000 people) on Washington, during which he and several others gave speeches that spurred on the Civil Rights Movement.

The nature of the march was illustrated by a white man in clerical garb, carrying a placard with these words: "We march together – Protestants, Catholics, Jews – for the dignity and brotherhood of all men under God." []

Reverend King's speech was a call to action for African-Americans [] & given 100 years after President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation and where, according to his words, "One hundred years later the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst a vast ocean of material prosperity."

Reverend King believed that peaceful protests, not violence, were the way to fighting injustice and inequality. [] He said, "In the process of gaining our rightful place we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred." 

"We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline." Reverend King stated, "We must not allow our creative protests to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force."

Reverend King spoke of his dream for America, "I say to you today, my friend, though, even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream. I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up, live out the true meaning of its creed: 'We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.'"

"Reverend King's speech has touched the hearts of millions," says Gayla Mendenhall of AncestorEbooks. "His words, though aimed at the idea of equal rights, have much farther reaches than that. He taught to not drink 'from the cup of bitterness and hatred' and that despite what we desire, we should not let hatred and anger rule our lives. The lessons he taught were to fight peacefully, and to work together, for the betterment of humanity."

Dr. King believed in the philosophy of "The Beloved Community," not an idealized society in which life is perfect, but where a critical mass of people were all committed to nonviolence. []

Reverend King understood that conflict was a part of life, but he also believed that a resolution could be achieved peacefully as long as they were committed to nonviolence and cooperation. His dream didn’t end with freedom for only his own people, but for all to be “free at last.”

In the closing words of his moving speech to over 250,000 men, women and children, King said, “When we allow freedom to ring - when we let it ring - from every city and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all 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, Great God a-mighty, We are free at last.'"

"The photographs of peaceful protests being met with vicious attacks, are heart wrenching," states Mrs Mendenhall. "However, these brave men and women understood that if they reacted in anger and hatred there would be an increasing in violence. Reverend King knew, that if Civil Rights were to be achieved, nonviolent action was the only way.  Until the day of his assassination, King preached for nonviolence. Will anyone ever be truly “free at last” as long as we are shackled by the anger and bitterness that hold us all in bondage?" understands there is still work to be done within the boundaries of this great nation, where all Americans should honor, remember and respect those who have gone before us to build the best environment for freedom and personal growth in the world.

America’s leaders, from the Signers of our Constitution, to Presidents such as George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, and the youngest man to have received the Nobel Peace Prize, Martin Luther King Jr. have dedicated their lives to this free nation. It is now our duty to declare emphatically, as did Reverend King, "I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the colour of their skin, but by the content of their character."

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Cristina Besendorfer
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