Biden Meets King’s Family, Civil Rights Leaders on 60th Anniversary of March on Washington

Emel Akan
By Emel Akan
August 28, 2023Executive Branch
share
Biden Meets King’s Family, Civil Rights Leaders on 60th Anniversary of March on Washington
President Joe Biden delivers remarks at an East Room reception at the White House in Washington, D.C., on Aug. 28, 2023. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON—President Joe Biden hosted the family members of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., and civil rights leaders at the White House on Monday to mark the 60th anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.

Yolanda Renee King, 14, the only grandchild of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., was among the attendees at the White House meeting.

On Aug. 28, 1963, about a quarter-million people marched on Washington in support of Black Americans’ right to work and freedom, which is remembered as a landmark moment in American history.

On that day, the marchers arrived in the capital via train, plane, buses, private automobiles, and, in some cases, on foot. Gathering on the National Mall, they listened as the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his famous “I Have a Dream Speech,” which altered the course of the Civil Rights Movement.

“In describing his dream for us all, Dr. King spoke of redeeming the ‘promissory note to which every American was to fall heir’ derived from the very idea of America—we are all created equal and deserve to be treated equally throughout our lives,” President Biden wrote on Aug. 27 in an op-ed to The Washington Post.

“While we’ve never fully lived up to that promise as a nation, we have never fully walked away from it, either. Each day of the Biden-Harris administration, we continue the march forward.”

The March on Washington marked the culmination of years of civil rights activism and helped generate support for the Civil Rights Act of 1964 as well as the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

On the same day of the march, President John F. Kennedy met with ten of the march’s leaders at the White House and issued a statement promising to continue pushing for civil rights legislation.

Earlier that summer, President Kennedy requested the establishment of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law to help lead legal advocacy activities in support of the advancement of civil rights for black people.

In the evening, President Biden also hosted a reception to mark the 60th anniversary of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law’s founding.

The president expressed his concerns about racism and incidents of hate crimes in the country during his speech at the reception.

“On Saturday morning, the nation observed the 60th anniversary of the March on Washington. By the evening, a white gunman in Jacksonville, Florida, reportedly driven by racial animus, went on a shooting rampage,” President Biden said, referring to a shooting in Jacksonville that killed three people at a Dollar General store on Aug. 26.

“White supremacy is a poison,” the president added. “Silence is complicity. And we’re not going to remain silent.”

On the weekend, thousands gathered at the Lincoln Memorial to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.

“As we march in commemoration of the original March on Washington, we must never forget the challenges that our leaders faced then, the hatred that they endured, and the courage, resilience, and hope they displayed against seemingly insurmountable odds,” Damon Hewitt, president of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, said in a statement.

From The Epoch Times

ntd newsletter icon
Sign up for NTD Daily
What you need to know, summarized in one email.
Stay informed with accurate news you can trust.
By registering for the newsletter, you agree to the Privacy Policy.
Comments