The George F. Landegger Collection of Alabama Photographs in Carol M. Highsmith's America, Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division
August is for vacations, air conditioned rooms, and sipping cold drinks at the beach, but what some people may not know is that August was a pivotal month for civil rights activists.
On August 28th 1963, Martin Luther King Jr. made his infamous “I Have a Dream” speech to thousands of activists in Washington D.C. The simple yet powerful words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s speech united people from all over the country so that together, we can achieve an idyllic version of the America Dr. Martin King Jr. had envisioned.
Several months after the speech was made, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. went on to become one of the youngest people to win the Nobel Peace Prize.
Despite the enormity of the speech and his status as an iconic leader of the Civil Rights Movement, the path to equality was still a hard paved road. In 1965, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. led the Selma to Montgomery March, a 53-mile 3-day walk, to advocate for the rights of African Americans to vote. The protest was a success; as a result of their efforts, President Lyndon B. Johnson called on Congress to pass federal legislation that would protect all African Americans’ right to vote.
So much has changed in the past few decades after the speech was made. Let’s take this moment to remember all that we have accomplished, while continuing to pave a brighter future for all people.