Protest marks the anniversary of the March on Washington

Washington, DC - August 28, 2020: Commitment March 2020, March on Washington.
Washington, DC - August 28, 2020: Commitment March 2020, March on Washington.

WASHINGTON—Thousands of civil rights activists gathered at the Lincoln Memorial and around its reflecting pool on Friday. The Rev. Al Sharpton and his National Action Network organized the protest to mark the 57th anniversary of the March on Washington and Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech in 1963. They called the event “Get Your Knee Off Our Necks”—a reference to the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis in late May after a police officer knelt on his neck during an arrest.

Who spoke at the event? Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas, pushed for voting rights legislation that would make it harder for states to change their regulations. An activist named Frank Nitty said he walked 750 miles in 24 days from Milwaukee to Washington to attend. King’s son, Martin Luther King III, said in a keynote address, “If you’re looking for a savior, get up and find a mirror.”

Dig deeper: Read Janie B. Cheaney’s analysis in Voices about how dogmatism and defensiveness undermine productive conversations about race.

This story originally appeared in WORLD. © 2020, reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.

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