Witnesses to Martin Luther King's dream see a new hope
"I was young, naïve enough to think I would see that in 5, 10 years," she said."Then you see leaders killed, you see police brutality, residential segregation in cities. About 10 years ago I thought: I won't see this. This is something for my grandchildren." She paused, her eyes now red-rimmed.
"What to say except, 'Oh, hallelujah!'" she said."We have a lot of work, a lot, but we are so much closer than I expected."
These veterans of the March on Washington are the living connective tissue to the America of 1963, when the police in some cities and towns still beat blacks with truncheons, and the story of their journey is as complicated as race itself.
At least five veterans of that march traveled to Denver this week as Democratic delegates, among them Representative John Lewis of Georgia, who is the last man alive of the 10 who spoke that day at the Lincoln Memorial. This son of sharecroppers, who was almost beaten to death by police officers in Selma, Alabama, when he marched with civil rights activists across a bridge, stood on a sun-splashed street in Denver and considered the distance traveled.
comments powered by Disqus
- Did a historian who said he’s a victim of McCarthyism get the story wrong?
- Stephanie Coontz’s work on the history of marriage cited by the Supreme Court.
- NYT History Book Reviews: Who Got Noticed this Week?
- David Hackett Fischer wins $100,000 prize for lifetime achievement in military writing