The Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial is attracting all the fanfare this week. But just outside the spotlight, in Washington and its surroundings, there are dozens of houses, museums and other sites that reflect the history of African Americans in this capital city and the country.
Some places boast a large historical footprint, such as the U.S. Supreme Court on Capitol Hill, where Thurgood Marshall argued 1954’s Brown v. Board of Education . The case ended in the landmark decision that declared segregated schools unconstitutional. Others offer more backstory to the story of race in America, such as the home of Carter G. Woodson, known as the “father of African American history.” Located at 1538 Ninth St. NW and recently acquired by the National Park Service, the house will eventually be restored and opened to the public.)
Story by Emily Wax & Jessica Goldstein – The Washington Post
Historical clothing design of the day is to remember the day that Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. gave his “I Have a Dream” speech on August 28th 1963 Each day a new design is chosen and an article is posted to highlight the historical significance of the design.
“I Have a Dream” is a 17-minute public speech by Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered on August 28, 1963, in which he called for racial equality and an end to discrimination. The speech, from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial during the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, was a defining moment of the American Civil Rights Movement. Delivered to over 200,000 civil rights supporters, the speech was ranked the top American speech of the 20th century by a 1999 poll of scholars of public address.
I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation.
Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand today, signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of their captivity.
But one hundred years later, the Negro still is not free. One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later, the Negro is still languishing in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land. So we have come here today to dramatize a shameful condition.
In a sense we have come to our nation’s capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men, yes, black men as well as white men, would be guaranteed the unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check, a check which has come back marked “insufficient funds.” But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. So we have come to cash this check — a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice. We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quick sands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood. Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God’s children.
Back in 1963, when Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his now famous “I Have a Dream” speech during the March on Washington, the National Mall overflowed with people who’d traveled from near and far seeking equality for all Americans.
Almost a half-century later, visitors to Washington have the chance to bear witness to history and “the dream” as a national memorial to honor King is dedicated Aug. 28, a date that coincides with the 48th anniversary of that groundbreaking march.
President Barack Obama, members of the King family and civil rights leaders, along with a slew of dignitaries and celebrities, are expected for the dedication ceremony on the National Mall, which is open to the public.
Read More at MLK Memorial: Dedication to a dream – baltimoresun.com.
Story by Donna M Owens – The Baltimore Sun
From April to October 1919, a wave of racial violence swept across the United States. A bloody series of at least 52 lynchings and 25 major riots that began in the South also consumed major Northern cities including Chicago and brought the nation’s racial woes, literally, to the gates of the White House.
Lynchings and white mob attacks on black neighborhoods were nothing new in the U.S., writes Wall Street Journal reporter Cameron McWhirter in his new book, “.” What was different in 1919, McWhirter notes, was that “African Americans fought back in large numbers. …The economic, social and political dynamics of black-white relations were changing.” This was a pivotal moment in the struggle for African American civil rights, and a precipitating factor in these changes in black-white relations was World War I.
Review by Wendy Smith – The Los Angeles Times
It’s easy to miss the little two-story, boarded-up house behind the Historical Society of Baltimore County in Cockeysville.
Known as “the Pest House,” it was once a haven for patients suffering from contagious diseases, such as smallpox. Built in 1872, it’s been empty for decades.
But efforts to convert it into a research center for county African-American history would take the old stone building beyond its dreary past into a brighter future, provided fundraisers can obtain more than $300,000 for the renovation job.
Story by Raven L. Hill – Baltimore Sun