This site uses cookies to improve your experience and to provide services and advertising. By continuing to browse, you agree to the use of cookies described in our Cookies Policy. You may change your settings at any time but this may impact on the functionality of the site. To learn more see our Cookies Policy.
OK
#Open journalism No news is bad news

Your contributions will help us continue to deliver the stories that are important to you

Support The Journal
Dublin: 18 °C Saturday 8 August, 2020
Advertisement

Boiling point: the explosive weeks that led to I Have A Dream speech

This week sees the 50th anniversary of the delivery of Dr Martin Luther King Jr’s speech, I Have A Dream, during the March for Jobs and Freedom at Washington DC.

‘JOBS AND FREEDOM’ – the two main demands of civil rights marchers on Washington DC this week 50 years ago spanned the prosaic to the profound.

Otherwise known as The Great March on Washington, the rally on 28 August 1963 attracted between 200,000 and 300,000 marchers, protesting the ongoing struggle the black population of the United States faced to attain full realisation of their civil rights.

It also became the scene of delivery for the totemic ‘I Have A Dream’ speech from activist Martin Luther King Jr. Speaking in front of the Lincoln Memorial, King was not to know that he would be assassinated a short five years later. When he delivered his powerful speech this week 50 years ago, he was just 34 years of age.

These press photographs from Associated Press over the month of August convey the tension, frustration and history-making courage that led to the march, the speech and the push for equality:

Boiling point: the explosive weeks that led to I Have A Dream speech
1 / 28
  • We Shall Overcome, August 1963

    Source: AP/Press Association Images
  • We Shall Overcome

    Source: AP/Press Association Images
  • We Shall Overcome

    Source: AP/Press Association Images
  • We Shall Overcome

    Source: AP/Press Association Images
  • We Shall Overcome

    Source: AP/Press Association Images
  • We Shall Overcome

    Source: AP/Press Association Images
  • We Shall Overcome

    Source: AP/Press Association Images
  • We Shall Overcome

    Source: AP/Press Association Images
  • We Shall Overcome

    Source: AP/Press Association Images
  • We Shall Overcome

    Source: AP/Press Association Images
  • We Shall Overcome

    Source: AP/Press Association Images
  • We Shall Overcome

    Source: AP/Press Association Images
  • We Shall Overcome

    Source: AP/Press Association Images
  • We Shall Overcome

    Source: AP/Press Association Images
  • We Shall Overcome

    Source: AP/Press Association Images
  • We Shall Overcome

    Source: AP/Press Association Images
  • We Shall Overcome

    Source: AP/Press Association Images
  • We Shall Overcome

    Source: AP/Press Association Images
  • We Shall Overcome

    Source: AP/Press Association Images
  • We Shall Overcome

    Source: AP/Press Association Images
  • We Shall Overcome

    Source: AP/Press Association Images
  • We Shall Overcome

    Source: AP/Press Association Images
  • We Shall Overcome

    Source: AP/Press Association Images
  • We Shall Overcome

    Source: AP/Press Association Images
  • We Shall Overcome

    Source: AP/Press Association Images
  • We Shall Overcome

    Source: AP/Press Association Images
  • We Shall Overcome

    Source: AP/Press Association Images
  • "I have a dream..."

The full recording of Luther King Jr’s speech is rather more elusive than photographs of the event. An ongoing copyright dispute – as explained extensively here on The Atlantic - prevents more than a few contextual clips being used online or for broadcast.

You may read the text of the speech here.

Museum to open balcony where Martin Luther King Jr was shot>
My favourite speech’ series>

  • Share on Facebook
  • Email this article
  •  

About the author:

Read next:

COMMENTS (25)