WORD LISTS

50th Anniversary of the March on Washington

August 24, 2013
It has been 50 years since Martin Luther King's landmark "I Have A Dream" Speech was delivered in Washington, D.C. This weekend thousands of people gathered there to commemorate the event. Here are 25 words about the event and the complicated history of the racial equality movement the speech has come to represent. Drawn from Following King’s Path, and Trying to Galvanize a New Generation The New York Times, August 24, 2013
apex
WASHINGTON — Half a century after the emotional apex of the civil rights movement, Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech, tens of thousands of people retraced his footsteps on Saturday, and his successors in the movement spoke of the still-unmet promise of America, as he did, at the Lincoln Memorial.
successor
WASHINGTON — Half a century after the emotional apex of the civil rights movement, Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech, tens of thousands of people retraced his footsteps on Saturday, and his successors in the movement spoke of the still-unmet promise of America, as he did, at the Lincoln Memorial.
memorial
WASHINGTON — Half a century after the emotional apex of the civil rights movement, Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech, tens of thousands of people retraced his footsteps on Saturday, and his successors in the movement spoke of the still-unmet promise of America, as he did, at the Lincoln Memorial.
proclaim
The anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington was less a commemoration, speakers proclaimed, than an effort to inject fresh energy into issues of economics and justice that, despite undeniable progress in overcoming racial bias, still leave stubborn gaps between white and black Americans.
bias
The anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington was less a commemoration, speakers proclaimed, than an effort to inject fresh energy into issues of economics and justice that, despite undeniable progress in overcoming racial bias, still leave stubborn gaps between white and black Americans.
jolt
The speeches that carried over the Reflecting Pool, which 50 years ago jolted Congress to pass landmark laws, took hard aim at current racial profiling by law enforcement, economic inequality and efforts to restrict voting access.
landmark
The speeches that carried over the Reflecting Pool, which 50 years ago jolted Congress to pass landmark laws, took hard aim at current racial profiling by law enforcement, economic inequality and efforts to restrict voting access.
hubris
Addressing generations too young to remember, the Rev. Al Sharpton, an organizer of Saturday’s event, warned young people against the hubris of believing one’s middle class success was achieved alone.
vast
A lineup of civil rights heroes, current movement leaders, labor leaders and Democratic officials addressed a vast crowd that stretched east from the Lincoln Memorial to the knoll of the Washington Monument — well out of range of loudspeakers.
segregation
Organizers expected 100,000, fewer than half the number who came in 1963 when efforts to dismantle segregation had seized the national attention, often because of racist violence in the South.
sonorous
“I gave blood on the bridge in Selma, Alabama, for the right to vote,” Mr. Lewis said in a deep and sonorous rumble.
unencumbered
Mr. Holder, receiving a roar of welcome from the crowd, said that King’s struggle must continue “until every eligible American has the chance to exercise his or her right to vote unencumbered by discrimination or unneeded procedurals, rules or practices.”
acquittal
The Martin case, which led to the acquittal of a neighborhood watch volunteer in the killing last month, was also a major touchstone of the day.
touchstone
The Martin case, which led to the acquittal of a neighborhood watch volunteer in the killing last month, was also a major touchstone of the day.
acrid
There were T-shirts with him in a hoodie and the acrid phrase “American Justice,” and signs urging “Support Trayvon’s Law” to repeal stand-your-ground gun measures
pantheon
“We march because Trayvon Martin has joined Emmett Till in the pantheon of young black martyrs,” said Julian Bond, the social activist who attended the 1963 march.
martyr
“We march because Trayvon Martin has joined Emmett Till in the pantheon of young black martyrs,” said Julian Bond, the social activist who attended the 1963 march.
prompt
Mazi Oyo, a 27-year-old marcher from Brooklyn, said the verdict prompted him for the first time to consider how he is perceived as a black man.
diverse
Even in his diverse and upper-middle-class Park Slope neighborhood, he said, “When I go to the store late at night, I have to dress a certain way.”
frisk
Benjamin T. Jealous, president of the N.A.A.C.P., linked the passage in New York City on Thursday of limits to stop-and-frisk police tactics — over the strong objections of Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg — to the Martin case.
rhetorical
Mr. Sharpton, who as chief organizer and president of the National Action Network gave himself the role of keynote speaker, seized the opportunity to turn up the rhetorical heat.
suffice
In past decades when blacks voted for Presidents John F. Kennedy, Richard M. Nixon, George W. Bush and others, he said, the IDs they showed at polls sufficed.
conspicuous
President Obama, who is scheduled to observe the anniversary in a quieter ceremony on Wednesday at the Lincoln Memorial, and who was mentioned by many speakers as the fulfillment of King’s dream, was perhaps conspicuous by his absence.
dysfunctional
He struck the theme on Friday at a town hall-style meeting when he said minorities had made “enormous strides,” but even if all discrimination were ended, “you’d still have a situation in which there are a lot of folks who are poor, and whose families have become dysfunctional, because of a long legacy of poverty.”
prevalent
“Overt racism is still prevalent,” said Ms. Love, 77, though she acknowledged great changes.

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