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Public Rally Celebrates 56th Anniversary of Dr. King’s I Have a Dream Speech

9/11/2019, noon | Updated on 9/11/2019, noon
In August of 1963, during the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. gave his ...
Left to right: The Let’s Fulfill the Dream Together Rally was recently hosted in downtown Chicago to commemorate the 56th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s I Have a Dream speech. Photo Credit: Rainbow PUSH Coalition

Public Rally Celebrates 56th Anniversary of Dr. King’s I Have a Dream Speech

BY KATHERINE NEWMAN

In August of 1963, during the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. gave his iconic I Have a Dream speech at the Lincoln Memorial where he called for an end to racism in the United States.

Fifty-six years later, the Rainbow PUSH Coalition, along with several other sponsors, community activists, and elected officials, hosted the Let’s Fulfill the Dream Together rally in downtown Chicago.

The purpose of the Let’s Fulfill the Dream Together rally was not only to commemorate the anniversary of Dr. King’s speech but to once again call for action in Chicago and across the country to bring an end to the senseless violence, racism, discrimination, and segregation that still exists.

“The rights and lives of people of color, immigrants, religious minorities and the LGBTQIA community are under unrelenting attack,” said Rev. Jesse L. Jackson, Sr., founder and president of the Rainbow PUSH Coalition. “We must fight back and defeat this counter-revolution. We’re inviting everyone to join the effort to change the right-wing narrative and actions coming from the White House, hate groups, and racists to protect and defend the rights and safety of vulnerable members of our community and those across the country.”

A variety of speakers participated in the event including Congressman Bobby Rush who was once a founding member of the Illinois Black Panther Party, according to History Makers. During his speech, Congressman Rush shared that he was just 16 years old when Dr. King gave his I Have a Dream speech.

“There were those who didn’t believe, those who were in denial, those who said it would never get done and that the March on Washington could never happen in our nation’s capital but I remember that August day 56 years ago when it did happen. Americans, black people, white people, old people, and young people all came together in that precise moment in Washington D.C. and they came there with one mind and that mind was to defeat racism and to dismantle all the institutions of racisms 56 years ago,” said Rush.

He went on to talk about how he has realized that there is a difference between a dream and a vision and while they were there to commemorate Dr. King’s dream, he urged viewers to also remember his vision.

“Today, in this present moment, as I look and see what has happened, I wonder how racism is still so apparent in this nation,” said Rush. “The only thing that I can rationalize in my mind is that there is a difference between a dream and a vision. Anyone can have a dream and dreams come and go, but visions stay with you and you can’t forget your vision. A vision has the power to take hold of you. Once you realize your vision, you can not be still, sit still, or stand still until you see your vision coming to reality. We remember Dr. King’s dream but we can’t forget Dr. King’s vision for America.”