|THE ONE AND ONLY KING OF I HAVE A DREAM'' MARTIN LUTHER KING' TAREHE 28.8.1963'' SO PROUD OF HIM''|
In stirring scenes, people from across the country cheered and shook hands as they marched towards the Washington D.C. monument, retracing the steps Dr King and other civil rights activists took during the March on Washington on August 28, 1963 - which also happened to be a Wednesday.
To mark its 50th anniversary, cities across the U.S. are remembering Dr King and reiterating his message of economic justice, racial equality and hope.
At the day's central event, President Barack Obama will be joined by a host of civil rights leaders as well as former U.S. presidents Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter at the 'Let Freedom Ring' commemoration. The event started at 11am and will conclude with Obama's speech at 4pm.
Obama has said that half a century after the march is a good time to reflect on how far the country has come and how far it has to go, particularly after the Trayvon Martin shooting trial in Florida. The devastated parents and brother of the slain teen attended the D.C. event on Wednesday.
Ahead of Obama's speech, famous faces appeared on the stage, including actor Jamie Foxx and Rev. Al Sharpton, while Leann Rimes and Natalie Grant gave singing performances. Oprah Winfrey and Forest Whitaker will also be delivering speeches this afternoon.
The president is to stand on the same spot on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial where Dr King addressed some 250,000 gathered to re-assess his country's progress in achieving the dream of racial equality.
Organizers said sites in nearly every state will ring their bells at 3 p.m. their time Wednesday or at 3 p.m. EDT, the hour when King delivered his speech.
Commemorations are planned from Washington to the far reaches of Alaska, where participants plan to ring cow bells along with church bells in Juneau.
On August 28, 1963, as King was wrapping up his speech at the Lincoln Memorial, he quoted from the patriotic song, 'My Country 'tis of Thee.'
King implored his audience to 'let freedom ring' from the hilltops and mountains of every state in the nation, some of which he cited by name.
'When we allow freedom to ring - when we let it ring from every city and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, Free at last, free at last, great God almighty, we are free at last,' King said.
International commemorations will be held at London's Trafalgar Square, as well as in Japan, Switzerland, Nepal and Liberia. London Mayor Boris Johnson has said King's speech resonates around the world and continues to inspire people as one of the great pieces of oratory.
Some of the sites that will host ceremonies are symbolic, such as the Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site in Topeka, Kansas, a monument to the landmark Supreme Court case that outlawed segregated schools in 1954. Bells will also be rung at Lookout Mountain in Tennessee and Stone Mountain in Georgia, a site with a Confederate memorial that King referenced in his speech.
In Wisconsin, Gov. Scott Walker's office planned to join the commemorations by ringing a 'virtual bell' online. Meanwhile in Baltimore, a performer reenacted King's 'Dream' speech at City Hall.
Idol: Obama, left, will emulate one of his heroes, civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr, right, when he addresses crowds at the commemoration today''
It is unclear what Obama, who keeps a bust of Dr King and a framed program from that day, in the Oval Office, will say during his speech, which he is said to have written himself, but it is believed that his address will aim to relate today's youth with the struggles of the 1960s Civil Rights movement.
He told Tom Joyner and co-host Sybil Wilkes of the Tom Joyner Morning Show yesterday that King 'would be amazed in many ways at the progress that we've made'.
He added: 'When you are talking about Dr. King's speech at the March on Washington, you're talking about one of the maybe five greatest speeches in American history.
'And the words that he spoke at that particular moment, with so much at stake, and the way in which he captured the hopes and dreams of an entire generation I think is unmatched.'
Although Dr King was shot dead in Memphis, Tennessee, five years after his speech, many believe that Obama's election as the first African-American U.S President was a giant step towards his dream being realized.
The President himself credits the actions of people like King for the opportunity to become the current incumbent at the White House.
Valerie Jarrett, one of Obama's senior advises, said of the President: 'He stands on the shoulders of Martin Luther King, and the sacrifices that King made that make a President Obama possible are deeply humbling to him,
Education Secretary Arne Duncan said: 'Tomorrow, just like 50 years ago, an African-American man will stand on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial and speak about civil rights and justice.
'But afterward, he won't visit the White House. He'll go home to the White House. That's how far this country has come. A black president is a victory that few could have imagined 50 years ago.'
For Obama, the march is a 'seminal event' and part of his generation's 'formative memory.'
A half century after the march, he said, is a good time to reflect on how far the country has come and how far it still has to go, particularly after the Trayvon Martin shooting trial in Florida.
A jury's decision to acquit neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman in the 2012 fatal shooting of the unarmed, 17-year-old black teen outraged blacks across the country last month and reignited a nationwide discussion about the state of U.S. race relations.
The response to the verdict also raised expectations for America's black president to say something about the case.
Obama spoke out to help people understand black outrage over the verdict. He spoke about personal experiences from before he became a well-known public figure, such as being followed in department stores and hearing the click of car doors being locked as he walked by.
He said the African-American community was looking at the issue 'through a set of experiences and a history that doesn't go away.'
But the President hasn't often spoken on the subject of race in public - and only done so when it has been necessary.
During his radio interview yesterday, Mr Obama listed a variety of advances in racial equality, including equal rights before the law, an accessible judicial system, thousands of African-American elected officials, African-American chief executives as well as pointing out the doors that the civil rights movement opened for Latinos, women and gays.
'I think he would say it was a glorious thing,' he said.
But Obama noted that King's speech was also about jobs and justice.
|Habari za I have a Dream zikiendelea''|
Last night, Michelle Obama saluted one of the march's organizers Whitney Young at a screening for the documentary The Powerbroker: Whitney Young's Fight for Civil Rights.
She called Young, who served as executive director of the National Urban League during the 1960s, one of the 'unsung heroes in our history whose impact we still feel today.'
She said: 'For every Dr. King, there is a Whitney Young or a Roy Wilkins or a Dorothy Height, each of whom played a critical role in the struggle for change. And then there are the millions of Americans, regular folks out there, whose names will never show up in the history books.'
'NOW IS THE TIME TO MAKE PROMISES OF DEMOCRACY' HIGHLIGHTS OF MARTIN LUTHER KING JR'S 1963 SPEECH
'Now is the time to make the real 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 quicksands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood.
'There are those who are asking the devotees of civil rights, 'When will you be satisfied!' ... We are not satisfied, and will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.
'This will be the day when all of God's children will be able to sing with new meaning. 'My country, 'tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my fathers died, land of the pilgrim's pride, from every mountain side, let freedom ring.' And if America is to be a great nation, this must become true.
'When we allow freedom to ring - when we let it ring from every city and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, "Free at last, Free at last, Great God almighty, We are free at last."
'I say to you today, my friends, though, even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream. I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up, live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal."
'I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave-owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brother- hood. I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.
'I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. I have a dream... I have a dream that one day in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of interposition and nullification, one day right there in Alabama little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.
'I have a dream today... I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low. The rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight. And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.'
TUKISHIRIKI NA KUCHAMBUA KUTOKA DM''
Thanks so much my dears''yani nawaaminia wana gazeti hili kinoma''