Yesterday, August 28, marked the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s iconic “I Have Dream” speech. Thousands of people, including Jamie Foxx, Oprah Winfrey and Forest Whitaker, turned out to commemorate King’s “I Have a Dream” speech and the historic March on Washington. Check out the incredible recap below.
Martin’s daughter, Rev. Bernice King even opened Washington’s interfaith service and reflected on what her father meant to the nation. According to The Associated Press, Bernice said that “King is often remembered as a freedom fighter for equal rights and human rights. But she said he was most importantly a man of faith. She explained that he was a prophet and “faith leader” and it was that “and the spirit of God that infused that movement.”
Jamie Foxx, Oprah Winfrey and Forest Whitaker were among the list of speakers addressing a crowd estimated at 200,000 on the National Mall on Wednesday along with President Barack Obama, first lady Michelle Obama, Dr. King’s family, and former presidents Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter.
“I’m not even probably going to read from the teleprompter because I’m just going to speak from my heart,” the Jamie Foxx told the audience. “I’m going to tell you right now that everybody my age and all the entertainers, it’s time for us to stand up now and renew this dream. That’s what we gotta do. I was affected, I was affected the Trayvon Martin situation. I was affected by Newtown. I was affected by Sandy Hook. I’m affected by those things. So it’s time for us now to pick up.”
Oprah belted out: “I remember when I was 9 years old and the March was occurring and I asked my mama, ‘Can I got to the March?’ Took me 50 years, but I’m here.” She continued by reiterating King’s call to justice: “He’s the one who reminded us that we will never walk alone. He was after all a drum major for justice, so as the bells toll today, let us reflect on the bravery. Let us reflect on the sacrifice of those who stood up for freedom, who stood up for us, whose shoulders we now stand on. And…let us ask ourselves how will the dream live on in me, in you, in all of us?”
Obama addressed the crowd in a powerball speech, saying in part:
“We rightly and best remember Dr. King’s soaring oratory that day. How he gave mighty voice to the quiet hopes of millions. How he offered a salvation path for oppressed and oppressors alike,” said Obama. “His words belonged to the ages, possessing a power and a prophecy unmatched in our time.”
At one point during the events — amid Leann Rimes’ rendition of “Amazing Grace” — a rainbow appeared over the sky.
Picture source: Getty Images