Forty-seven years ago, I woke up at 4 am, got dressed in the pre-dawn darkness, grabbed the lunch bag with warm hard-boiled eggs my mother had prepared for me, took the subway to the mid-town meeting place and boarded a chartered bus for Washington, DC. I was 15 years old.
Along with tens of thousands of other Americans from across the country, I joined the gathering on the National Mall to hear speaker after speaker talk about changing the laws of our land and the hearts of many of our fellow countrymen. We knew right away–even though I was closer to the Washington monument than the Lincoln monument and could just make out a speck of a man at the podium–that Dr. King’s words would last far beyond that moment.
On this August 28th, in 2010, there is controversy about another famous American appearing at the Lincoln Memorial on the anniversary of the “I Have a Dream” speech. Here’s a slide show from The Washington Post two days ago–Glenn Beck vs. civil rights activists who oppose his appearance today at the Lincoln Memorial. Or check out this article in today’s NY Times, Political Memo: Where Dr. King Stood, Tea Party Claims His Mantle .
In case you haven’t thought about the 1963 speech in a long time–or perhaps you’ve never seen Dr. King deliver it–here’s a video of that day. (I was standing somewhere way back along the reflecting pool–seeing the video is always a thrill because I certainly couldn’t see much that day.)
What’s your response to Glenn Beck’s appearance today? Does the civil rights movement–then and now–“own” the location on August 28?