‘You cannot stand by; you have to stand up, speak up, speak out, and get in the way’

Updated

Keeping the dream alive, 50 years later.

Tens of thousands of people flooded the Lincoln Memorial and the National Mall on Saturday, the first stop in a week of events commemorating the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s watershed “I Have A Dream” address and the March on Washington.

A chorus of speakers rallied the massive crowd with prayers for peace and calls for justice that were at once testaments to King’s historical legacy and nods to contemporary issues, from hotly debated policing tactics to voting rights.

The Rev. Al Sharpton, who co-organized Saturday’s march with King’s son, Martin Luther King III, gave a fiery keynote address that carried out his earlier promise to focus the day’s observances on the “issues that have stood in the way” of fulfilling King’s goals.

Erin Delmore has more, including several videos and excerpts. Of particular interest was Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.), a civil rights champion and the only surviving speaker from the 1963 march.

“You cannot stand by, you have to stand up, speak up, speak out, and get in the way. Make some noise! The vote is precious; it is almost sacred, the most powerful nonviolent tool we have in a democratic society and we’ve got to use it,” he said.

Civil Rights

'You cannot stand by; you have to stand up, speak up, speak out, and get in the way'

Updated