Words

I never had an occasion to question color, therefore, I only saw myself as what I was… a human being.

– Sidney Poitier

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Marian Anderson Performs At The Lincoln Memorial

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April 9, 1939 – On an Easter Sunday, more than 75,000 people come to the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., to hear famed African-American contralto Marian Anderson give a free open-air concert. She had been scheduled to sing at Washington’s Constitution Hall, but the Daughters of the American Revolution, a political organization that helped manage the concert hall, denied her the right to perform because of her race. Instead, and at the urging of Eleanor Roosevelt who had resigned the DAR in protest of their decision, Marian performed at the Lincoln Memorial.

Watch Marian Anderson’s Performance

Excerpt from Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” Speech

The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., delivered this speech on August 28, 1963, on the steps of the Washington, D.C., Lincoln Memorial during the march on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.

“I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and 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 the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slaveowners will be able to sit down together at a table of brotherhood. I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a desert state, sweltering with the heat of injustice and oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice. I have a dream that my four 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 today.”

On This Day

Jun 13, 1866 – The 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was passed by the U.S. Congress. It was ratified on July 9, 1868. The amendment was designed to grant citizenship to and protect the civil liberties of recently freed slaves. It did this by prohibiting states from denying or abridging the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States, depriving any person of his life, liberty, or property without due process of law, or denying to any person within their jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.