Rep John Lewis Last Remaining March on Washington Speaker
As many members of the press are already aware, August 28th, the night that Sen. Barack Obama will officially accept the Democratic Nomination for President of the United States, is also the 45th anniversary of the March on Washington. The date holds great power because it has marked the beginning of a series of new eras in black politics at different stages in American history. Consider these seminal moments:
On August 28, 1955, a 14-year-old boy named Emmett Till was kidnapped from his great uncle’s home in Money, Mississippi by two men and killed for allegedly whistling at a white woman. Once the body was found, Till’s mother insisted on an open casket funeral so that everyone would see how brutality of her son’s murder. Jet magazine and other black journals around the country published the photo. African American reaction to that murder is widely considered the moment that black activism coalesced to begin the modern-day civil rights movement.
August 28, 1963, was a defining moment for the Civil Rights Movement. The March on Washington for Jobs and Justice, a vision of A. Phillip Randolph which brought together the Big Six organizations of the Civil Rights Movement, was a landmark in equal justice movement in America. Martin Luther King Jr. made his historic "I Have a Dream" speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, which was a defining moment for the modern-day movement. Rep. John Lewis is the last remaining speaker from the March on Washington.
August 28, 2005, Hurricane Katrina reached its peak before hitting landfall in Louisiana the next morning. Hurricane Katrina, among the five most deadly hurricanes to ever hit the United States, is considered the most costly on record and is responsible for the deaths of over 1800 people at least. There are many who see the ineffectuality of the government response to the storm as a touchstone for the civil rights issues of the 21st century. Its advent will have social reverberations for generations to come and evokes the King legacy of poverty, jobs, and justice that he saw as the new mandate for the American agenda.
August 28, 2008, just 45 years after the March on Washington, when African Americans had to take a so-called literacy test in most Southern states to be able to register and vote, an African American will be nominated for election to the highest office in the land.
Don’t miss this historic moment. Book in advance to speak to Rep. John Lewis, the last remaining speaker at the March on Washington. Appointment times in Denver are filling up, please consider taping interviews in advance and an alternate date additional to the 28th.
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