Thousands of marchers from around the country have descended on the National Mall in Washington, D.C yearning for racial unity as they celebrate the 50th anniversary of Rev. Martin Luther King's famous "I Have a Dream" speech.
According to the USA Today on August 24, a range of speakers from former NAACP Chairman Julian Bond to Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr. spoke to the crowd on a number of issues affecting minorities today such as voting rights, the widening economic disparity and racial issues.
Jackon in particular punctuated his speech with the refrain "keep dreaming".
Veterans of the original March on Washington stood side-by-side with younger generations, which resulted in a crowd that was more female, more Hispanic, more diverse by sexual orientation and more tech-savy then the crowd that made up the original march 50 years ago.
Qion Nicholson, a sixteen-year-old from Sayreville, N.J, told USA Today that is only knowledge of the original march was from what he learned in school. Now, as apart of the new march, he feels like he is apart of that history going forward. He told USA Today:
I'm grateful to be living in today's era. The (original) march meant so much for our country.
The mood at this year's march is vastly different from the one that prevailed the original march in 1963, in which 250,000 marcher's descended upon Washington D.C during a summer in which police dogs and firehoses were unleashed in demonstrators in Birmingham, Alabama and one of the leading Civil rights advocate Medgar Evers was gunned down in front of his family in Jackson, Mississippi.
But this year's event was not without some historical backdrop of it's own.
The acquittal of George Zimmerman in July was marred by allegations of racial profiling and questioned the legality of the controversial "Stand Your Ground" law and gun control.
Even more applicable was the Supreme Court's ruling in June that major parts of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 was deemed unconstitutional, which evoked a message of equality efforts that were left undone.