The Impact of the Dream

San Antonio's 2012 MLK March, photos by Cornelia Delaney

Over a quater of a million people of different ethnicities and backgrounds gathered around the Lincoln Memorial to hear on of the most famous speeches of all time, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s speech that sprung the nation into action and inspired change. The vast crowd, extending ¬†from the Lincoln Memorial steps to the capital’s reflecting pool, ended their march on Washington on Aug. 28, 1963. Their motives were very clear: they wanted to end racial segregation, especially in schools, abolish laws that allowed employers to discriminate against race for employment, brotection fro police brutality for civil rights workers, and a two dollar minimum wage for all workers. Little did they know they were making history, changing the very face of America with every step the took, sign they made, and word they spoke.

More than 50 years later, people gathered to march 2.75 miles in honor of MLK. Starting from Martin Luther King, Jr. Academy, going up Martin Luther King Drive, and ending at Pittman Sullivan Park on the East Side of San Antonio. 100,000 people of all races in the biggest MLK celebration in the world. The impact of MLK’s legacy was demonstrated as thousands of people marched, in a city with a black population of roughly six percent, meaning most of the marchers were of other racial backgrounds. The MLK march is pertinent and overwhelmingsly inspirational because it is a visual reminder of Dr. King’s dream becoming reality. Though teh country is still far from what it needs to be, and inequality still exists, America has dramatically progressed in a short amount of time.
The Civil Rights Movement demonstrated the power of unity, as millions of Americans joined together for one common cause, achieving their goals. It also showed that the supressed don’t have to stay that way; all it takes is courage to have a voice and willingness to fight for what you deserve. dr. Martin Luther King’s legacy lives on everyday, from interacial schools and facilities to a mostly level playing field for jobs and opportunities. The Dream has been fulfilled. However, it is now our responsibility to “live beyond the dream” and catch the baton, challenging the injustices of today and making the world better for those who will come after us, as our predecessors did. It is our job to be thankful for what they’ve done, yet strive towards a better way of life. Don’t just accept the gift our ancestors gave like a handout. Instead, let that be the charge you need to provide a better tomorrow.
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