On August 28, 1963, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his iconic “I Have a Dream” speech in front of a massive crowd at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington.
To mark the 58th anniversary of the March on Washington on Saturday, King’s family and groups across the country are planning to march for voting rights.
The non-partisan Brennan Center for Justice says so far this year, at least 18 states have passed laws restricting access to the vote, including measures targeting mail ballots and limiting early voting, even though there is no evidence of widespread voter fraud.
Martin Luther King III and his wife Arndrea Waters King say we’re at a critical juncture in the fight for democracy.
“Freedom is not something at this point that just exists eternally,” he said. “We have to earn that. And so, while I’m greatly disappointed, I’m sure my dad would be greatly disappointed… My view is again, no matter what, we have to remain vigilant.”
Jaquie Algee is Vice President and Director of External Relations for SEIU HCIIMK and the founder of Women’s March Chicago.
“I remember walking with my grandmother, holding her hand to walk to Green Grove Baptist Church to vote for the very first time,” she said. “Those are some indelible memories for me that I will cherish the rest of my life. But it keeps on this fight on this journey to make sure we protect voting rights for all.”
Algee is heading to the March On for Voting Rights event in D.C. and she helped to organize Chicago’s virtual event.
It is an effort to register new voters and mobilize people in the push for federal protections that have stalled in the U.S. Senate.
“Unfortunately, the more that voters have gotten motivated to go out there to have their voices heard at the polls, the more that we’ve seen this clampdown from lawmakers who are threatened by that,” said Ami Gandhi, a senior counsel with the Chicago Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights.
Gaynor Hall and photojournalist Patrick Parmenter report in this WGN-TV Cover Story.