It was 50 years ago today that the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his iconic "I Have A Dream Speech"—watch it HERE—on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial at the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.
President Barack Obama stood at the same location today and noted that economic and social inequality remains a substantial challenge in the United States after those fifty years. " The arc of the moral universe may bend towards justice, but it doesn’t bend on its own," said the President. "To secure the gains this country has made requires constant vigilance, not complacency."
Watch AFTER THE JUMP ...
The President noted that the economic chasm between Blacks and whites has remained the same over the past 50 years.
"There have been examples of success within black America that would have been unimaginable a half century ago. But as has already been noted, black unemployment has remained almost twice as high as white unemployment, Latino unemployment close behind. The gap in wealth between races has not lessened, it's grown."
The President also made the connection between the original Civil Rights Movement and the larger movement for social justice, including LGBT rights.
"Because they kept marching, America changed. Because they marched, the civil rights law was passed. Because they marched, the voting rights law was signed. Because they marched, doors of opportunity and education swung open so their daughters and sons could finally imagine a life for themselves beyond washing somebody else’s laundry or shining somebody else’s shoes. Because they marched, city councils changed and state legislatures changed and Congress changed and, yes, eventually the White House changed.
Because they marched, America became more free and more fair, not just for African-Americans but for women and Latinos, Asians and Native Americans, for Catholics, Jews and Muslims, for gays, for Americans with disabilities."
President Obama was joined by Presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton, who also spoke. AFTER THE JUMP, watch all the speeches and read the text to President Obama's address.