Assemblymember Blake’s Statement in Celebration of the 55th Anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom

August 28, 2018

Today, we celebrate the 55th anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom where we were blessed with Dr. King's iconic "I Have a Dream" speech. On August 28, 1963, he eloquently called for freedom and equality in a land still arising from the painful past of slavery and hatred.

From the banks of the Lincoln Memorial to the footsteps of the Washington Monument, my fellow Alpha brother, Reverend Dr. King, lifted up this nation with his words of faith and his vision that America the Beautiful, could one day become a unified country where individuals of different hues, races and backgrounds can equally enjoy peace, freedom, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

The deliverance of this oration, one of the most evocative and memorable speeches in the history of mankind, was inspired by gospel singer and activist, Mahalia Jackson who shouted on the spot, "Tell them about the dream, Martin!" Dr. King’s improvisation, delineation from his original speech "Normalcy, Never Again," and the cadence of the "I Have A Dream" phrase that he repeated, made it one of the most important moments in the civil rights movement and in modern day history.

45 years later to the day, the soon to be 44th President of the United States, Barack Obama, became the Democratic nominee. President Obama inspired me to "Dream Big Dreams," words that evoke Dr. King's dream.

We must continue to encourage our young people to dream big dreams and pursue opportunities they may not see within reach, as they will become the next generation of leaders that will lead our nation to the promise land.

From the Emancipation Proclamation to the Civil Rights Act, from the United States Constitution to the current fight for Black and Brown Lives, let us continue to be inspired by Dr. King's legacy and his quest for justice for all mankind.

From pain to promise, our journey continues due to the inspiration of that remarkable dream.

Assembly Member Michael Blake