Biden and Harris Will Meet With King Family on 60th Anniversary of March on Washington

August 25, 2023by Darlene Superville, Associated Press
Biden and Harris Will Meet With King Family on 60th Anniversary of March on Washington
This photo provided by the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture shows crowds participating in the March on Washington on Aug. 28, 1963. (Aaron Stanley Tretick/Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture via AP)

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris will observe Monday’s 60th anniversary of the March on Washington by meeting with organizers of the 1963 gathering and relatives of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., who delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech at the Lincoln Memorial.

The Oval Office meeting will be held six decades after President John F. Kennedy and King met at the White House on the morning of the march on Aug. 28, 1963.

Biden also will speak later Monday at a White House reception commemorating the 60th anniversary of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, a nonpartisan, nonprofit legal organization that was established at Kennedy’s request to help advocate for racial justice.

Two White House officials provided details of the Democratic president and vice president’s plans on the condition of anonymity because their schedules have not been officially announced.

The 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom is still considered one of the greatest and most consequential racial justice demonstrations in U.S. history.

The nonviolent protest attracted as many as 250,000 people to the steps of the Lincoln Memorial and provided the momentum for passage by Congress of landmark civil rights and voting rights legislation in the years that followed. King was assassinated in April 1968 in Memphis, Tennessee.

Black civil right leaders and a multiracial, interfaith coalition of allies will gather in Washington to mark six decades since the first march. Biden will be flying back to Washington on Saturday after a week of vacation with his family in California’s Lake Tahoe region.

This year’s commemoration comes at a difficult moment in U.S. history following the erosion of voting rights nationwide and the recent striking down of affirmative action in college admissions and abortion rights by the Supreme Court and amid growing threats of political violence and hatred against people of color, Jews and LGBTQ people.

White House officials say Biden and Harris, who are seeking reelection in 2024, are working hard to advance King’s dream of equal opportunity for every American. Harris is the first Black woman to be vice president.

Biden has signed executive orders to advance racial justice and equity throughout the federal government and to expand access to the right to vote. Voting rights legislation backed by Biden and Harris has stalled in a divided Congress.

Biden recently designated a national monument to honor Emmett Till and his mother, Mamie Till-Mobley. Till is the Black teenager from Chicago who was tortured and killed in 1955 after he was accused of whistling at a white woman in Mississippi. The killing helped galvanize the Civil Rights Movement.

Harris has been outspoken about what she says are attempts by “extremists” to rewrite Black history, including the Florida Board of Education’s recent approval of a revised curriculum to satisfy legislation signed by Gov. Ron DeSantis, a Republican presidential candidate. The new standards include instruction that enslaved people benefited from skills they learned while in bondage.

The White House says Black Americans are also benefiting from Biden’s economic and other policies, including low unemployment.

Officials note his numerous appointments of Black women to federal courts, including Supreme Court Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson, the first Black woman to serve on the nation’s highest court.

They also point to nearly $7 billion in aid to the nation’s network of historically Black colleges and universities and his efforts to forgive billions of dollars in student loan debt.

A+
a-
  • March on Washington
  • In The News

    Health

    Voting

    Civil Rights

    January 29, 2024
    by Dan McCue
    HHS Civil Rights Office Issues Guidance on Religious Non-Discrimination

    WASHINGTON — The Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights has issued guidance to U.S. hospital and... Read More

    WASHINGTON — The Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights has issued guidance to U.S. hospital and long-term care facility administrators, reminding them of their facility’s obligation not to discriminate on the basis of religion. The warning comes at a tense time across... Read More

    Florida Republicans Oust State Party Chairman Facing Rape Allegations

    TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — The Republican Party of Florida ousted Chairman Christian Ziegler in a special vote on Monday as... Read More

    TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — The Republican Party of Florida ousted Chairman Christian Ziegler in a special vote on Monday as police investigate a rape accusation against him, a vote that came the week before Gov. Ron DeSantis competes in Iowa’s first-in-the-nation presidential caucus. The party suspended Ziegler last month and... Read More

    Ohio’s GOP Governor Vetoes Ban on Gender-Affirming Care and Transgender Athletes in Girls' Sports

    COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Republican Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine vetoed a measure Friday that would have banned gender-affirming care for minors, casting... Read More

    COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Republican Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine vetoed a measure Friday that would have banned gender-affirming care for minors, casting the action out of step with many in his own party as thoughtful, limited and “pro-life.” He simultaneously announced plans to move to administratively ban transgender... Read More

    December 13, 2023
    by Dan McCue
    Supreme Court to Review Abortion Medication Dispute

    WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court announced Wednesday that it will review a dispute over the popular abortion medication mifepristone, a... Read More

    WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court announced Wednesday that it will review a dispute over the popular abortion medication mifepristone, a move that could have a sweeping impact not only on its use going forward, but also on the regulatory authority of the Food and Drug Administration.... Read More

    December 6, 2023
    by Dan McCue
    Antisemitism at US Universities Takes Center Stage on Capitol Hill

    WASHINGTON — The four students, each from an elite university, stood pensively beneath Gilbert Stuart’s iconic life-size portrait of George... Read More

    WASHINGTON — The four students, each from an elite university, stood pensively beneath Gilbert Stuart’s iconic life-size portrait of George Washington, which hangs in the Rayburn room of the U.S. Capitol. Talia Khan, Bella Engberg, Eyal Yakoby and Jonathan Frieden all looked like they’d prefer to... Read More

    AP Exclusive: America's Black Attorneys General Talk Race, Politics and Justice System

    BOSTON (AP) — The American legal system is facing a crisis of trust in communities around the country, with people... Read More

    BOSTON (AP) — The American legal system is facing a crisis of trust in communities around the country, with people of all races and across the political spectrum. For many, recent protests against police brutality called attention to longstanding discrepancies in the administration of justice. For others, criticism... Read More

    News From The Well
    scroll top