Political Leaders

August 28, 1963 about 250 000 people marched to the Lincoln Memorial in Washington where they heard Martin Luther King delivered unsurpassed brilliant speech. It began with the words “I have a dream” and under this name went down in history.

The speech delivered before the completion of the largest at that time demonstrations in the US history, has created a new spirit of hope across the country. It was one of those rare moments in history that changed the country.

Less than a year after the march, President Lyndon Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act, which banned discrimination in public places such as hotels and restaurants, and also prohibited employment discrimination. The next year was passed the Voting Rights Act, which provides the right to vote to African Americans, in fact, not just on paper. In 1968, Congress passed a law prohibiting discrimination in the housing sector, which has ceased to discrimination in the sale and rental housing. This landmark legislation was complemented by new rules, including the so-called affirmative measures aimed at overcoming the vestiges of discrimination.

Anti-discrimination laws, adopted in 1960, considered to be the highest achievement of the civil rights movement. Civil Rights Act put an end to the most blatant forms of segregation and discrimination – the age-old insult people of color are gone. The Voting Rights Act has provided millions of African-Americans the opportunity to participate in political life, bringing the number of black elected officials increased dramatically. The new laws come into effect immediately.

If King were alive today, he would probably have welcomed the achievement of most of 1963, the objectives of the march, but at the same time be stressed that his dream has come true not fully yet, particularly with regard to equality of economic opportunities. Overcoming chronic gap between the races in the economy and education, however, is much more challenging than the legally fixed termination segregation and the introduction of electoral rights.

As for the King, his dream, which he said during the march in Washington, DC, it has now become a real part of the mainstream of political life, and his birthday – a public holiday, when the Americans too much honor his ideas and memory. Political leaders of both major parties supported the construction of a memorial dedicated to him in the capital, where there are memorials to three giants of American history.

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