The celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington was both heartwarming and heartbreaking. I was moved to tears during Christine King Farris’s address. She spoke of the bravery of the people who fought for their rights and I cried for the beauty of their bravery to stand up to violence without resorting to violence. I cried for shame of the ignorance of my ancestors. She spoke of the progress we have made for women’s rights as she and other women were included in the program, not true of the March in 1963. I cried out of pride for the independence, perseverance, and faith of my gender. I cried out of hope that we are moving in the right direction, be it slowly, every so slowly at times. She made me believe that although we have a long way to go to, we are making progress towards the dream.
We must remain vigilant to continue in the right direction, to continue to stand up for our rights and the rights of others. We must fight the invisible racism and sexism that still holds our brothers and sisters down. We must keep voting a right and not a privilege by removing barriers to the polls not creating barriers through legislation. We must not tell our daughters that they cannot have everything at once, that they must choose between a fulfilling career or a happy family, but our sons can have it all.
While we fight injustice at home, let us not forget those in other countries who are fighting that same enemy. As Martin Luther King said, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” I have dream that one day soon the bell of freedom will be heard all the way around the world. That black men and women, white people, brown people, Christians, Muslims, Jews, people of every faith, and children of every nation would be able to hold hands and sing “Free at Last.”