By Cherri Gregg
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Mayor Michael Nutter joined one of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s children today at City Hall to announce that Philadelphia will join a national campaign on poverty, jobs, and education as the 50th anniversary of the historic March on Washington draws near.
On August 24th of this year, thousands will converge on Washington, DC to reenact the historic day that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. laid out his dream for America.
“I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true nature of its creed: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal,’ ” Dr. King said during his famous speech.
Today, in the mayor’s reception room of Philadelphia City Hall, Martin Luther King III, the civil rights leader’s eldest son and second oldest child, said, “I wish I could say the dream that my father articulated has been fulfilled, but unfortunately that is not the case.”
King III noted that America’s racial divide takes many forms. “Fifty-nine percent of those in jail are African-American,” he said. “We know all the statistical data, but the question is, what are we going to do about it?”
King says the recent US Supreme Court ruling that gutted the Voting Rights Act (related story), the George Zimmerman “Stand Your Ground” verdict (related story), soaring black-on-black crime, and gridlock in Congress underscore a need for civic action on race, voting rights, and immigration.
“If my father were alive, he would be at the forefront of the struggle,” King III said today.
He says the National Action to Realize the Dream will kick off on August 24th, and will serve as a springboard for a nationwide campaign. Civic groups are currently organizing trips to attend the march. For more info, go to cwbi.org.