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Beyond black-and-white: Essential moments from MLK's historic 'I have a dream speech'

On August 28, 1963 Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his historic “I have a dream” speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, forever changing race relations in America.

I have a dream today.

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Martin Luther King, Jr. waves to supporters on the Mall in Washington DC, on Aug. 28, 1963.

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Thousands participate in the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.

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A crowd gathers at the Lincoln Memorial.

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The March on Washington at Lincoln Memorial in D.C.

 

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.


 

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A young woman listens during the civil rights rally.

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A civil rights protest button at the March on Washington.

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Demonstrators gather in front of the Lincoln Memorial.

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Demonstrators listen near the Lincoln Memorial.

My country, 'tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my fathers died, land of the pilgrim's pride, from every mountainside, let freedom ring.

 

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The view down Constitution Avenue.

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Austin Clinton Brown, 9, of Gainesville, Ga., attends the March on Washington.

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A woman is calmed by police during at the March on Washington.

 

When we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men,  Jews and Gentiles, Protestant and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, “Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!”

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Folk singers Joan Baez and Bob Dylan perform at the March on Washington.

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NAACP group from Wilmington, N.C., sing in the street near the Washington monument grounds.

Thousands gathered 50 years ago to demonstrate in Washington, D.C., as America's civil rights movement took center stage. On Wednesday, the anniversary of that historic event, marchers followed the same route taken in 1963. NBC's Lester Holt reports

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