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‘I Have a Dream:’ Music From That Memorable Day

Mark Martin Luther King Jr. Day with music footage from the 1963 March on Washington


On Aug. 28, 1963, Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech, which became a turning point in making illegal the racial discrimination policies in the South.

King practiced and preached nonviolent protest. Those who marched with him often sang as they walked — an act that brought forth both courage and solidarity. In the 1963 March on Washington, music played a critical role for the 250,000 gathered.

We started to sing and I had an epiphany...

— Mary Travers

A few years ago, The New Yorker ran a piece about the broad and passionate compilation of musicians who performed there. They included Mahalia Jackson, Joan Baez, Odetta, Bob Dylan and Marian Anderson, to name a few.

Here are video clips of some of the performances, singing songs that took on urgency and grew in significance as government — pushed by the people —responded to King’s call.

Peter, Paul and Mary — ‘Blowin’ in the Wind’

 

Bob Dylan and Joan Baez — ‘When the Ship Comes In’

 

Mahalia Jackson — “How I Got Over”

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