I’m studying for my History class and need an explanation.
Analyze this excerpt of a Civil Rights speech in one-two paragraphs, remembering to describe the document, explain its significance, and expand its context to explain how it relates to course themes.
Extract from Rep. John Lewis’s speech on 50th anniversary of the March on Washington
Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.), who spoke at the March on Washington in 1963, delivered the following remarks at the “Let Freedom Ring” ceremony to commemorate the event’s 50th anniversary on Aug. 28, 2013, at the Lincoln Memorial.
“Fifty years later we can ride anywhere we want to ride, we can stay where we want to stay. Those signs that said “white” and “colored” are gone. And you won’t see them anymore — except in a museum, in a book, on a video.
But there are still invisible signs buried in the hearts in humankind that form a gulf between us. Too many of us still believe our differences define us instead of the divine spark that runs through all of human creation.
The scars and stains of racism still remain deeply embedded in American society, whether it is stop and frisk in New York or injustice in Trayvon Martin case in Florida, the mass incarceration of millions of Americans, immigrants hiding in fear in the shadow of our society, unemployment, homelessness, poverty, hunger or the renewed struggle for voting rights.
So I say to each of us today, we must never, ever give up. We must, ever give in. We must keep the faith and keep our eyes on the prize.
We did go to jail, but we got the Civil Rights Act. We got the Voting Rights Act. We got the Fair Housing Act. But we must continue to push. We must continue to work, as the late A. Philip Randolph said to organizers for the march in 1963.”