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Speech at the Million Man March October 16, 1995

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Rosa Parks changed the face of America by refusing to give up her seat in a bus one evening in 1955. Two scores later, she restates her commitment to the civil rights cause in a speech before social activists assembled in Washington, D.C.


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Thank you very much. I am happy to be here. I honor my late husband Raymond Parks, other Freedom Fighters, men of goodwill who could not be here. I'm also honored by young men who respect me and have invited me as an elder. Raymond, or Parks as I called him, was an activist in the Scottsboro Boys case, voter registration, and a role model for youth. As a self-taught businessman, he provided for his family, and he loved and respected me. Parks would have stood proud and tall to see so many of our men uniting for our common man and committing their lives to a better future for themselves, their families, and this country. Although criticism and controversy has been focused on in the media instead of benefits for the one million men assembling peacefully for spiritual food and direction, it is a success. I pray that my multiracial and international friends will view this [some audio unclear] gathering as an opportunity for all men but primarily men of African heritage to make changes in their lives for the better. I am proud of all groups of people who feel connected with me in any way, and I will always work for human rights for all people. However, as an African American woman, I am proud, applaud, and support our men in this assembly. I would a lot like to have male students of the Pathways to Freedom to join me here and wave their hands, but I don't think they're here right now. But thank you all young men of the Pathways to Freedom. Thank you and God bless you all. Thank you.

Courtesy of Rosa and Raymond Parks Institute for Self Development

Martin Luther King Jr.: Speech at the Great March on Detroit

June 23, 1963 (almost 57 years ago)

During the Great March on Detroit, Martin Luther Kings speaks about how the Negroes have started to change the way they think about themselves. As they hold on to their new-found sense of dignity and pride, Martin Luther King expresses his dreams about freedom and equality among the white and black people.

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Source: The King Center

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Speech at the Million Man March- October 16, 1995

- Rosa Parks
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