On the 57th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s March on Washington, thousands gathered to demand that the racist systems intended to harm Black communities, get the knee off of Black America’s neck.

The brainchild of National Action Network founder Rev. Al Sharpton, Friday’s march featured remarks from notable people in the social justice space. Of those was 12-year-old Yolanda Renee King, the grandaughter of MLK Jr. and the daughter of MLK III. During her address, she noted with a powerful resolve that Gen Z will fulfill her grandfather’s dream.

“We stand and march for love, and we will fulfill my grandfather’s dream,” Yolanda said from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. She also added during her time at the podium, that her generation would put an end to gun violence, police brutality, climate change, and poverty in the wealthiest country in the world. All of which have been issues of concern within the Black community for a number of years, but highlighted even more during a national pandemic that has disproportionately affected Black and Brown people.

Yolonda Renee King takes the podium at the “Get Your Knee Off Our Necks” March on Washington. (Source: 11 Alive)

“My generation has already taken to the streets peacefully with masks — and socially distanced — to protest racism,” said King. “And I want to ask the young people here to join me in pledging that we have only just begun to fight and that we will be the generation that moves from ‘me to we.’”

March on Washington participants listen to speakers, including Yolonda Renee King, deliver speeches regarding criminal justice reform
People gather and hold up signs at the Lincoln Memorial as they listen to the Rev. Al Sharpton speak during the “Commitment March: Get Your Knee Off Our Necks” protest against racism and police brutality, on August 28, 2020, in Washington, DC. – Anti-racism protesters marched on the streets of the US capital on Friday, after a white officer’s shooting of African American Jacob Blake. The protester also marked the 57th anniversary of civil rights leader Martin Luther King’s historic “I Have a Dream” speech delivered at the Lincoln Memorial. (Photo by MICHAEL M. SANTIAGO/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

People flocked to the nation’s capital from all around the country to call for criminal justice reform in light of the unceasing death of unarmed Black women and men at the hands of law enforcement. They marched together, highlighting the fact that Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream has still not been fulfilled and there must be a reckoning in this country to bring equity and equality to marginalized communities.

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