Dr. King challenged the United States to do better; to make good on the "promissory note" of our founding documents, while warning that we should never revisit the grotesque sins of our collective past. But we still have so much work to do.
I missed Martin Luther King's stirring "I have A Dream" speech 50 years ago because my CBS News colleagues and I were covering the war in Vietnam. If King's speech resonated with the American people, it did not go far enough in the deep South.
Mass incarceration, the school to prison pipeline, poverty, high unemployment in black communities... Fifty years since King said it, "the Negro is still languishing in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land." And this country still must change.
By requiring photo IDs in the polling place or proof of citizenship when registering, states are imposing unnecessary burdens to deliberately exclude citizens from the election process.
America has made progress on many fronts in the half-century since King electrified a crowd of 200,000 people, and millions of Americans watching on television, with his "I Have a Dream" address. But there is still much to do to achieve his vision of equality.
I dream that African American youth will find a new sense of purpose and engagement that can help them succeed in everything they do.
We celebrate "Dream Day" as the anniversary of Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech, and if we really plan on advancing the dream, we must recognize that every Election Day is Dream Day.
It is not only a magnificent speech we remember this week or powerful faces that beamed through glass television screens that late summer day. We remember who we are.
As we celebrate and memorialize Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the March on Washington, let us also remember the other quiet heroes, whose names we may have forgotten, but who insisted that this country live up to its ideals.
Today, we celebrate the 50-year anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. spoke the words, "I Have a Dream," that embodied not just the hope of a race, but of a nation.
The March on Washington, and King's soaring oration, helped create a better world, but we are a long way from the world King dreamed of. So let us all take at least one lesson from King's example. Let's unite people of many faiths in a national day of prayer to end child poverty.
To stand up to the powerful interests driving our politics, we need to recapture the energy and moral authority of the thousands who marched in 1963 and we also need to harness our own energy to push for freedoms beyond those dreamed of on the Washington Mall 50 years ago.
It's remarkable. Even with the scores of marches on Washington since 1963, we all still know what we mean when we say the March on Washington.
We need a constitutional amendment to ensure that every eligible American -- regardless of their race, age, gender or where they live -- enjoys a fundamental right to vote.
As we celebrate Women's Equality Day and the anniversary of MLK's "I Have a Dream" speech, many Americans -- women and men, young and old, rich and poor alike -- still face barriers to voting.
Fifty years ago, on August 28th, I stood in the dense and expectant crowd near the Lincoln Memorial to hear Dr. Martin Luther King. Fifty years later, Jim Crow is gone and segregation is illegal. Yet, the legacy of Jim Crow persists.