50th Anniversary of the March on Washington 25 words

It has been 50 years since Martin Luther King's landmark "I Have A Dream" Speech was delivered in Washington, D.C. This weekend thousands of people gathered there to commemorate the event. Here are 25 words about the event and the complicated history of the racial equality movement the speech has come to represent. Drawn from Following King’s Path, and Trying to Galvanize a New Generation<\a> The New York Times, August 24, 2013
  1. apex
    the highest point (of something)
    WASHINGTON — Half a century after the emotional apex of the civil rights movement, Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech, tens of thousands of people retraced his footsteps on Saturday, and his successors in the movement spoke of the still-unmet promise of America, as he did, at the Lincoln Memorial.
  2. successor
    a person who follows next in order
    WASHINGTON — Half a century after the emotional apex of the civil rights movement, Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech, tens of thousands of people retraced his footsteps on Saturday, and his successors in the movement spoke of the still-unmet promise of America, as he did, at the Lincoln Memorial.
  3. memorial
    a structure erected to commemorate persons or events
    WASHINGTON — Half a century after the emotional apex of the civil rights movement, Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech, tens of thousands of people retraced his footsteps on Saturday, and his successors in the movement spoke of the still-unmet promise of America, as he did, at the Lincoln Memorial.
  4. proclaim
    declare formally; declare someone to be something; of titles
    The anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington was less a commemoration, speakers proclaimed, than an effort to inject fresh energy into issues of economics and justice that, despite undeniable progress in overcoming racial bias, still leave stubborn gaps between white and black Americans.
  5. bias
    a partiality that prevents objective consideration of an issue or situation
    The anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington was less a commemoration, speakers proclaimed, than an effort to inject fresh energy into issues of economics and justice that, despite undeniable progress in overcoming racial bias, still leave stubborn gaps between white and black Americans.
  6. jolt
    a sudden jarring impact
    The speeches that carried over the Reflecting Pool, which 50 years ago jolted Congress to pass landmark laws, took hard aim at current racial profiling by law enforcement, economic inequality and efforts to restrict voting access.
  7. landmark
    an event marking a unique or important historical change of course or one on which important developments depend
    The speeches that carried over the Reflecting Pool, which 50 years ago jolted Congress to pass landmark laws, took hard aim at current racial profiling by law enforcement, economic inequality and efforts to restrict voting access.
  8. hubris
    overbearing pride or presumption
    Addressing generations too young to remember, the Rev. Al Sharpton, an organizer of Saturday’s event, warned young people against the hubris of believing one’s middle class success was achieved alone.
  9. vast
    unusually great in size or amount or degree or especially extent or scope
    A lineup of civil rights heroes, current movement leaders, labor leaders and Democratic officials addressed a vast crowd that stretched east from the Lincoln Memorial to the knoll of the Washington Monument — well out of range of loudspeakers.
  10. segregation
    a social system that provides separate facilities for minority groups
    Organizers expected 100,000, fewer than half the number who came in 1963 when efforts to dismantle segregation had seized the national attention, often because of racist violence in the South.
  11. sonorous
    full and loud and deep
    “I gave blood on the bridge in Selma, Alabama, for the right to vote,” Mr. Lewis said in a deep and sonorous rumble.
  12. unencumbered
    not burdened with cares or responsibilities
    Mr. Holder, receiving a roar of welcome from the crowd, said that King’s struggle must continue “until every eligible American has the chance to exercise his or her right to vote unencumbered by discrimination or unneeded procedurals, rules or practices.”
  13. acquittal
    a judgment of not guilty
    The Martin case, which led to the acquittal of a neighborhood watch volunteer in the killing last month, was also a major touchstone of the day.
  14. touchstone
    a basis for comparison; a reference point against which other things can be evaluated
    The Martin case, which led to the acquittal of a neighborhood watch volunteer in the killing last month, was also a major touchstone of the day.
  15. acrid
    strong and sharp;"the pungent taste of radishes"
    There were T-shirts with him in a hoodie and the acrid phrase “American Justice,” and signs urging “Support Trayvon’s Law” to repeal stand-your-ground gun measures
  16. pantheon
    all the gods of a religion
    “We march because Trayvon Martin has joined Emmett Till in the pantheon of young black martyrs,” said Julian Bond, the social activist who attended the 1963 march.
  17. martyr
    one who suffers for the sake of principle
    “We march because Trayvon Martin has joined Emmett Till in the pantheon of young black martyrs,” said Julian Bond, the social activist who attended the 1963 march.
  18. prompt
    serve as the inciting cause of
    Mazi Oyo, a 27-year-old marcher from Brooklyn, said the verdict prompted him for the first time to consider how he is perceived as a black man.
  19. diverse
    distinctly dissimilar or unlike
    Even in his diverse and upper-middle-class Park Slope neighborhood, he said, “When I go to the store late at night, I have to dress a certain way.”
  20. frisk
    search as for concealed weapons by running the hands rapidly over the clothing and through the pockets
    Benjamin T. Jealous, president of the N.A.A.C.P., linked the passage in New York City on Thursday of limits to stop-and- frisk police tactics — over the strong objections of Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg — to the Martin case.
  21. rhetorical
    of or relating to rhetoric
    Mr. Sharpton, who as chief organizer and president of the National Action Network gave himself the role of keynote speaker, seized the opportunity to turn up the rhetorical heat.
  22. suffice
    be sufficient; be adequate, either in quality or quantity
    In past decades when blacks voted for Presidents John F. Kennedy, Richard M. Nixon, George W. Bush and others, he said, the IDs they showed at polls sufficed.
  23. conspicuous
    obvious to the eye or mind
    President Obama, who is scheduled to observe the anniversary in a quieter ceremony on Wednesday at the Lincoln Memorial, and who was mentioned by many speakers as the fulfillment of King’s dream, was perhaps conspicuous by his absence.
  24. dysfunctional
    (of a trait or condition) failing to serve an adjustive purpose
    He struck the theme on Friday at a town hall-style meeting when he said minorities had made “enormous strides,” but even if all discrimination were ended, “you’d still have a situation in which there are a lot of folks who are poor, and whose families have become dysfunctional, because of a long legacy of poverty.”
  25. prevalent
    most frequent or common
    “Overt racism is still prevalent,” said Ms. Love, 77, though she acknowledged great changes.