Thanks to Fred Smith for sending a sharper, clearer video of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s magnificent speech, “I Have a Dream.” In addition to its clarity, it also has captions.

In these troubled times, beware the reactionaries who claim that Dr. King wanted only a color-blind society, where children needed nothing more than to be judged by the content of their character, not the color of their skin. The March on Washington was a march for jobs, a march for basic freedoms, like the right to vote, and a march for justice and equality of opportunity. Dr. King reminded us that 100 years after the Emancipation Proclamation, black Americans were still not free. Given our nation’s embrace of mass incarceration, millions of black Americans are literally not free, and millions more worry about excessive use of force by police.

Today, as the Trump administration plans to abandon affirmative action and desegregation, the movement for equality has been dealt a grievous blow. As it is poised to appoint another justice to the Supreme Court, all the gains of the civil rights movement of the past six decades are in jeopardy.

The March was funded by a coalition of civil rights groups and labor unions.

Please note that Bayard Rustin, the great intellect and strategist of the civil rights movement, can be seen at King’s side. Rustin was a pacifist and a brilliant writer. He was gay, and he was frequently pushed aside or hidden for fear he would hurt the movement. He went to propison during World War 2 as a conscientious objector. He was no coward. He risked his life repeatedly in demonstrations and protests. He was a beloved friend, who performed a capella in my home in a fundraiser for the Young People’s Socialist League. I am proud to have known this great man.