Thousands gather to honor 57th anniversary of King's March on Washington and renew calls for equality
via FZero /Twitter

Fifty-seven years after Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech at the Lincoln Memorial for the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, thousands of people returned to the same location for the Commitment March: Get Your Knee Off Our Necks.

The day's events took on added importance after an officer from the Kenosha, Wisconsin Police Department shot Jacob Blake on Sunday, sparking protests throughout the country.

The event featured speeches from the family members of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Eric Garner, and Blake as well as keynote addresses from Reverend Al Sharpton and Martin Luther King III.


The event was organized by the National Action Network as a call for police reform and racial justice. Lines for the event extended for several blocks as organizers took temperature checks for all attendees to mitigate the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

"We've come to bear witness, to remain awake, to remember from where we've come and to carefully consider where we're going," King said according to the Associated Press. "Whether you're here in person or watching on (television networks), thank you for joining us for this March on Washington."

"We're taking a step forward on America's rocky but righteous journey toward justice," he added.

"We didn't just come out here to have a show," Sharpton said. "Demonstration without legislation will not lead to change."

The late Democratic representative John Lewis, who passed away earlier this month was referenced several times during the event. Sharpton paid homage to Lewis' call for people to get into "good trouble" to fight injustice, saying, ""we didn't come to start trouble, we came to stop trouble."

"Black lives matter," Sharpton said. "And we won't stop until it matters to everybody."

Democratic Vice Presidential candidate Kamala Harris sent over a taped message to the event.

She said that if Civil Rights leaders from the '60s march were in attendance today they would, "share in our anger and frustration as we continue to see Black men and women slain in our streets and left behind by an economy and justice system that have too often denied Black folks our dignity and rights."

"They would share our anger and pain, but no doubt they would turn it into fuel," Harris continued. "They would be lacing up their shoes, locking arms and continuing right alongside us to continue in this ongoing fight for justice."

One of the emotional high-points of the event was a speech by George Floyd's brother, Philonise Floyd, who said he wished "George were here to see this right now." His sister, Bridgett Floyd, said, "we have to be the change."

Trayvon Martin's mother, Sybrina Fulton, shared words of encouragement with the audience. "Even though we're going through a crisis, even though it looks dark, I want to tell you to be encouraged," Fulton said. "Don't stop saying Black lives matter, don't stop protesting."

Later in the evening, the Movement for Black Lives, a group of over 150 organizations that make up the Black Lives Matter movement, will hold a virtual Black National Convention.

The convention will unveil a platform to enact laws inspired by the central themes of this summer's protests, investments to education, healthcare, housing, and social services as well as police reform.

Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
True

Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

Keep Reading Show less

When "bobcat" trended on Twitter this week, no one anticipated the unreal series of events they were about to witness. The bizarre bobcat encounter was captured on a security cam video and...well...you just have to see it. (Read the following description if you want to be prepared, or skip down to the video if you want to be surprised. I promise, it's a wild ride either way.)

In a North Carolina neighborhood that looks like a present-day Pleasantville, a man carries a cup of coffee and a plate of brownies out to his car. "Good mornin!" he calls cheerfully to a neighbor jogging by. As he sets his coffee cup on the hood of the car, he says, "I need to wash my car." Well, shucks. His wife enters the camera frame on the other side of the car.

So far, it's just about the most classic modern Americana scene imaginable. And then...

A horrifying "rrrrawwwww!" Blood-curdling screaming. Running. Panic. The man abandons the brownies, races to his wife's side of the car, then emerges with an animal in his hands. He holds the creature up like Rafiki holding up Simba, then yells in its face, "Oh my god! It's a bobcat! Oh my god!"

Then he hucks the bobcat across the yard with all his might.

Keep Reading Show less
Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
True

Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

Keep Reading Show less