The 50th anniversary of the monumental 1963 March on Washington was accompanied by a wave of commemorative events that tried hard to recapture the energy and the spirit of the 1963 March. This was a tall order. The original march, punctuated by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s towering "I Have a Dream" speech, acted as a powerful wrecking ball that crumbled the walls of legal segregation and ushered in an era of unbridled opportunities for many blacks.
The results are unmistakable today. Blacks are better educated, more prosperous, own more businesses, hold more positions in the professions, and have more elected officials than ever before. Yet the towering racial improvements since the 1963 March on Washington mask the harsh reality: The challenges 50 years later are, in some ways, more daunting than what King and other civil rights leaders faced.