Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.), who spoke at the Lincoln Memorial on the same program at which Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his famed “I Have A Dream” speech, is to return Sept. 17 to the site of the 1963 March on Washington for a speech about freedom.
He will be the featured speaker at the hour-long Celebrating Freedom ceremony on the Lincoln Memorial steps, according to the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH).
Lewis, who was a key leader of the civil rights movement, will speak about freedom as part of the program by the NEH and Howard University to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation in conjunction with the congressionally mandated observance of Constitution Day Sept. 17.
Lewis is one of the original 13 Freedom Riders, an architect of the 1963 March on Washington, leader of the first 1965 Selma, Ala. march that lead to enactment of the Voting Rights Act and Presidential Medal of Freedom winner.
The program will include actress Alfre Woodward who will read from Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl. actor Tyree Young who will deliver excerpts from My Bondage and My Freedom by Frederick Douglass and a performance by Howard University’s Afro Blue jazz vocal ensemble.
Admission to the 4 p.m. event is free. Also planned for that day at 1:30 p.m. is an Internet-streamed panel discussion by Civil War scholars of the events leading to the Emancipation Proclamation. According to the NEH, to register to host a watch party, or find one near you, visit: http://emancipation.neh.gov/live/host-a-watch-party/