Western Montana News

Aug 29, 2013 11:41 AM by Mike Powers - KPAX News

UM professor reflects on MLK, March on Washington

MISSOULA - President Obama and others were on the National Mall Wednesday to mark the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, and Martin Luther King Jr's "I Have A Dream" speech - an event that remains the "iconic" moment in the Civil Rights movement.

Tobin Miller Shearer, the African-American Studies Director at the University of Montana, says there's no doubt the speech had an impact in Montana - and with the huge crowd the event drew, it was one of a series of events that changed the country.

"That was inherently significant, but other events subsequent to that, such as the events in Selma in 1965 that really were the reason that we ended up with the 1965 Voting Rights Act, were more historically significant at that moment," Miller-Shearer said.

"The life of the speech and the march has built upon itself over the course of the last fifty years and that has generated its own significance," he added.

Shearer and other educators across Montana have used the march as a learning tool this week.

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