[“Martin Luther King Jr. (L) greeting demonstrators at the Prayer Pilgrimage.” Photograph by Paul Schutzer. Washington, D.C., 1957. From the Life Photo Archive. Click for a larger view.]
From Standford University’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Research and Education Institute:
On 17 May 1957, nearly 25,000 demonstrators gathered at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., for a Prayer Pilgrimage for Freedom, featuring three hours of spirituals, songs, and speeches that urged the federal government to fulfill the three-year-old Brown v. Board of Education decision. The last speech of the day was reserved for Martin Luther King’s “Give Us the Ballot” oration, which captured public attention and placed him in the national spotlight as a major leader of the civil rights movement.The text of the speech is here. It makes for interesting reading in a time of increased efforts to suppress voting.