Aug 28, 2020

Kamala Harris Speech Transcript: 2020 March on Washington

Kamala Harris Speech Transcript: 2020 March on Washington
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Sen. Kamala Harris spoke at the 2020 March on Washington event on August 28. Read the transcript of her remarks here.

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Senator Kamala Harris: (00:00)
Today we commemorate the 57th anniversary of the historic March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. I was born into an activist family with my parents, my aunts and uncles pushing me in a stroller through Bay Area streets, marching for justice in the years, following the March on Washington. This moment is a reminder that we must always honor the sacrifice of the leaders who made that March happen. From the names we know like, Randolph and Farmer, Young and King, to everyone who worked behind the scenes and sacrificed quietly, but profoundly, far from the lights of history. I have to believe that if they were with us 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.

Senator Kamala Harris: (01:05)
They would be lacing up their shoes, locking arms, and continuing right alongside us to continue in this ongoing fight for justice. Thankfully, we don’t have to wonder if we are making them proud because a giant from that March and the Civil Rights era of that day, John Lewis, he lived to tell us how we’re doing. In his parting essay, he wrote to all of us who hope to carry his legacy. “In the last days and hours of my life, you’ve inspired me. You filled me with hope about the next chapter of the great American story when you used your power to make a difference in our society”

Senator Kamala Harris: (01:50)
For Congressman Lewis, the brutal murder of Emmett Till is what shook loose the activist inside him. It was the start of a lifelong journey towards service and driving change. The same journey that countless young leaders are building upon as we speak. As John put it, “Emmett Till was my George Floyd. He was my Rayshard Brooks, Sandra Bland, and Breonna Taylor.” The road ahead, it is not going to be easy, but if we work together to challenge every instinct our nation has to return to the status quo and combine the wisdom of long time warriors for justice with the creative energy of the young leaders today, we have an opportunity to make history, right here and right now. So thank you so much for inviting me to celebrate with you. Let’s march on, in the name of our ancestors and in the name of our children and grandchildren. Thank you.