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Martin Luther King, Jr. at March on Washington

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August 28 is a date that will forever be important for Black Americans. The day marks some extreme highs and lows in Black history: a major political win; the death of a young boy whose name has been etched into the hearts of African Americans; and one of the most iconic moments in the civil rights movement.

Ava DuVernay produced a film, “August 28th” that was shown at the National Museum of African American History and Culture in 2016. Here’s are some snapshots of the seminal stories that give significance to this date.

Slavery Abolished In The U.K. (1833)

The Slavery Abolition Act was approved by Parliament on this day in 1833 and abolished slavery in most British colonies. It also freed more than 800,000 enslaved Africans in the Caribbean and South Africa, as well as a small number in Canada.

The Murder Of Emmett Till (1955)

Till, a 14-year-old boy from Chicago, was abducted by two white men in 1955 and brutally murdered while visiting family in Mississippi. The young man’s life was taken by the husband of Carolyn Bryant, a white woman who said the teen made advances toward her in a grocery store. Years later, in 2017, Bryant admitted to lying in her testimony about Till.

Martin Luther King Jr.‘s “I Have A Dream” Speech – 1963

Dr. King delivered his famous “I Have A Dream” speech at the March on Washington for jobs and freedom to a crowd of thousands in 1963. “But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt,” King said in his address. “We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. And so we have come to cash this check, a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice.”

Hurricane Katrina Hits New Orleans (2005)

Hurricane Katrina made landfall, destroying homes and upending the lives of many of New Orleans’ Black residents.

Barack Obama Wins Democratic Nomination For President (2008)

Obama gave his acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention in Denver, Colorado on this date in 2008. “This moment, this moment, this election is our chance to keep, in the 21st century, the American promise alive,” Obama stated.

This year’s date could also mark another historic moment if Andrew Gillum, the mayor of Tallahassee, Florida who is running for governor in the state, wins the Democratic primary. Gillum could become the first African American to be governor in that state in November.

Here’s Why August 28 Is a Major Date in Black History  was originally published on