Bells will ring across the nation Wednesday to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington.
Bells to commemorate 50th anniversary of March on Washington
They’ll toll at the locations mentioned in Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous “I Have a Dream” speech, which includes Stone Mountain.
“But not only that, let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia. Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain in Tennessee. Let freedom ring from every hill and mole hill of Mississippi, from every mountainside,” says King in his speech.
City and state officials, including state Sen. Emanuel Jones and DeKalb County Interim CEO Lee May, are scheduled to gather at the summit of Stone Mountain as part of the “Let Freedom Ring” event.
The mountain, home to a Confederate memorial and a former Ku Klux Klan rallying site, held particular importance to Dr. King according to Nathan McCall, a lecturer in African American Studies at Emory and author of “Makes Me Wanna Holler.”
“He was very much aware of the historical significance of that place as one of the places that he hoped would one day change,” McCall said.
McCall said even King would be surprised by today’s city, which now has a majority black population, according to U.S. census data.
“There was a time when African Americans in this area wouldn’t even go out to Stone Mountain, let alone move there,” McCall said. “And so over the decades, African Americans have felt comfortable enough to move into Stone Mountain and to run for leadership positions in the political office.”
The bells are scheduled to ring at 3 p.m. Wednesday.
Other locations include New York and Look Out Mountain in Tennessee, among others.