Let us march on ballot boxes, march on ballot boxes until race-baiters disappear from the political arena.
Let us march on ballot boxes until the salient misdeeds of bloodthirsty mobs will be transformed into the calculated good deeds of orderly citizens.
Let us march on ballot boxes until the Wallaces of our nation tremble away in silence.
Let us march on ballot boxes until we send to our city councils state legislatures, and the United States Congress, men who will not fear to do justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with thy God.
Let us march on ballot boxes until brotherhood becomes more than a meaningless word in an opening prayer, but the order of the day on every legislative agenda.
Let us march on ballot boxes until all over Alabama God’s children will be able to walk the earth in decency and honor.
These words come from the speech delivered by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at the conclusion of the 1965 march to Montgomery, Alabama. The march brought national attention to the issue of racial discrimination in voting. The Voting Rights Act, a landmark piece of Civil Rights legislation, became law just five months later.
Photographs, broadsides, and other materials related to Dr. King’s legacy are now on view in the Patricia D. Klingenstein Library reading room.
Bob Adelman. Martin Luther King Jr. marching from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama alongside Ralph Abernathy, James Forman, Jesse Douglas, and John Lewis. March 1965. New-York Historical Society.
Stephen Somerstein. Martin Luther King, Jr. seen from rear, speaking to crowd of 25,000 in Montgomery, Alabama. March 1965. New-York Historical Society.