Civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. waves to supporters during the “March on Washington” on Aug. 28, 1963. | Source: – / Getty

UPDATED: 3:15 p.m. Aug. 27, 2021 —

The importance of the calendar date August 28 in the context of Black history in the United States gets underscored on an annual basis, and this year is no different.

Notably, the 2021 installment of August 28 will see multiple rallies popping up in multiple cities around the country where people are expected to renew calls for voter protections that are being systematically stripped away from legally registered voters trying to cast ballots in local and national elections.

The Rev. Al Sharpton’s National Action Network is helping to coordinate the main rallies in Washington, Atlanta, Miami, Houston and Phoenix along with other cities. The rallies are being held in the spirit of the March on Washington, which was held 58 years ago in 1963 when Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his iconic “I Have A Dream” speech.

That is just one reason why 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. The act abolished slavery in most British colonies, and 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 and brutally murdered while visiting family in Mississippi in 1955. 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 told the people 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.”

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 said.

Andrew Gillum Won The Democratic Primary For Governor of Florida

Andrew Gillum, the mayor of Tallahassee, Florida, became the first African American to win the Democratic primary for governor of Florida. Gillum would have became the first African American to be governor in that state but would lose to Ron DeSantis (and voter suppression). Hear him below on CNN the night he won.

Are there any other relevant August 28 milestones we missed? Let us know.


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Here’s Why August 28 Is A Major Date In Black History  was originally published on

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