A pilgrimage is a sacred journey that transforms an individual spiritually or physically. When most people think of a pilgrimage, they immediately think of a religious experience. However, I believe a pilgrimage is any journey that allows you to look back at the past, question who you are and what you believe in the present, and better yourself as an individual in the future. One of the most profound pilgrimages was the March for Jobs and Freedom in Washington, D.C.

In the summer of 1963, at the National Mall in Washington, D.C., history was made. Here, at the rally between the Lincoln Memorial and the Washington Monument, over 250,000 that traveled from all over the United States gathered together for one single purpose in mind: advocating for the civil and economic rights of African Americans (“March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom”). The diversity of the people in attendance demonstrated the journey, not just African Americans had traveled, but of all people in seeking equality for African Americans. At this historic site, African Americans recalled their horrible past of oppression and decided they wanted better for themselves in the future. At this rally, the most memorable moment was when Martin Luther King Jr. preached his “I Have a Dream” speech (“Top 10 Historic Pilgrimages”). He painted a picture of the journey African Americans had traveled throughout history, and the transformation they needed to undergo in the present. He encouraged everyone to no longer stand for the abuse of their God-given rights, and instead join him in protesting for their freedom. This pilgrimage was foundational in the lives of African Americans as it completely changed how they were viewed as human beings.

“March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.” The Martin Luther King, Jr., Research and 

Education Institute, 4 Aug. 2020,

kinginstitute.stanford.edu/encyclopedia/march-washington-jobs-and-freedom.

Accessed 29 October 2020.

“Top 10 Historic Pilgrimages.” Travel – National Geographic, 21 Jan. 2010, 

www.nationalgeographic.com/travel/top-10/pilgrimages-sacred-journeys/.

Accessed 29 October 2020. 

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