Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Rita Dove turned 11 on Aug. 28, 1963. Her family had traveled to Washington from Akron so her father could attend the March on Washington.
Dove was not allowed to march, so she watched the event on her cousin’s TV.
“Our parents made this decision for us to stay behind because they felt that was probably going to be dangerous and wanted to make sure that it was all right,” Dove said.
But Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech played a major role in Dove’s development as a person and a poet.
“I was already fascinated with words and poetry, so the repetition of King’s speech was mesmerizing,” said Dove, who would also serve as the country’s poet laureate.
After the march they had birthday cake.