On a bright, chilly Friday before the Martin Luther King Day weekend, Lapronda Eason wheeled a garbage can through the gleaming halls of the Smithsonian Museum of American History.
Eason has been a caretaker, literally, of American history for almost 13 years. She’s a janitor, a custodian, or a BSW, as the job is called at the Smithsonian, a building service worker.
The distinctive timbre of Dr. King’s voice could be heard in the museum’s gleaming entryway. It was his famous “I Have a Dream” speech, which he gave in 1963 during the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.
The speech recording is part of an exhibit called "Changing America: The Emancipation Proclamation, 1863, and the March on Washington, 1963."