Lupita Nyong'o and Chiwetel Ejiofor play Patsey and Solomon, two slaves on a Louisiana plantation, in 12 Years a Slave. Francois Duhamel/Fox Searchlight Pictures hide caption

itoggle caption Francois Duhamel/Fox Searchlight Pictures

"I have this day granted bargained and sold and by these present do grant bargain and sell unto the said Edward Clegg a Certain Mulatto Girl named Harriet aged about eight years. Slave for life, and sound in body and mind, and the title to said Girl I do hereby warrant and will forever defend." Courtesy of Todd Perry hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of Todd Perry

"Michael Goings, a man of colour personally appearing in Court and producing satisfactory evidence of his freedom. It is ordered that the following be entered as his Register. To wit, aged 23 years 5 feet 11 1/2 inches high of light complexion. No scars no marks perceivable all of which is ordered to be certified." Courtesy of Robert Goins hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of Robert Goins

Melanie Vanderlipe Ramil with her grandmother, who taught her to make the Filipino dish lumpia, in 2009. Courtesy of Melanie Vanderlipe Ramil hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of Melanie Vanderlipe Ramil

Alex Sugiura was featured, along with his brother and other mixed-race Americans, in the 125th anniversary issue of National Geographic Magazine in October. The brothers are of Japanese and Eastern European descent, but people often mistake Alex for Hispanic. Martin Schoeller/National Geographic hide caption

itoggle caption Martin Schoeller/National Geographic

Wilma Stordahl with her sons (from left) Kevin, Kazon and Kenneth at Kazon's high school graduation. "We think of Norwegians as being tall and blond and blue-eyed," Stordahl says. "My sons are tall — but they're not blond and blue-eyed." Courtesy of Wilma Stordahl hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of Wilma Stordahl

All Washington, D.C., liquor stores were closed on Aug. 28, 1963. While Maury Landsman's parents, who owned a liquor store, stayed home that day, he was determined to participate in the march. Charles Del Vecchio/The Washington Post/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Charles Del Vecchio/The Washington Post/Getty Images

Clarence B. Jones, legal adviser to Martin Luther King Jr., takes notes behind King at a press conference regarding in Birmingham, Ala., in February 1963. Ernst Haas/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Ernst Haas/Getty Images

Clarence B. Jones this month in Palo Alto, Calif. As Martin Luther King Jr.'s attorney and adviser, Jones contributed to many of King's speeches, including his famous speech at the March on Washington in 1963. Norbert von der Groeben/Reuters/Landov hide caption

itoggle caption Norbert von der Groeben/Reuters/Landov

Joseph Burden (third row, third from right) with his graduating class at Washington, D.C.'s Metropolitan Police Department training academy in 1960. Every officer on the force was required to work the day of the March on Washington. Courtesy of Joseph Burden hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of Joseph Burden

Civil rights activist William Moore made several one-man marches for racial equality. In April 1963, he was killed during a march from Chattanooga, Tenn., to Jackson, Miss. Baltimore Sun hide caption

itoggle caption Baltimore Sun

Robert Avery has been a councilman in his hometown of Gadsden, Ala., for almost three decades. As a teen, he and two friends hitchhiked to the nation's capital, where they made signs for the March on Washington. Erica Yoon/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Erica Yoon/NPR

A newspaper clipping from The Cincinnati Herald on Sept. 14, 1963, included a picture of Jack Hansan and other members of the Cincinnati delegation. Courtesy of Jack Hansan hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of Jack Hansan

Caryn Lantz and her husband Chuck were surprised to learn that costs associated with adopting black children were much lower than for white or mixed race children. They ultimately went with an adoption in which the fee was based on their income, not skin color. Courtesy of Caryn Lantz hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of Caryn Lantz