Little Known Black History Fact: March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom

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    August 28th marks the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. That day between 200,000 and 300,000 people gathered at our nation’s capitol to hear Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s message of hope in his “I Have a Dream Speech.” To date, the March on Washington is the largest political gathering for civil rights in U.S. history.

    The March was organized by many groups, with the leadership of Bayard Rustin. The mission was led by a group of men labeled as the Big Six: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., A. Phillip Randolph, James Farmer, Roy Wilkins, Whitney Young and John Lewis. Congressman Lewis would also be the youngest speaker at the march. They operated under the name of the Council for United Civil Rights Leadership. The original group included Bayard Rustin, but because Rustin was an openly gay black man, some of the members believed that he should not be at the forefront of the organized group, but should be a background lead organizer. Rustin had already organized many of the historical marches and protests of the SNCC.

    By July 17th, the leaders had met with President Kennedy to reassure a peaceful protest. The president gave public rest regarding the march and explained that there would be cooperation of the police force and government.

    Attendees of the March on Washington were estimated to be 75% black. Funds were raised through the sale of buttons, in which the organizers sold 42,000. The cities of Chicago and New York City supported those wanting to attend the march by declaring August 28th “Freedom Day,” giving workers the day off to participate.

    The march did not come without a price of safety. There were numerous death threats to organizers and the media from racists hoping to stop the process.

    The night before the march, the sound system that was to deliver Dr. King’s message was sabotaged. After Walter Fauntroy contacted General Robert Kennedy about the system with the threat of riots if people could not hear the message, gave way to the government’s help to fix the system overnight to ensure Dr. King could be heard throughout the Lincoln Memorial grounds.

    The March was a legendary success. Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech was translated in 36 languages and carried by major media nationwide. There were performances by Mahalia Jackson, Bob Dylan, Marion Anderson, Joan Baez and Peter Paul and Mary.

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    4 thoughts on “Little Known Black History Fact: March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom

    1. 50 years MLK Day celebration: KKK Threat saddens my heart. They’re marching I’m still dealing with racism, unfair education system and violations of injustices. 50 years later, there is less of an” innocent until proven guilty system.” There is less interest in remedy injustices and equal rights. There is almost no interest in discovering the truth. People that can provide legal help, don’t have time unless you have the money. By the time a poor person can save the money, the statue time of limitations is up. This plan works out perfect for the persons and corporations in the wrong. However, it keeps the oppressed depressed for they have waited so long for nothing.
      Their justice fighting went from days to years without seeing JUSTICE come to light. The court will not hear the long kept evidence. So, while we cry for help, they flip the calendar of no justice.

    2. @RayarJohnson
      Need legal help!
      KKK School Threat /Two knifes (Knifes don’t make a gun sound, but they kill)
      Children Withdrawn from School
      Children have a right to an education in a safe environment!

      Look at my beautiful children GOD blessed me with! We have to hold the School District accountable. We have to keep children safe.rjohnson4ob (at) gmail (dot) com
      cc: Black America Web, The Root, Policy Mic

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