Sunday, February 20, 2005

Gina Highlights The March on Washington for Black History Month

Gina: In 1963, on August 23, over 250,000 people entered D.C. for the March on Washington. People traveled anyway they could, hitchhiking, buses, train, their own cars, all to be there for the historic march.

Artists like Joan Baez, Odetta, Josh White, the group Peter, Paul and Mary, even Bob Dylan performed. Speakers spoke and the most famous speech of the 20th century took place there: Doctor Martin Luther King Jr. gave his "I Have a Dream" speech.

What was it all about? What caused church groups, civics groups, civil rights groups, leaders, artists to all gather in D.C. for that day?

Speaking, A. Philip Randolph noted, "Fellow Americans, we are gathered here in the largest demonstration in the history of this nation. Let the nation and the world know the meaning of our numbers. We are not a pressure group, we are not an organization or a group of organizations, we are not a mob. We are the advance guard of a massive moral revolution for jobs and freedom."

The March on Washington was also known as "The March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom." That's what it was about. Opening the gates to equality, saying, "We will have equal opportunities."

This is an important event in civil rights history. This is the story of people (of many races) coming together and the change that can result from that.

Pacifica Radio has some amazing reports (some from the 40th anniversary of the March on Washington, some older).

NPR has a series of segments available (from the 40th anniversary of the march back in 2003) that people wanting more information can access.