8.475_Civil_Rights_in_the_1960s_Movement.pdf - 8.475 Civil...

This preview shows page 1 - 3 out of 9 pages.

8.475 Civil Rights in the 1960s Movement Overview The March on Washington, which took place on August 28, 1963, was one of the largest civil rights rallies in US history, and one of the most famous examples of non-violent mass direct action. At the march, Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his inspirational “I Have a Dream” speech, which envisioned a world where people were judged not by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character. The March on Washington was highly publicized in the news media, and helped to gather momentum for the passage of the Civil Rights Act in 1964. The Civil Rights Movement and the March on Washington The March on Washington brought together many different civil rights groups, labor unions, and religious organizations, including the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), the American Federation of Labor (AFL-CIO), and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC). Nevertheless, not all civil rights activists were in favor of the march. Bayard Rustin, though one of the main organizers of the march, was concerned that it would turn violent and damage the international reputation of the Civil Rights Movement. Others, like Malcolm X, who helped popularize the militant Black Power Movement, derided the March on Washington because of its nonviolent, integrationist approach. Calling it the “Farce on Washington,” Malcolm X condemned black civil rights activists for collaborating with whites and accepting donations from whites. ^1 On August 28, 1963, 250,000 protestors converged on the National Mall in Washington, DC to demonstrate in favor of full civil, political, and economic rights for African Americans. The March on Washington was one of the largest demonstrations for human rights in US history, and a spectacular example of the power of non-violent direct action. 1963 was the 100th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, and one of the major themes of the rally was that the promises of emancipation remained unfulfilled. The march began at the Washington
monument and ended at the Lincoln Memorial, where representatives of the sponsoring organizations delivered speeches. The last speaker of the day was Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who delivered what became the most famous speech of the entire civil rights era, the “I Have a Dream” speech, which envisioned a world in which people were judged not by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character. Because of this, a popular misconception has arisen that it was Dr. King who initiated the rally. In fact, the idea for a march on Washington belonged to A. Philip Randolph, a black labor leader who headed the Negro American Labor Council at the time of the march, and had previously organized the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, the first African American labor union in US history.^2 African American demands for economic justice The sole purpose of the March on Washington was not to eliminate Jim Crow laws, though the

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture