Today is the 50th anniversary of the epochal March on Washington. There are all kinds of things going on to commemorate this event and hopefully that will get us thinking and planning for all the work that still needs to be done.
source: Documented Rights, archive.gov
Here are some links that might interest you.
The March’s 50th anniversary website. This is the “I was there” section. Some oral history.
Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech, delivered that day.
Here is the text, if hearing is an issue.
About a minute and a half of Mahalia Jackson at the March. Her singing gives me chills. More info on her HERE.
Brother Outsider: The Life of Bayard Rustin, PBS.
Rustin spent 60 years as an organizer and activist, and helped organize the March on Washington. He was also openly gay, and that forced him to stay in the background of the movement. This documentary reveals rare archival footage and interviews to provide a picture of Rustin’s work and life. More on that HERE.
Congressman John Lewis was there. He was the youngest speaker to address the massive crowd. Here he is on NPR today.
And here he is delivering his speech that day.
Check out this Twitter feed: @todayin1963, which is a really cool historical thing. They’re “live”-Tweeting the March (as if it’s actually going on today), using research from a variety of sources. They’re including links to archival footage, like when Peter, Paul and Mary took the stage and performed. Super cool stuff.
History.com actually has some good stuff, too. Check it out.
And check out NPR’s piece on a People’s History of the March.
This is a teachable moment, my friends. There are people still alive who remember that era, who remember that day. And no matter which side of the issue they supported, it was a pivotal and crucial time in our country’s history.
Let us all keep dreaming, friends. There is always work to do.
Best wishes to you on a Wednesday. Happy history-ing.
I was just talking to a woman (a stranger) yesterday who told me about being a young, white school teacher during desegregation and how strange it was to suddenly see a classroom full of African-American faces. I suggested she write her experiences down and offer the document to a historical society. In a modern, literate age, history should be written by many voices, not just a few.
Wow. Yes, I’m glad you told her that.