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The March On Washington Essay

1058 words - 5 pages

The March on Washington, also known as “The March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom”, was a civil rights event which helped African Americans receive all of the rights they deserve. The march offered a long lasting freedom for African Americans, and was an opening for a new beginning in America. The March occurred August 23, 1963 in Washington D.C. at the Lincoln Memorial and it was suggested by A. Philip Randolph (March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom). There were six main civil rights groups that were at Washington D.C. during the march. They were CORE (Congress of Racial Equality), SCLC (Southern Christian Leadership Conference), SNCC (Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee), NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), The Brotherhood of the Sleeping Car Porters, and The Nations Urban League. Together they were called the “Big Six” (Ross Shmuel).
The March on Washington, in 1963, was not the first march to be proposed. A. Philip Randolph, who is responsible for suggesting both marches, first planned a march in 1941 (March on Washington History). This first march was not as big as the second because it was stopped by President Roosevelt when he released his FEPC. The next march wouldn’t take place until August 28th, twenty-two years later. Though the second march was suggested by A. Philip Randolph, the details and information about the march were held by Randolph’s associate Bayard Rustin in New York where the march was organized (Official Program for the March on Washington (1963)). The second march was funded by the “Big Six” organizations (Official Program for the March on Washington (1963)). As the march started, President Kennedy was worried about how the march would look and about the violence that might occur. Therefore had 5,000 policemen, National Guardsmen, and army soldiers there, in the event that they would be needed. (CNN library).
The march was one of the largest demonstrations for rights Washington D.C. had ever seen, with over 250,000 people in attendance (Ross Shmuel). The most memorable event from the march was Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I have a dream” speech (March on Washington Documentary). John Lewis, the youngest speaker at the march, also gave a speech telling America to “Wake up!”. The march had other speakers who could not attend, including those condemned by Malcolm X or by the Nation of Islam (March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom). Surprising to all, there was no violence during the march and not one person was arrested (CNN Library).
During the march there were many events going on, not just the speeches. Many famous people attended the event. Singers such as Bob Dylan, Odetta, Joan Baez and Marian Anderson came to give their support. (March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom). Actors like Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee, who performed at the march, and even President John F. Kennedy and Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson were sure not to miss it. The Jewish Congress President Rabbi...

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