WOMEN’S MEDIA CENTER – The 1963 March on Washington: ‘I Was There’
The March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom — which took place 60 years ago on August 28 — is remembered, conveniently, as the forum for Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech. Dominant narratives in subsequent decades have focused on King’s dream. But the gathering of 250,000 people in front of the Lincoln Memorial did not happen because of a dream. It happened because, whether Up South or Down North, we were being forced to live an American nightmare — racism.
I know. I was there. I experienced that monumental event firsthand as a teen, and it changed my life.
Organized by a coalition of civil rights and labor leaders, the march grew out of a growing tide of activism and righteous anger over egregious daily violations of fundamental human rights. We marched for long-overdue civil rights legislation, the right to a quality K–12 education, equal opportunity to decent jobs, fair housing, and voting rights. FOR MORE