Civil Rights Leaders
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In July 1963, A Philip Randolph, the planner of the
march on Washington movement of 1961, made plans to create an enormous rally in
D.C. He wanted a march on
Washington to dramatize the plight of unemployed blacks.
Black unemployment was at 11%, but for whites, the figure was only 5%; A
white family back then on average earned double what black made.
His dream of a massive protest on the nations capital for fair treatment
& equal opportunity got support from many civil right leaders, including
James Farmer of CORE, Martin Luther King Jr. of SCLC, and many more.
Barnyard Quentin was the deputy director of the 1962 march on Washington.
He was involved in all three of the march in Washington rallies of the
1950s. Randolph & Rustin met
with labor and civil right leaders, to plan the August-21 march.
The increase the number of supporters by expanding the goals of the march
to include demands of Civil Right Act, integration of school & the enactment
of a fair employment practice. Bill
prohibits job discrimination. President
Kennedy, at first wanted the Civil Right Leaders to call off the march because
he feared civil disruption. He said
we want success in congress, in congress, not just a big show at the capital.
Some of these people are looking for an excuse to be against us.
I don't want to give any of them a chance to say, "yes I'm for the
civil right bill, but I dammed if I will vote, for it at the an Washington
before the bill was even in committee. The
only effect is create an atmosphere of intimidation & this may give some
member of congress on out."
But it was too late the process of the preparation for the march was
already in the process.
On August 28, more than 250,00 demonstrators came to march on Washington.
They represented a coalition of civil right works, church groups &
labor leaders. No event in American
history was more extensively covered by the media not even a presidential
inauguration. The 40 television
cameras set up at the Lincoln memorial to cover the speeches made it largest out
door TV operation ever. The intense
media coverage communication to the country & the world the impressive
strengths of the young civil right movement its idealism, seriousness of purpose
& commitment to non-violence.
Many leaders spoke, but the climax of the march was Dr. Martin Luther
King Jr. " I have a dream speech. This
taught many people. It made a
profound impression on the crowed & on the 80 million Americans who never
heard him speak before.
This march marked the coming of age of the civil right movement by
successfully pulling the long derided issue of Racal Justice at the top of the
nations political agenda. It is
unclear whether the march accelerated the progress of the 1964 civil rights act
throng congress. However, the march
on Washington did results in giving a sense of hope to thousands of Americans,
both blacks & whites that the civil rights movement had firmly established