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MARCH ON WASHINGTON
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The Weight of a Neighbor’s Integrity nostalgically smoother in some areas than the road ahead. Progress requires the loss of some things, but time alone determines if the losses are worth the battle. Clearly, in the case of the Civil Rights Movement, and particularly the March on Washington, the demands have proven worthy of every determined step. Critics of the March point to high incarceration and unemployment rates, as well as, a disappearing middle class, as proof that the demands for integration had less than the desired effect. I submit, however, that the loss of some ground hinges less on the call for integration, and more on the loss of a type of collective integrity that supported Black entrepreneurs, showered authority and dignity upon Black teachers, and reinforced demands for better schools, housing and equal access with economic boycotts and sanctions. I am reminded of Rabbi Joachim Prinz’s call to look upon others as extensions of ourselves. Prinz, who served as rabbi between 1939 and 1977, at Temple B’nai Abraham in Newark, spoke of the term neighbor as a moral concept that required collective responsibility for the preservation of man’s dignity and integrity. “When I was the rabbi of the Jewish community in Berlin under the Hitler regime, I learned many things. The most important thing that I learned under those tragic circumstances was that bigotry and hatred are not, ‘the most urgent problem.’ The most urgent, the most disgraceful, the most shameful and the most tragic problem, is silence,” Prinz said during his March on Washington speech. That level of neighborliness had been demonstrated most effectively during the 1955 Montgomery Bus Boycotts, which required thousands of commuters to rely on the steadfast and unwavering support of others. For 381 days, Blacks, supported by their neighbors, walked, peddled, and carpooled to gain the victory of equal accommodation. Such collectiveness was also embodied in Viola Liuzzo, a white housewife and mother, who was killed by Klansmen, following a voting rights march in Alabama in 1965. Liuzzo is the only white female participant in the Civil Rights Movement ever reported murdered for her involvement, though she was hardly alone in her support. In fact, roughly 60,000 white Americans took part in the March on Washington. Truly, as Dr. King, said, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” Like Prinz, activist Bayard Rustin, when speaking at the March introduced a series of demands that, at their core, spoke to the dignity and integrity. Among those demands were: the public accommodations, decent housing, integrated education, FEPC, and the right to vote; the withholding of Federal funds from all programs in which discrimination exists; that every person in this nation, black or white, be given training and work with dignity to defeat unemployment and automation; and an increase in the national minimum wage so that men may live in dignity. As the Washington Informer commemorates the 50th anniversary of the March on of their own.
PHOTOGRAPHERS John E. De Freitas, Roy Lewis, Khalid Naji-Allah, Shevry Lassiter
Read & Enjoy. Shantella Y. Sherman Editor, Informer Special Sections
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By Dorothy Rowley WI Staff Writer
DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING (1929-68), FOUNDER/ PRESIDENT OF THE SOUTHERN CHRISTIAN LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE): One hundred years after the Emancipation Proclamation was signed, an estimated 250,000 people gathered on the National Mall in the nation’s capital for a peaceful demonstration to promote civil rights and economic equality for African Americans. During the historic event, King delivered his electrifying “I Have a Dream” speech which was also televised to a live audience of millions across the country.
A. PHILLIP RANDOLPH (18891979), LABOR LEADER: The March on Washington was initiated by Randolph, who had been international president of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, as well as president of the Negro American Labor Council. He stepped into the limelight in the 1950s, going on to become a visible national spokesperson for civil rights across America. Randolph graduated from Cookman Institute in Jacksonville, Fla., and after moving to New York, he ran state on the Socialist Party ticket.
JAMES FARMER (1920-99), PRESIDENT OF THE CONGRESS OF RACIAL EQUALITY: Farmer, a civil rights giant in the 1950s and ‘60s, once played dead in the back of a hearse that carried him along back roads in www.washingtoninformer.com
his native Virginia. “I was meant to die that night,” ... “They were kicking open doors, beating up blacks in the streets, interrogating them with electric cattle prods,” he later said. Known as one of the founding fathers of the new South, Farmer was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1998 by Bill Clinton.
WHITNEY YOUNG (1921-71), PRESIDENT OF THE NATIONAL URBAN LEAGUE:
Young, one of Congressman John Lewis’s role models, spent much of his adult life tearing down racial and social barriers to advance the welfare of African Americans. He used reason, persuasion and negotiation so that black citizens could have good jobs, education, housing, health care and social services.
“The Big Six:” was noted for carrying a big stick leading the thousands of people he organized as volunteers of the NAACP, the nation’s oldest and largest civil rights organization. The St. Louis, MO, native attended Minnesota University in 1923, before joining the staff of the NAACP’s “The Crisis” magazine. While at the helm of the several congressional hearings and to help disadvantaged people.
Major Players in the 1963 March on Washington
BAYARD RUSTIN (191287), LEADER OF SOCIAL MOVEMENTS, GAY RIGHTS: Rustin, who moved to New York in the 1930s, was involved in early civil rights protests and was
a key adviser to Martin Luther King Jr. in the 1960s. Arrested several times for being openly gay, he orchestrated and administered details of the March on Washington. During World War II Rustin fought against racial discrimination in war-related hiring. He was also jailed for two years during the war for refusing to register for the draft. MOW
JOHN LEWIS (1940 - ), PRESIDENT OF THE STUDENT NONVIOLENT COORDINATING COMMITTEE:
Lewis, who is currently a Georgia congressman, was still in his early 20s when he became known as one of “The Big Six.” At age 23, he was also a keynote speaker at the momentous March on Washington. It was while attending the American Baptist Theological Seminary that Lewis joined the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, later becoming its president. The democratic congressman ,who was also a member of the city ed to the House of Representatives in 1986.
ROY WILKINS (1901-81), CIVIL RIGHTS ACTIVIST, NAACP PRESIDENT: Always soft-spoken, Wilkins
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INTERVIEWS AND PHOTOS BY TIMOTHY LINDEN
VIEWP INT Cora Dixon Washington, D.C.
Many strides have been made in terms of education. Individuals did not always have the opportunity to attend the schools they wanted to, but they now have the opportunity to attend those schools. Strides have also been made in terms of employment, as equal opportunity laws have opened the doors for a lot of African Americans in the workforce. As a whole, there are numerous opportunities today that did not exist 50 years ago for African Americans.
Doris Hood Waldorf, Md.
WHAT SOCIAL/RACIAL PROGRESS DO YOU BELIEVE HAS BEEN MADE IN THE 50 YEARS SINCE THE MARCH ON WASHINGTON?
Stevan Smith Washington, D.C.
I think the fact that African Americans have a true freedom of speech shows that a lot of progress has been made in the 50 years since Dr. King’s March on Washington. Employment opportunities are also available. It’s a blessing to live to see an African-American president
While much social and racial progress has been made in the 50 years since the March on Washington, it will take [more than] a lifetime to see complete progress. It has been truly amazing to see many aspects of Dr. King’s dream become a reality, but we must continue to march forward.
We are moving along in the right direction.
and economically as a result of the progress that has been made over the years.
Shannon Steed Washington, D.C. We as people, and as a country, have made a lot of progress both racially and socially. We’re used to seeing African Americans attend and graduate from college and excel in the workplace. But at the same time, there still is a lot of progress to be made.
Father John Harmon Washington, D.C.
African Americans and other minorities have held important positions in government and in the private sector, so great strides have been made over the years. However, the challenge of poverty and illiteracy still remains among minorities. The increased incarceration of minorities still presents major issues in this country.
The Rev. Anita Braden Alexandria, Va.
I see progress when we’re able to join together as a community and allow our children to move forward in their pursuit of an education. We have an African-American president; we are beginning to see role models for our children who are not just entertainers or athletes, but senators and congressmen and [sector]. We have made tremendous progress.
Aleen Sutton Washington, D.C.
I was in D.C. at that time and worked at the State Department and witnessed the March. African employment and shop and eat at the same businesses as whites. I remember traveling when I was younger and not having the luxury to do so. Overall, we have made great progress racially and socially over the past 50 years.
Darryl Harper Cheverly, Md.
I don’t think Dr. King
integration. There were AfricanAmerican businesses, professional sports teams, and [educational institutions] that closed as a result of desegregation. African Americans are looking to expand and grow Black-owned businesses now, which is something we already had. There was a large economic component that was attached to the community that we’ve given up over the past 50 years. Yes, things have changed, in terms of racial and social relations, but [African Americans] need to continue to strive to keep doing better.
Charly “Carlos” Palmer entitled, “Charly Palmer: The Dream Lives On,” which celebrates and documents the 50th Anniversary of The March On Washington, and from which the our cover art comes. The exhibition runs through Sunday, December 8. For more information, visit http://www.dusablemuseum.org/exhibits/details/charly-palmer-the-dream-lives-on Look for an exclusive interview with Palmer in an upcoming edition of the Washington Informer. M-4 /AUGUST 2013 / MARCH ON WASHINGTON 50TH ANNIVERSARY COMMEMORATIVE EDITION
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When it became clear that the 1963 March on Washington would in fact occur, a series of unprecedented time since prohibition, and at the order of FBI Director Herbert Hoover, agents phoned celebrities advising them to remain in their hotel rooms because violence was expected. Additionally,
21 charter trains
troops were assembled in arrived at DC’s Union Station in addition to suburbs; 16 regularly scheduled trains;
hundred 24-first-aid stations Two hours
Several portable toilets were installed;
21 temporary drinking fountains;
15,000 paratroopers were on alert in North Carolina
before the announced start of the program, over 250,000 people had gathered on the National Mall, and an estimated 60,000 of them were white.
2,000 ‘freedom buses’ drove to DC, many of them passing through the Baltimore tunnel at the rate of 100 per hour;
METRO 0211 Informer_MOWcomp 8/15/13 9:32 AM Page 1
UNFORGETTABLE I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.” I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slaveowners will be able to sit down together at a table of brotherhood. I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a desert state, sweltering with the heat of injustice and oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice. I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. I have a dream today.
RIDE METROAUGUST 24TH to Commemorate the unforgettable Marchon Washington held 50 years ago. Metro is proud to recognize and honored to serve the public on the 50th Anniversary of the Historic March on Washington. Visit wmata.com for more info. wmata.com
ATTEND! The Commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington on the National Mall August 24th at 8am-7pm. Take Metrorail to Farragut West (Blue/Orange Line), Farragut North (Red Line), Smithsonian (Blue/Orange Line), or Arlington Cemetery (Blue Line). TIP! To avoid lines, purchase a roundtrip farecard or SmarTrip in advance for everyone in your group. ®
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The function of is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character â€” that is the goal of true education.
- Martin Luther King Jr. Martin Luther King Jr. and former Howard University President James Nabrit Jr. during a Charter Day ceremony on March 2, 1965.
twitter.com/HowardU facebook.com/Howarduniversity www.washingtoninformer.com
-Barack Obama, President of the United States of America 140th Howard University Opening Convocation, Oct. 1, 2007
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The Road to the
March BY CHARLENE CROWELL
League, churches and fraternal orders. Recognizing that he could no longer ignore the mounting interest, President Franklin D. Roosevelt invited Randolph and the NAACP’s Walter White to a meeting on June 18, 1941. A week later, FDR established the Fair Employment Practices Committee (FEPC); to implement Executive Order #8802 – signed June 24, 1941. The executive order banned hiring discrimination at military facilities and government agencies during WWII. The newly-created FEPC was
lthough August 28, 1963 is remembered as the largest peaceful demonstration at that time in the
1941. Under the leadership of Asa Philip Randolph and the support of his organization, the Brotherhood of
time that a national protest for civil rights in Washington was envisioned. The actual genesis of the idea was in
March on Washington Movement (MOWM) were opened in early June 1941 in Harlem, Brooklyn, Chicago,
Detroit, San Francisco, St. Louis, and Washington, DC. Most importantly, Randolph insisted that the leadership for the event be Negro-led. Through the union’s infrastructure of rail depots, support for the effort grew with the active involvement of chapters of the NAACP and Urban
solutions to complaints of racial discrimination in the defense program. Although FDR’s executive actions halted plans for the 1941 March on Washington, segregation prevailed and a year later, FEPC’s complaints were largely ignored in the midst of war-time labor shortages. Black participation in defense employment opportunities did not occur in a meaningful way until the U.S. Supreme Court upheld racial grievances in a 1944 decision in the case known as Bester William Steele v. The Louisville and Nashville Company, Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen and Engineers. Even in the decision’s aftermath, black employment was often limited to clerical positions and low level supervision. A new campaign for racial justice was known as “Double V” – victory at home and abroad. The President who had been heralded as the mastermind of the New Deal gave Negro leaders a raw one that never became all that it promised. By 1963’s escalating racial tensions that worsened with growing numbers of protests and arrests, another President, John F. Kennedy, realized that only federal actions could quell racial disturbances. In a national television
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address on June 12, Kennedy spoke clearly about America’s dilemma. discrimination exist in every city, in every state of the Union, producing in many cities a rising tide of discontent that threatens the public safety. . .We are confronted primarily with a moral issue: It is as old as the scriptures and is as clear as the American constitution”, said President Kennedy. In the following week, President Kennedy submitted wide-ranging remedies in a bill to Congress that would allow or guarantee: voting rights, access to public accommodations, desegregation of public facilities, a non-discriminatory clause in federal programs, the creation of a Civil Rights Commission, and equal employment opportunity. Following the bill’s introduction in the House of Representatives and reheard. Testifying on behalf of the State of Louisiana, Lt. Governor C.C. Aycock advised, “The central government just does not have the constitutional authority to dictate to the individual citizen the persons with whom he must associate, or the manner in which he must use his property, or what individuals he can or cannot serve in his place of business.” It was in this clear battle for racial equality that the idea of a March on Washington was revived with three Public demand for the passage of the Civil Rights Act; Integration of schools; and Enactment of a fair employment practices bill to ban job discrimination MOW Charlene Crowell is a freelance journalist and two-time honoree of the National Newspaper Publishers Association. www.washingtoninformer.com
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One on One with
John Lewis By Denise Rolark Barnes WI Staff Writer
cult to register to vote simply because of the color of your skin. There was still segregation in hotels and restaurants all across the South. Some stores you could go in and by paper or a book, but you could not go to the lunch counter to get something to eat or to drink. What was going on in the South and in so many other parts of the country was an affront to human dignity. So we had to march.
DR. KING’S ROLE
ften called “one of the most courageous persons the Civil Rights Movement ever produced,” Congressman John Lewis has dedicated his life to protecting human rights, securing civil liberties, and building what he calls “The Beloved Community” in America. His dedication to the highest ethical standards and moral principles has won him the admiration of many of his colleagues on both sides of the aisle in the United States Congress. While still a young man, John Lewis became a nationally recognized leader after being named Chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). By 1963, he was dubbed one of the Big Six leaders of the Civil Rights Movement. At the age of 23, he was an architect of and a keynote speaker at the historic March on Washington in August 1963. Mr. Lewis sat down recently with Informer publisher Denise Rolark Barnes to share his thoughts and experiences on Civil Rights and the March on Washington.
WHAT WAS THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE 1963 MARCH ON WASHINGTON? The march on August 28, 1963 was very important for America, but more important for the African American community and all Americans that participated and for those that didn’t participate, but shared our hopes and
dreams. It educated and helped sensitize millions of people to our plight and our problems. It was a petition to the president of the United States and to the members of Congress. It brought attention to the unbelievable system to discrimination that existed in the heart of the Deep South, and it was like bringing the problems to
Capitol Hill, to the front door of America, to the Mall, to the feet of Abraham Lincoln. And it gave people a sense of hope that by using their marching feet, and being present in Washington, they could change things. And today, 50 years later, America’s a different America; it’s a better America. We’re not there yet, but we’re not what we use to be.
Many people believe Dr. King, solo, planned the March. It was not his idea. He had planned a Prayer Pilgrimage in 1954, on the anniversary of the Brown vs. Board of Education decision, but it was Mr. Randolph’s idea for the March on Washington. He always wanted to have a massive march for jobs and to end discrimination in the workplace. He was the one that called us all together. He was the Dean; he was older than any of us; he was more respected as the leader, older and not as young as a Dr. King, Whitney Young or myself. If anyone could hold people together, it was A Philip Randolph. But Dr. King was a symbol. And, to be honest, many people saw Dr. King as a threat to their own leadership. He was young, a Black Baptist minister who was getting so much recognition, but it was Dr. King who inspired
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many of us, along with Rosa Parks. He inspired us all to get involved with the movement.
WHAT WERE YOUR FEELINGS THE DAY BEFORE THE MARCH? The day before the March, I went to New York with several people to speak and help raise money for buses. I remember coming to Washington by plane from NY and arriving here and staying the night before the march at the Capitol Hilton Hotel on 16th and K Streets, N.W. Dr. King stayed at the Willard Hotel. It was in the Capital Hilton where I saw Malcolm X for speak to him. He came because he knew something big was happening in Washington, DC and he came to observe. He said to me something like, the march was suppose to be a protest march, but that the man down at the White House had convinced us to turn it into a picnic. Later that night I went to my room and received a note under my door from Bayard Rustin. It said there was some problem with my speech and I should come to this meeting. There were leaders from other organizations. Archbishop O’Boyle threatened not to give the invocation if I didn’t change some lines in my speech. Some thought he was very close to the Kennedy family and they
See LEWIS on Page 11 www.washingtoninformer.com
LEWIS continued from Page 10 had gotten to him. My original speech said: We cannot support the administration’s Civil Rights bill for it was too little, too late. There is nothing in the proposed legislation that will protect old women and young children involved in peaceful non-violent protests run down by policemen on horseback and chased by dogs. And later I said in the speech: We don’t have anything to be proud of for many of our brothers and sisters cannot be here because they are receiving starvation wages or no wages at all. And I continued to say in the speech something like: “We are now involved in a serious revolution, the Black masses are restless. Some people objected to the word “revolution” and the phrase “Black masses.” Mr. Randolph came to my rescue and said, “There is nothing wrong with the words ‘revolution’ or ‘Black masses’; I use it myself all the time.” So we kept it in the speech. I went on to say: You tell us to wait; you tell us to be patient. We cannot wait; we cannot be patient. ‘Patient’ is a dirty and nasty word. And, I think he was joking but Bayard Rustin said, “John you can’t say www.washingtoninformer.com
that. The Catholic Church believes in being patient.” So that remained in the speech. But near the end of the speech, I said: If we don’t see meaningful progress here today, we will not may be forced to march to the South, the way Sherman did...non-violently. They said, “Oh no, you can’t ry.” We kept that in the speech until we got to the Lincoln Memorial. When we got to the Lincoln Memorial, someone said there is still a problem with your speech. We met on the side of Mr. Lincoln and Mr. James Foreman, executive secretary of SNCC, had a portable typewriter and a young man who went to Howard University, whose name was Courtland Cox, and others started saying what changes can be made. And Mr. Randolph said, “John we have come this far together let’s stay together. Can we change this; can we change that?” And Dr. King said, “John, can we change this, that doesn’t sound like you.” So I agreed to delete the reference to Sherman and a march through the South. I just called out different cities. And in the end I said: Wake up America! Wake Up! Wake Up Mr. President! Wake Up Congress! Let’s
“WE MUST KEEP GOING AND DO WHAT WE CAN TO MAKE THIS COUNTRY AND THE WORLD COMMUNITY BETTER.” – JOHN LEWIS complete the revolution of 1776. And I ended on that note.
child of God. And I think it’s
IS IT IMPORTANT TO ACKNOWLEDGE THE 1963 MARCH ON WASHINGTON?
There are people who are afraid of the future. Embrace it. You cannot stop the tide; you cannot stop the change. In the matter of a short time, the make-up of this country will be very different. In a few short years, the minority will be the majority.
Yes, but not just to relive it or to say we accomplished something, but to be revived. It seems like history and fate are coming together. As we prepare for the 50th anniversary, we have the recent Supreme Court decisions and the jury verdict in the Trayvon Martin case, and it’s saying, in spite of the March on Washington 50 years ago, despite all of the changes and the progress, we are not there yet. Despite all of the scars and the stains of racism, they are still deeply imbedded in American society. In spite of the fact that we have an African American as president of the United States of America, this man, this one man, I think has been treated worse than any president that I have seen in my years. He has been called everything but a
WHAT SHOULD BE THE FOCUS OF THE 50TH ANNIVERSARY MARCH ON WASHINGTON? Fifty years ago it was jobs and freedom. It should be a march for jobs or freedom. We need to put people back to work. But also, it should be about justice. Take the word freedom and insert justice. Freedom to live, freedom to survive without feeling you will become a victim of gun violence. Fifty years later we must be concerned about the environment, saving this little planet we call earth. We have to use what we need and leave the planet a
little better for future generations. Clean water, clean air, food safety should be our focus and not just on bombs, missiles and guns, and spend our resources on education and health care.
FINAL WORDS I hope young people will be inspired that they too can make a contribution; that they, too, can strike a blow against discrimination, against violence, poverty, homelessness and hunger. And, that many of them will emerge as young leaders in the 21st century. We must never, ever think about quitting or stopping. We must never get lost in the sea of despair. We must keep going and do what we can to make this country and the world community better. If we fail to act under our watch, history will not be kind to us. MOW
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the Freedom Gates
Challenging the Official Narrative on the Roles of Women in the Civil Rights Movement By Stacy M. Brown WI Contributing Writer
artin Luther King Jr. Malcolm X. Medgar Evers. The list of men made famous for their involvement in the Civil Rights Movement is long and well-documented. But, what of the women who toiled both at their side and in the background and made equal-
“The number of women who experienced the movement and received no recognition is enormous,” said Michelle Wallace, a professor of English at the City College and Graduate Center of the City University of New York. A feminist author, Wallace, 61, gained fame in 1979 when,
at age 27, she published, “Black Macho and The Myth of The Superwoman,” a book in which she criticized Black Nationalism and sexism. “No Black women spoke during the original March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom in 1963, but women were very important and, later I understand that Myrlie Evers, Medgar’s
widow, was on the program to speak and to talk about the Black women of the movement but she was unable to attend and someone else, a man, took her spot,” Wallace said. The longtime professor laments that television stations repeatedly have broadcast only snippets of the march, and have failed to televise the entire event, something that could shed more light on the role of women in the movement, Wallace said. “I remember watching the March all day. It was an all-day event and it was broadcast live,” she said. “Today, you can’t see it all because the networks own it and they control it and I just don’t know why they won’t show it in its entirety.” Wallace said women who have received less than their fair share of recognition include, the late Coretta Scott-King and Malcolm X’s widow, Betty Shabazz. The list also includes Jo Ann Robinson who headed the Women’s Political Council in protesting the segregation of buses; Rosa Parks, Fannie Lou Hamer of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party; Dorothy Height of the National Council of Negro Women, and Ella Josephine Baker, the civil and human rights advocate who worked alongside W.E.B. Du Bois, Thurgood Marshall, A. Philip Randolph, and King. Baker also mentored Diane Nash, Stokely Carmichael, Parks, and others. “In reality, women were heavi-
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ly involved in the struggle,” Wallace said. “I’m a feminist, but I believe that men, women, and families have to work together for change. As my mother said, so many things remain to be accomplished but it seems that when we take one step forward, we always get pushed back two steps.” The steps backward are evident in the plight of children, said Marian Wright Edelman, president and founder of the Children’s Defense Fund in Northwest Washington, D.C. “Fifty years after the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, we still haven’t creery child. At Dr. King’s death in 1968, when he was calling with urgency for an end to poverty in our nation, there were 25.4 million poor Americans, including 11 million poor children, and our Gross Domestic Product (GDP) was $4.13 trillion,” said Edelman, 74. “Today there are 46.2 million poor people, including 16.1 million poor children, and our GDP is three times larger,” she said. A graduate of Spelman College and Yale Law School, Eldelman began her career in the Black woman admitted to the Mississippi Bar, she directed the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People’s Legal Defense and Educational
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WOMEN continued from Page 12 In l968, she moved to Washington, D.C., as counsel for the Poor People’s Campaign that King organized before his death. Edelman participated in the historic March 50 years ago and plans to join the throngs of others at this year’s commemoration of the landmark event. “Disgracefully, children are the poorest age group in America, and the younger they are the poorer they are. Children of color are most likely to be poor. More than one in three Black children and more than one in three Latino children are poor,” she said. “I believe in America’s promise, and person has a right to a fair survive and thrive. Dr. King is not coming back. He told us what to do. It’s up to us to redeem the soul of America.” Like Edelman, there were many women who worked tirelessly, demanding a social revolution. However, history has mostly overlooked them. www.washingtoninformer.com
“Protest is an essential ingredient in politics. Every generation has to make a dent in the wall of injustice,” said Mary Frances Berry, an expert in civil rights, gender equality and social justice and professor of history at the University of Pennsylvania, who was appointed by President Jimmy Carter to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights in 1980. Berry, 75, left the post in 2004. “Our tasks then during the March in 1963, is our task now. Helping others and helping each other,” she said. Berry noted that she battled civil rights issues. “When I was battling with Jimmy Carter, it was because of what he was doing about the Haitian refugees. He was sending them back in those boats,” she said. “Reagan opposed civil rights laws, so I battled with him. I also battled with Bill Clinton because he wasn’t doing what he was supposed to and he ended welfare as we knew it.” Although historians now acknowledge that women, particularly African Americans, were pivotal in the critical battles for
“THERE’S A CHINESE SAYING, ‘WOMEN HOLD UP HALF THE WORLD. IN THE CASE OF THE CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT, IT’S PROBABLY THREE-QUARTERS OF THE WORLD.”
– JULIAN BOND
racial equality, it wasn’t until [Rosa] Park’s death in 2005 that the females of the civil rights movement began receiving their due. “There were relatively few women in public leadership roles in the 1950s,” said Julian Bond, a civil rights historian at the University of Virginia and former chair of the NAACP. “So, that small subset that becomes prominent in
civil rights would tend to be men. But that doesn’t excuse the way some women have just been written out of history,” said Bond, 73. A quick scan of historical images of the most dramatic moments in the civil rights movement shows women in nearly every photo. Among the more famous, in 1955, Parks refused to give up her bus seat to a white man in Mont-
gomery, Ala., sparking a mass boycott by thousands, mainly Black women domestic workers who seats. “There’s a Chinese saying, ‘Women hold up half the world,”’ Bond said. “In the case of the civil rights movement it’s probably three-quarters of the world.” MOW
MARCH ON WASHINGTON 50TH ANNIVERSARY COMMEMORATIVE EDITION / AUGUST 2013 / M-13
Read More About
the March… Recommended Reading to Learn More about the March on Washington
LIKE A MIGHTY STREAM The March on Washington, one of the 20th century, is remembered in this moment of the Civil Rights Movement. On August 28, 1963, people from all walks of life and socioeconomic backgrounds, races and religions came together to support a national civil rights initiative. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s stirring delivery of his now historic “I Have a Dream” speech signaled a turning point in United States contemporary history for a generation, a nation, and the world. Acclaimed journalist and author Patrik Henry Bass weaves eyewitness accounts, photographs, reporting, and observations into a memorable mosaic of one of the most unforgettable events in American history.
the world a better place. Published by Teaching for Change and PRRAC for pre-K-12 educators, Putting the Movement Back into Civil Rights Teaching is a teaching resource book that emphasizes the power of people through a diversity of stories, perspectives, essays, photographs, graphics, interviews, and interactive and interdisciplinary lessons. The book includes sections on education, labor, citizenship, culture, and Rights Movement. The rationale and purpose of the book are outlined in the Introduction.
THIS IS THE DAY: THE MARCH ON WASHINGTON
By Leonard Freed A stirring photo-essay by photographer Leonard Freed documenting the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom of August 28, 1963, the hisPUTTING THE MOVEMENT BACK INTO toric day on which Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his “I Have a Dream” CIVIL RIGHTS TEACHING Edited by: Jenice View, Alana Mur- speech at the base of the Lincoln Memorial. This book commemorates the ray, and Deborah Menkart The Civil Rights Movement is celebrated in our national narrative as a peo- that ultimately led to the passage of the ple’s struggle for social justice. However, Civil Rights Act of 1964.Accompanying the powerful stories of everyday people organizing and working together for so- stage account of the preparations leadcial change are lost in the teaching of a ing up to the march by social activist and few major heroes and dates. The effect civil rights leader Julian Bond; an essay is disempowering for our current and on the importance of the march and Dr. future generations that hope to make King’s involvement by sociology profes-
sor and author Michael Eric Dyson; and an informative discussion of Freed’s approach to the photographic project by scholar Paul Farber.
NOBODY TURN ME AROUND: A PEOPLE’S HISTORY OF THE 1963 MARCH ON WASHINGTON By Charles Euchner On August 28, 1963, a quarter of a million people converged on the nation’s capital for the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. Martin Luther King, whose I Have a Dream speech highlighted the occasion, called it the greatest demonstration for freedom in the nation’s history. Yale writing instructor Euchner (The Last Nine Innings) presents a pointillist portrait of the occasion, drawing material from historical records and taking oral histories from more than 100 participants. Although 1963 was the 100th anniversary of Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, racial segregation remained deeply entrenched in the nagoal of the march was to desegregate restaurants and hotels. With deft brushstrokes, Euchner not only captures the myriad dimensions of the march itself but places it in its larger historical context, including the escalating war in Vietnam. MOW
THE POWER TO TURN A DREAM
INTO REALITY. We are proud to honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on this very special 50th anniversary. We continue to be inspired by his words and actions as we work together for the benefit of the communities we serve.
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Anniversary of Historic March
Conjures Memories Participants in Original Event Reflect on Civil Rights Movement, King By Stacy M. Brown WI Contributing Writer
Photos courtesy of Beverly Cowser, seen in top photo.
enice Tyree remembers leaving her home off of Maryland Avenue in Northeast Washington, D.C., early on the morning of Aug. 28, 1963. Just 15, the teen would join the throngs who were to witness history unfold before their very eyes. “It was exhilarating, sitting there listening to the entertainment and then to Martin Luther King. When it was over, I walked back home and, I guess, I became a civil rights activist,” said Tyree, who joined the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), one of the organizers of the civil rights movement in the 1960s.
Tyree later signed up with the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and then worked as an equal employment opportunity specialist. She now lives in Waldorf, Md. “I covered the original march as a summer photography intern for the Westport Town Crier, a small weekly newspaper in Westport, Conn.,” said B.D. Coleman, a retired photojournalist. “I had just turned 17 and the week before the march, my parents drove me to the New Haven Railroad station to catch the 2:30 a.m. train and to join up with a group from Westport,” Coleman, 67, said. Coleman said he will attend this year’s anniversary, mostly because of
the wonderful memories that are still very much etched in his mind. “I can still feel the heat, the humidity, and the hope that dominated that day so long ago,” he said. “I remember sitting on the edge of the northwest corner of the Rethe water, listening to those words of Martin Luther King that now belong to history. Of all the events I experienced in my life, and I was at literally every anti-war demonstration in Washington, D.C., the March on Washington is the single event of which I always say proudly that I was there.” More than 200,000 people of all ethnicities and ages took part in
the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. Organized by a number of civil rights groups and religious organizations, the march was designed to shed light on the political and social challenges African Americans faced across the country. By 1963, the centennial of the Emancipation Proclamation, most of the goals of earlier civil rights protests still had not been realized. High levels of black unemployment, work that offered most African Americans only minimal wages and poor job mobility, systematic disenfranchisement of many African Americans, and the persistence of racial segregation in the South prompted discussions about a large scale march for political and economic justice. After notifying President John F. Kennedy of their intent, the leaders of the major civil rights organizations set the march date for Aug. 28 with the goals of the protest to include, a comprehensive civil rights bill that would do away with segregated public accommodations; protection of the right to vote; mechanisms for seeking redress of violations of constitutional rights; desegregation of all public schools in 1963; a massive federal works program to train and place unemployed workers; and a Federal Fair Employment Practices Act barring discrimination in all employment. Ultimately, the landmark event became a key moment in the struggle for civil rights in America. The march famously culminated with King’s, “I Have a Dream,” speech, a spirited call for racial
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justice and equality. To help mark the 50th anniversary of the occasion, scores of people are planning to travel to the Nation’s Capital from various cities and states, including individuals who took part in the original march. Marc Morial, the president of the National Urban League in New York said he expects crowds at the anniversary remembrance to rival that of the original march, particularly given recent legislation striking down the Voting Rights Act. “There were 250,000 people in 1963 who attended the march,” Morial said. “It remains to be seen this time, but these recent events have been an encouragement for more people to attend.” Five civil rights groups took part in the original march, but Morial promises many more will be in the District this year, including the National Council of Churches in New York and the National Park Service in Northwest Washington, D.C. Helping to shape the agenda for the anniversary of the march is Rev. Al Sharpton’s National Action Network, which has 40 chapters across the country. New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, Comptroller Bill de Blasio, and another Big Apple mayoral hopeful, Bill Thompson, are each seeking Sharpton’s endorsement and have agreed to join the minister in Washington, D.C. for the event. Additionally, The White House has announced that President Barack
See MEMORIES on Page 18 www.washingtoninformer.com
“Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy.” - DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR.
M A C Y ’ S C O M M E M O R AT E S T H E 5 0 T H A N N I V E R S A R Y O F T H E G R E AT M A R C H O N WA S H I N G TO N
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MEMORIES continued from Page 16 Obama will deliver remarks on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. Arnold Krupat, a retired musician, also will be counted among those visiting the District to mark the historic occasion. Krupat, 71, recalled boarding a bus at Union Square in New York 50 years ago with union organizers, civil rights and peace activists. “I remember I was just 21, coming to Washington and going past these poor black neighborhoods with people on their porches cheering. That produced such an unbelievable feeling,” he said. “As we got off the bus, an older black man who had gotten off another bus came up to me and with a big smile asked if I had a match. I apologized and told him that I didn’t smoke. He hugged me, smiled and said, ‘Bless you, son.’” Krupat said he remembered listening to Bob Dylan and Peter, Paul and Mary sing on that monumental day. “And, I heard a black preacher named King, a name I didn’t recognize, say, ‘I have a dream.’ On the way back to New York, I was full of great memories.” MOW
“I WAS THERE…” By Denise Rolark Barnes WI Writer
Beverly Cowser, a retired D.C. public school teacher, was only 18 years old when she came to the District for the famous March. She paid $24 to take her home in Raleigh, North Carolina. “I had worked all summer and decided I was going to Washington, D.C. I wasn’t fully conscious of what was going on. Really, I didn’t have a clue. But I realized in time what the march was all about. Everything was so exciting to me. (l-r) Ruby Gaines, Sadie J. Hawkins and Jean Peterson Jones It was surreal,” Cowser said. Similarly, at 19, former Ward 8 Councilmember Sandy Allen said the civil rights struggle had already been a part of her life in D.C. She attended the March because she “wanted to be a part of history,” she said. She rode the bus from Southeast to the Mall, where she was “shocked to see the multitude of people.” “Dr. Martin Luther King was going to talk about freedom for Black people and civil rights and it was exciting to see people from every walk of life gathered together for the same purpose.” Sadie J. Hawkins, 76, moved to Washington, D.C. in her early 20s seeking better employment opportunities. In her hometown of Tuscaloosa, Ala., everything was segregated and a lot of the better jobs were not offered to Blacks. She landed a job at the U.S. Census Bureau where she worked until she retired. Hawkins said she heard about the March and wanted to see what was happening. “I was single and I wanted to be a part of it and I wanted to see history. I actually saw Dr. King. It was just a good feeling to be there. A lot of people had their children. A lot of people were from out of town. But everyone was on one accord.” Jean Peterson Jones had similar memories, but was most astounded by number of actors and entertainers, including Harry Belafonte, in the crowd. “I saw Marlon Brando,” the West Virginia native said. “He winked at me,” she noted, with a smile. I stayed there the entire time and when it was over, I got back on the city bus and went home.” She’s shared her experience with her children and grandchildren, she said. She also remembers talking about that historic day with some of her co-workers back at the job at the Defense Department where she worked after moving to D.C. in 1951. Jones, 79, believes the March had an encouraging impact on the race. “It was the beginning of a lot of positive things that happened for us [Blacks]. It’s up to the young people now to carry on the work started by Dr. King,” Jones said. Ruby Gaines was a wife and a mother of two small children when she attended the March with her husband and their children in tow. “We didn’t expect this large crowd, but it was so exciting; very upbeat. The event made you very proud to be an American and proud of Dr. King because he was such a dynamic speaker. It felt like a large family. It’s been 50 years, but if feels like it was yesterday.” graders her experience at the March on Washington. “I always tell everyone young and old: ‘I was there. I was there,’.”
Also see 1963: Civil Rights at 50, highlighting news coverage of key civil rights events from 1963.
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Washington, D.C. • newseum.org www.washingtoninformer.com
How the Big Six Fight for Jobs and Freedom Continues continued activism. Ross, 68, president of the Prince George’s County branch For any detractors who think of the National Association for major civil rights organizations the Advancement of Colored are irrelevant, Bob Ross says re- People (NAACP), said civil rights cent developments that adversely organizations are needed more affect African Americans are a than ever. “If that was the case – that not-too-subtle reminder of the need for these organizations’ we’re irrelevant – all these orgaBy Barrington M. Salmon WI Staff Writer
nizations would not still be in- NAACP has a six-week backlog for membership.” The NAACP, other traditional and human rights in this country,” said Ross, who’s headed civil rights organizations, unions, the chapter since 2011. “Since individuals and organizations [the] Trayvon Martin [verdict], who are concerned about justice, and the Supreme Court’s deci- freedom and equal rights will - gather on the National Mall on mative action, the organization’s the morning of Aug. 24 to celemembership is skyrocketing. The brate the 50th anniversary of the
historic March on Washington. In 1963, more than 250,000 people descended on the Mall for the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. Organizers and the civil rights groups they represented were the (Roy Wilkins) NAACP, Congress on Racial
See BIG SIX on Page 20
50 YEARS AND THE DREAM LIVES ON DC Lottery proudly commemorates the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington.
MARCH ON WASHINGTON 50TH ANNIVERSARY COMMEMORATIVE EDITION / AUGUST 2013 / M-19
BIG SIX continued from Page 19 Equality (James Farmer), Southern Christian Leadership Conference (the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.), the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters (Asa Phillip Randolph), the National Urban League (Whitney M. Young). And while he didn’t represent one particular organization, activist Bayard Rustin was one of the event’s primary strategists. Ross said his chapter works closely people and organizations on issues of common concern. Members work with school administrators, addressing problems and challenges so that children have the proper environment in which to learn. ent and most educated African-American community in the country with failing schools. It makes no sense,” said Ross. “Seventy percent of kids are on free and reduced lunches – some kind
“THE PROBLEM IS THAT OUR PEOPLE HAVE BEEN ASLEEP TOO LONG. WE WENT TO SLEEP BUT THE SUPREME COURT DECISION AND TRAYVON MARTIN INCIDENT HAVE AWAKENED INDIVIDUALS. THEY REALIZE THEY HAVE TO GO BACK TO THEIR ROOTS.”
– BOB ROSS, CHAPTER PRESIDENT, NAACP PRINCE GEORGE’S COUNTY, MD.
of assistance. Kids can’t go to school hungry. And high school kids, a lot of them won’t take it because of the stigma.” “We have some issues – in college, for example, some young people are $100,000 in debt. College wasn’t designed to do that. With that kind of debt, you go
a job. A person would do better going to trade school or vocational school. Education is for your own personal development. Kids are coming out with degrees but no the skill set.” Ross said “people don’t know how to teach our children” and he and Shelton talked about the need for black children to be
ON THE POTOMAC PRODUCTIONS AND THE CIESLA FOUNDATION PRESENTS “Reflections on Jewish and African American Civil Rights Alliance” At NYU – DC Global Academic Center
taught by teachers who understand and care for them. He said he’s excited at the new energy that is infusing the civil and human rights movement. “The problem is that our people have been asleep too long. We went to sleep but the Supreme Court decision and Trayvon Martin incident have awakened individuals. They realize they have to go back to their roots.” Avis Jones-DeWeever, an authority on race and gender in the American economy, said African Americans face many of the same challenges their forebears did 50 years ago. “I think that it’s ironic,” said Jones-DeWeever, 44. “I think
battles we thought we’d won in the criminal justice and voting arenas. Unfortunately, it seems to be gaining in momentum.”
creation, small business development, and lobbying to ensure that student loan fees remain low. The NAACP is also working to reduce gun access and gun violence. “The NAACP worked to pass the Brady Bill in 1994 and the assault weapons ban in 1995,” said Shelton. “America has a serious problem with guns in this country. The gun lobby says guns kill people but people with guns kill people. We’ll reduce the amount of deaths if we reduce people’s access to guns.” Jones-DeWeever, however does not believe that the race has been asleep. “I’m not sure that we fell asleep, but there were some unintended consequences to integration such as community dispersal and the elevation of cultural
chipped away and so many challenges we’re facing today, are issues we hoped we’d have been further along on,” said Jones-Deweever, president and CEO of Incite Unlimited, LLC., and an expert in issues of privilege, power, and policy in the US and elsewhere. “Given racism’s particularly destructive, violent and evil reality, it is something with which this nation doesn’t want to wrestle. They want to celebrate small advances and ignore larger realities.” Hilary Shelton, director of the NAACP’s Washington Bureau and senior vice president for policy and advocacy, said his organization has input and policy and programmatic involvement in a range of issues such as job
We have also embraced individual traits which are very different from our culture. Integration has meant the acceptance of individualism and materialism which meant the detriment of our communal advancement,” she said. While they believe African Americans must remain vigilant, the trio said they remain hopeful. “The struggle is going on now but we have had a lot of victories,” said Shelton. We’ve taken two steps forward, one step back. We had the march in 1963 and the Voting Rights Act was passed in 1965. The Supreme Court pushed us back on one provision but we’re achieving a lot, getting the job done.” MOW
things today. It’s particularly tell-
1307 L Street NW, Washington DC 20005 August 27, 2013 | 9 am – 1 pm is a panel discussion forum which will focus on Jewish and African American constitutencies who supported the March on Washington and the Civil Rights movement. The forum will also discuss the evolution of African American and Jewish alliances including best practices, current challenges, the rpesent relationship and future opportunities. Leaders of African American and Jewish communities in the industries of law and public policy, media and education will participate. Confirmed participants include: Susannah Heschel Eli Black Professor at Dartmouth Matt Nosanchuk Associate Director and Jewish Liaison, White House Office of Public Engagement Frank Smith Chairman, DC Host Committee for the March on Washington Commemoration Rabbi Dresner Freedom Rider and Friend of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Johnny Taylor CEO and President, Thurgood Marshall College Fund Aviva Kempner Producer, Rosenwald Schools Documentary Eleanor Norton Holmes Congresswoman for District of Columbia
M-20 /AUGUST 2013 / MARCH ON WASHINGTON 50TH ANNIVERSARY COMMEMORATIVE EDITION
“A living wage should be the right of all working Americans.”-MLK
Tell Mayor Gray to Honor MLK’s legacy &
sign the LRAA! text: “HONOR” to 698-898* *RespectDC will never charge you for messages but MSg&Data rates may apply from your carrier. www.RespectDC.org
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Salutes the 50th Anniversary of The March on Washington
CSPAC_WashInformer_081513_Layout 1 8/3/13
The 50th anniversary of the nation’s largest peaceful protest offers a unique opportunity to revisit our past to chart a new course 12:28 PM Page 1 forward.
Renewing a 50 year old call for economic justice By Nikitra Bailey
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 5, 2013 . 6–9PM FREE . To RSVP visit umdmarcheson.org
Keynote: Why the March on Washington Still Resonates Today
Julian Bond, speaker; Introduced by UMD student Jazz Lewis
Observing the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington and the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, the symposium will be both commemorative and forward-looking. Hosted by the Clarice Smith Center, in partnership with the UMD School of Public Policy and the UMD School of Public Health, the symposium is the launch of The National Civil War Project at the Center. With the Civil War as the genesis of the Civil Rights Movement in this country, scholarly presentations and stimulating artistic experiences will examine issues of the Civil War through the lens of our nation’s civil rights struggles. It will place the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom in its historic context, both as the culmination of the struggle since the Emancipation Proclamation and as the stage-setting for a new generation of civil rights issues that reveal the important — but often hidden — inequalities of our time.
National Symposium presented by the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center in partnership with the
Liz Lerman, choreographer, speaker, MacArthur fellow; Vincent Thomas, choreographer, dancer and educator
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 6, 2013 . 10AM–5:30PM FREE . To RSVP visit umdmarcheson.org 10AM TERPTALKS: Jobs and Freedom: How Far Have We Come? Preceded by creative framing for the day with Liz Lerman, choreographer, speaker and author; Vincent Thomas, choreographer, dancer and educator; Don Kettl, Dean, UMD School of Public Policy
12:30PM And the March Continues… A conversation with UMD student activists Raaheela Ahmed, Ola Ojewumi, Andrew Mulinge, Sarah Ferrell. Facilitated by Truman Scholar and UMD student Mohammad Zia
Lunch available for purchase. RSVP on our website: umdmarcheson.org
Rights, Equality and the American Dream
Panelists: Rev. Dr. Joanne Braxton, College of William and Mary; Judith Browne Dianis, founder of the Advancement Project; Peter Edelman, Center on Poverty, Inequality, and Public Policy at American University; Rev. Dr. Christine Wiley, Covenant Baptist United Church of Christ. Kojo Nnamdi, moderator. Introduced by UMD student Ben Simon
UMD School of Public Policy and Maryland Center for Health Equity at UMD School of Public Health.
Keynote by Marian Wright Edelman: Still Marching: The Work That Lies Ahead
Introduced by UMD student Raaheela Ahmed; Preceded by creative framing by Liz Lerman and Vincent Thomas
Marching Forward: A Call to Action by Touré
Introduced by UMD student Jazz Lewis
CHRISTIAN MCBRIDE BIG BAND
HERITAGE SIGNATURE CHORALE THE MOVEMENT REVISITED
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 6, 2013 . 8PM Dekelboum Concert Hall . $40/$32 subscriber
The Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s changed America. Since that time, the movement has inspired millions of people to work for human rights causes. In 1988, jazz bassist Christian McBride composed The Movement Revisited, a four-part suite dedicated to four major figures of the Civil Rights Movement: Rosa Parks, Malcolm X, Muhammad Ali and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. McBride will kick off the Center’s 2013–2014 season with a new incarnation of The Movement Revisited performed by his Big Band and Washington DC’s Heritage Signature Chorale with spoken word selections by special guests, including civil rights activist and artist Harry Belafonte.
EXTRAORDINARY MINDS . EXTRAORDINARY STORIES
To RSVP to the Symposium or buy tickets to Christian McBride’s Big Band performance visit umdmarcheson.org The National Civil War Project is a multi-city, multi-year collaboration between four universities and five performing arts organizations to create original works and innovative academic programming inspired by the 150th anniversary of the Civil War.
The 50th anniversary of the nation’s largest peaceful protest offers a unique opportunity to revisit our past to chart a new course forward. Ironically, the 1963 theme of jobs and justice is just as relevant today – especially when it comes to accessing responsible mortgage credit. The historical and systemic practices that excluded quali-
the biggest factor affecting the racial wealth gap. mortgages have already proven
stability through standard practices for underwriting and servicing. Consumer pride grew as home equity rose year to year. Many families eventually earned the chance to own their home free and clear, transforming what began as a mortmortgages and other forms gage to become the bedrock of credit led to the enactment for family wealth. That is the American Dream of federal fair lending laws. Even with these legal protections enacted in the 1960s, Af- 2013. Just as the 1963 marchers rican-Americans in 2013 still envisioned a better America, so too must this generation. We Our research at the Cen- must wage strategic and foter for Responsible Lending cused efforts to force policyfound that more than two mil- makers to enact reforms that lion families lost their homes and families lost $2 billion of just the wealthy. wealth during the foreclosure We have already seen the dicrisis. More than $1 billion of sastrous effects of little or no this lost wealth was borne by communities of color, includ- know that the ‘trickle-down’ ing owners of homes that are theory of economics has failed nearby foreclosed properties. to bring real wealth to AfriAfrican-American and Latino can-Americans as a whole. communities often received Rather than wait for others to subprime high-interest, risky mortgages during the mortgage shape our futures and destinies, boom even when their incomes we must seize the moment to and credit scores were compa- speak and act in our own rable to those of whites. Latino self-interests: Preserve access to affordable and African-American borrow30-year mortgage credit; ers were respectively 2.8 and Prevent government-man2.3 times more likely to have dated down payment rereceived a mortgage loan with a risky feature with a higher quirements that would lock propensity for foreclosure such low-wealth families out of obas a pre-payment penalty than taining mainstream mortgages; other borrowers. and While families and commuEnsure broad market access nities struggle to recover from their tremendous lost wealth, portunity for homeownership. no community should be left Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. behind. All Americans deserve spoke of a check that had been nancial recovery. A large part Let 2013 be the year that this of what we need for recovery check is good and full economis ensuring that government policies preserve access to af- ic justice starts to arrive. fordable mortgage credit going Nikitra Bailey is an Executive forward. Without that access, the nation’s racial wealth gap Vice-President with the Center for will only grow wider. A recent Responsible Lending (CRL). CRL is report by Brandeis University’s a research and economic justice policy Thomas Shapiro demonstrates advocacy organization. She can be that the homeownership gap reached at Nikitra.bailey@responsiamong demographic groups is blelending.org
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The Humanities Council of Washington, DC “Soul of the City” Program
1963: Raising the Conscience of a Nation
he Humanities Council of Washington, DC annually offers its youth-leadership development program, Soul of the City (SOTC). Since 2011, the Council has partnered with the D.C. Department of Human Services and works with its’ Summer Youth Employees to conduct SOTC. This year, marks the 50th anniversary of a climactic year of the Civil Rights Movement and a watershed moment in America’s history. In an that history, the Council has focused its SOTC program on the events that occurred across the nation in 1963. This year, Soul of the City participants took on the monumental task of learning about leadership through the lens of Civil Rights Activists. Youth participants in Soul of the City took part in an Oral History project that focused on 1963. As a result, participants had the from key individuals that were involved in the Civil Rights Movement and the March on Washington. Over a four week period this summer, students were engaged in lectures, workshops, enrichhistory project. Along the way, participants were guided by SOTC Lead scholar, Dr. Maurice Jackson, Associate Professor at Georgetown University and
Michael L. Chambers, II SOTC Program Director. Conducting their own Oral History Project is where students really began to thrive and exhibit their own leadership skills. Students were assigned to teams in which they researched and developed their own interview questions for Civil Rights Activists that were involved with the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). Once prepared, participants were able to interview Mr. Courtland Cox, Ms. Dorie Ladner, Congressman John Lewis (D-Ga.) and Ms. Sharlene Kranz. The Council applauds the work of the 2013 Class of SOTC Participants : Andrew Baskerville, Tytesha Bookard, Shakera Bullock, Brandon Cuevas, D’Angelo Dunlap, Karen Hamilton, Delonte Jackson, Karisa Johnson, Marquan Lancaster, Janeya Lee, Ida Lightfoot, Eric Lindsey, Tecora Mickle, Tyler Richardson, Donte Roberts, Asia Steele, Jamal Sunkins, Rashad Yarbrough, and Monae Young. Segments of their Oral History project will be compiled into a documentary commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the landmark March on Washington! Please stay in touch with the Council for further details on this in the future. For more information on Soul of the City or other programs and grants we offer, please contact us at 202387-8391 or visit us at www.wdchumanities.org
Done Roberts and Brandon Cuevas SOTC Participants that were Co-Lead Interviewers for the team assigned to Congressman John Lewis. Photo at his office on Capitol Hill /Photo Credit: Joana Zhao
SOUL of the City program viewing the One Life: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. exhibit at the National Portrait Gallery from left to right: Intern, Deborah Hillburn, Michael L. Chambers, II, SOTC Program Director, SOTC Participants: Karen Hamilton, Jamal Sumkins, Janeya Lee, Rashad Yarborough, Brandon Cuevas, Asia Steele, D’Angelo Dunlap, Donte Roberts, Shakera Bullock, Karisa Johnson, Tyler Richardson, Marquan Lancaster, Eric Lindsey and Dr. Maurice Jackson, SOTC Lead Scholar/ Photo Credit: Joana Zhao
THE HUMANITIES COUNCIL OF WASHINGTON, DC IN PARTNERSHIP WITH THE ANDREW YOUNG FOUNDATION AND CRP INC. PRESENT “1963: RAISING THE CONSCIENCE OF A NATION” A SPECIAL COMMEMORATIVE PROGRAM HONORING THE 50TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE MARCH ON WASHINGTON. THE PROGRAM WILL CONSIST OF A FILM SCREENING AND DISCUSSION FEATURING AMBASSADOR ANDREW YOUNG, MONDAY, AUGUST 26, 2013 5:30 PM AT HOGAN LOVELLS, 555 13TH STREET NW, 13TH FLOOR, WASHINGTON, DC 20004. TO ATTEND, PLEASE RSVP ONLINE WWW.HUMANITIES1963. EVENTBRITE.COM OR CALL 202-387-8391.
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Published on Aug 20, 2013