March on Washington/Martin Luther King Jr.
On August 5th, 1963, a huge event took place dealing with the Civil Rights movement. In Washington D.C. 200,000 assembled to peacefully protest, both blacks and whites, for equal rights of all citizens, no matter the color. The Civil Rights Act was in congress, the act was programmed to make segregation illegal no matter what gender or race. Part of the March’s agenda was to get the word of Civil Rights across so Congress would approve the act, instead of leave it sit in Congress for a while. The March was organized by many Civil Rights groups and activists, and religious groups as well that believed everyone should be treated equally.
The March on Washington was extremely successful, one of the main speakers at the event was Martin Luther King Jr. Martin Luther King Jr. was a African American advocate of rights for all people. King Jr. promoted protest through peace, and did not believe violence would solve any matter in the fight for equality. Martin Luther King presented a famous speech called “I have a dream” during the March on Washington. The speech consisted of King Jr. speaking of “having a dream” that whites and blacks children could hold hands together, play together, and mainly coexist with each other happily. The same went for “having a dream” that businesses and schools would be desegregated. Martin Luther King Jr.’s iconic speech touched the whole nation, many felt that desegregation could actually happen and blacks and whites can live happily together. The speech was the highlight of the March on Washington.
Although Martin Luther King Jr.’s speech was the main event of the March on Washington, there were other speakers in D.C. at the same time as well including Josephine Barker, an African American woman who was the first African American female to be in a major picture film. Also, singer Bob Dylan performed.
The March on Washington was on live media coverage so the nation could see the non-violent protest first hand. Americans could see the struggles the African Americans have to face day by day just by watching their television. Many Americans were moved by their struggles, while others still felt as though African Americans could never have the same rights as whites, and these people caused agony to the African Americans for more years to come. The March was important because it showed how many people were willing to fight for Civil Rights, black or white, and it provided hope for the future, for if all these people could rally for equality why couldn’t they change a law? Equality felt so near to the African Americans, and it was closer than ever before.
History.com. (1996). History.com. Retrieved from http://www.history.com/topics/march-on-washington
Luther, M. (2008, 4 15). Martin luther king online. Retrieved from http://www.mlkonline.net/dream.html