47th Anniversary of “The March on Washington”……….Aug. 28, 2010
47th Annual Celebration of The March on Washington
Saturday, August 28th 2010
100 years following the Emancipation Proclamation which abolished Slavery and was to set the course for freedom and equal rights, August 28, 1963 was established as the date Negroes, Whites and others would converge on Washington D.C. to highlight the Negro in particular was in fact, NOT FREE. To bring laser focus on the urgency of the moment, out of respect to remind the nation, organizers used the murders of Emmett Till (murdered on 8/28/55) and Freedom Fighters, James Chaney, a 21-year-old black man from Meridian, Mississippi; Andrew Goodman, a 20-year-old white Jewish anthropology student from New York; and Michael Schwerner, a 24-year-old white Jewish CORE organizer and former social worker also from New York as the backdrop to awaken the nation. While supposedly free, Negroes as a whole were mired in abject poverty, poor education, lack of solid employment opportunities and other stifling roadblocks which made life deplorable.
The march in 1963 was targeted to address these issues and more. Following the event, Negroes were transformed to Blacks and many moved forward, economically and politically, as there was no magic that as long as people were afforded education and access, a higher quality of life would be the end result.
Fast forward to 2010, Blacks now commonly known as African-Americans are seeing a post 1963 environment repeat itself; Unemployment at record levels, overt discrimination from the majority, an educational system which has been defined as broken, attitudes which insist Civil Rights is over or “everything is OK now” and we are in a post racial atmosphere where everyone is equal, on and on and on. In other words the gains made following 1963 have been stunted and 47 years later, thanks to the leadership of the Rev. Al Sharpton and his National Action Network as well as other supporters from around the nation, the 47th Anniversary of the March on Washington has taken on a new and more defined meaning.
Just as the Civil War was fought to abolish Slavery, many from the minority or confederate states would not let the fight die and from Reconstruction forward, some Whites continued to defy that Blacks were not equal and wanted to maintain the custom which kept them the majority. They perceived their custom or way of life more important than sharing resources to insure all would benefit. In particular Education and Employment were two simple issues where some Whites refused to bend and even though legislation after legislation has been enacted, the custom of the way it was, manages to keep rearing it’s ugly head. So while some confuse the notion of integration, the primary strategy or definition as outlined by Mr. Phillip Randolph and Dr. King was THE SHARING OF RESOURCES. The viciousness our nation has witnessed since Slavery was abolished is incredible – anger and blatant disregard for fellow citizens who simply wanted to VOTE, gain EMPLOYMENT, live in a decent HOME, shop and spend money on QUALITY GOODS. We are not talking about robbing or conducting some sort of criminal activity but again some are hell bent on maintaining a custom or as the case of today, proclaiming to Take One’s Country back, simply because among key issues, there is an African-American as President, yet all the years past when systemic issues were destroying our country, there was absolutely no dissent or worry about policies or financial considerations. Or if they were, it was done quietly so many ask…….What is the real reason people in the minority cannot support the leader of our country????
So, in 2010 just like in 1963, there is great anticipation and uncertainty as our nation had never witnessed a march which we have come to celebrate, so 47 years later people are called to pay homage to the original march, but participate out of a need which has caused some to give up hope but for many, they realize their voices must be heard, once again. Many were not born or could not attend the ’63 March and while nearly 2.5 million celebrated on the National Mall during President Obama’s 2009 inauguration, this event is designed for conscious people from around the nation to gather their resources and let their presence be felt. Hopefully you will be 1 of the thousands projected to attend.
postscript. In addition to lots of solid documentation on the original March, as well as the Civil War and other issues, you are encouraged to pick up a copy of “Nobody Turn Me Around – A People’s History of the 1963 March on Washington” – Charles Euchner – published 6/2010