March on Washington: Demonstration for Freedom Continues


Watch documentary footage from 1963, to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington. At this year’s ceremony in DC, Republican politicians opted to stay home. Maybe they all had prior engagements…

March on Washington, civil rights, freedom

Civil rights leader Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. on the Mall in Washington, D.C. during the “March on Washington,” August 28, 1963. King said the march was “the greatest demonstration of freedom in the history of the United States.” (AFP/Getty Images)

The March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, one of the largest human rights rallies in US history, took place 50 years ago in Washington, D.C. Martin Luther King Jr. spoke, delivering his famous “I Have a Dream” speech. Gospel legend Mahalia Jackson sang “How I Got Over.” Joan Baez sang “We Shall Overcome,” the anthem of the civil rights movement, while Bob Dylan performed “When the Ship Comes In” and Odetta sang “I’m On My Way.”

In 1964, the director James Blue released a documentary called The March. Produced under the auspices of the United States Information Agency, the film proved to be a “visually stunning, moving, and arresting documentary of the hope, determination, and camaraderie embodied by the demonstration.” And while the film initially sparked some controversy (read the account here), it has had a big impact on audiences inside and outside the US throughout the decades.

One hundred years ago, President Abraham Lincoln declared that all slaves would henceforward be set free. Now [1963], both black and white Americans prepare to march on Washington DC, to say that a century later the black man still was not completely free. “If I am not free, you are not free, if one man on earth is partly enslaved, this world is not completely free.”  — “The March” A Documentary By James Blue

Fifty years later, the need to demonstrate for freedom continues, as the lessons of the past seem domed to repeat themselves. Racism? Check. Inequality? Unemployment? Check. Voting rights? Check again. The list seems endless.

March on Washington, blondcounty

Fox News Channel’s Bill O’Reilly said the Republicans made a mistake in not bothering to attend the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington. Ya’ think?

Via Open Culture

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About Jerry Collamer

Jerry Collamer is a creative communications specialist. Backgrounds in National Advertising and Television Communication. Writer. Artist. Native Californian with a world-view career arch. Pragmatic and common sense urban activist -- co-founder of Wild Heritage Planners.