Вы находитесь на странице: 1из 6

Kevin Blanco

History 1700
12/13/16
Historical Event Position Paper
Historical Event Position Paper: March on Washington for Jobs
and Freedom
On August 28th, 1963 a political rally known as the March on
Washington for Jobs and Freedom or simply the March on Washington
attracted more than 200,000 Americans to bring attention to the issues
African Americans were facing in America. The March on Washington
was the most significant event that has shaped America into the nation
it is today for a couple of reasons. The first reason is the march
advocated for the passage of the Civil Rights Act, which has brought
equality for African Americans as well as other groups in a variety of
ways. The second reason is the march showed that Americans could
unite together to make a change, which is ever present today, such as
the movement of Black Lives Matter. The March on Washington was
a representation of a coalition of several civil rights organizations, the
Big Six, six organizers from different civil rights organizations made
the march possible but Martin Luther King Jr. of the Southern Christian
Leadership Conference had one of the biggest impacts.
The March on Washington took place on August 28th, 1963 and is
known as the most famous civil rights demonstration. Over 200,000
Americans, both black and white gathered outside the Lincoln
Memorial in Washington D.C. to bring light to the challenges African
Americans faced in America and pressure President John F. Kennedy to
pass the Civil Rights Act that was stalled in Congress. According to
Ross (2015), The stated demands of the march were the passage of
meaningful civil rights legislation; the elimination of racial segregation
in public schools; protection for demonstrators against police brutality;
a major public-works program to provide jobs; the passage of law
prohibiting racial discrimination in public and private hiring; a $2 an
hour minimum wage; and self-government for the District of Columbia,
which has a black majority (Coalition section, para. 2). These
demands were represented in the March on Washington by a coalition
of several civil rights organizations, highlighted by the Big Six, six
organizers from each organization, James Farmer, of the Congress of
Racial Equality (CORE); Martin Luther King Jr., of the Southern Christian
Leadership Conference (SCLC); John Lewis, of the Student Nonviolent
Coordinating Committee (SNCC); A. Philip Randolph, of the Brotherhood
of Sleep Car Porters; Roy Wilkins, of the National Association for the
Advancement of Colored People (NAACP); and Whitney Young Jr., of the
National Urban League (Jones, 2015). Despite each organization
having different approaches and agendas when it came to civil rights,

they were able to come together to bring an end to racial inequality in


America.
The march is officially known as the March on Washington for
Jobs and Freedom because it was advocating for the passage of the
Civil Rights Act, which called for an end to segregation in public places
and employment discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex
or national origin. President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Civil Rights
Act of 1964 into law on July 2, 1964 and is something African
Americans still benefit from today. The passage of the Civil Rights Act
of 1964 was a result of the March on Washington and helped shape
America today. It is because of this act that blacks have the same
rights as whites in America. This act allowed America to became the
true Land of Opportunity that we see today. The ability for blacks and
whites to co-exist as well as blacks to prosper in America today is a
result of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Though African Americans are
highlighted in these issues, the act brought equality for all races and
lead to further legislation regarding race rights. According to
History.com, The Civil Rights Act was later expanded to bring disabled
Americans, the elderly and women in collegiate athletics under its
umbrella. It also paved the way for two major follow-up laws: the
Voting Rights Act of 1965, which prohibited literacy tests and other
discriminatory voting practices, and the Fair Housing Act of 1968,
which banned discrimination in the sale, rental and financing of
property (After the Civil Rights Act section, para. 1). The push for the
passage of the first Civil Rights Act led to the equality of rights we see
in America today by all people, it is because of the March on
Washington that America benefits from equality for all people.
The March on Washington also displayed the ability of Americans
to unite together to make a change no matter the walk of life they
originate from; this demonstration displayed the power of Americans to
put their differences aside and stand together for the right thing. The
idea of unity among Americans is important because this idea is well
displayed today. For example the movement known as Black Lives
Matter has taken America by storm, a movement that stands against
violence and racism against black people. This movement exemplifies
the same principles shown in the March on Washington, it is a group of
Americans from all walks of life uniting as one to make a difference in
America. It is the power of the people that is significant in what
America stands for today, equality for everyone and respect for the
democratic process. The March on Washington showed Americans can
make a difference for injustices if they stand together, which is
something we see today, Black Lives Matter is only one example.
Lastly, Martin Luther King Jr. of the Southern Christian Leadership
Conference was a prominent figure during the March on Washington. A
significant figure that has helped shape America into the nation it is
today, he has a federal holiday because of his impact on America,

every third Monday of January each year is known as Martin Luther


King Jr. Day. Dr. King was a non-violent civil disobedience advocate who
created the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and arose as a
public figure after the success of the Montgomery Bus Boycott. Dr. King
solidified his status when he delivered his most famous I Have a
Dream speech at the March on Washington calling for an end to racial
injustice. Dr. King led many civil rights demonstrations and played a
huge role in the equality of rights in America today.
In conclusion, the March on Washington was the most significant
event that shaped America into the nation it is today. The passage of
the Civil Rights Act of 1964 led to additional legislation that has given
all walks of life including African Americans equal rights in America
today. The power of the people displayed through the March on
Washington is present today in social movements such as Black Lives
Matter. The ability of Americans to put their differences aside, to unite,
and initiate a change is something America sees everyday.
Furthermore the March on Washington solidified Martin Luther King Jrs
legacy in American history as a civil rights leader. Overall because of
the reasons and people discussed in this essay I believe the March on
Washington to be the most significant event in shaping America into
the nation it is today.

Works Cited
A&E Television Networks. (2016). March on Washington. Retrieved from
http://www.history.com/topics/black-history/march-on-washington
Ross, Shmuel. (n.d.). Civil Rights March on Washington. Retrieved from
http://www.infoplease.com/spot/marchonwashington.html

Reflection
Despite the fact that the March on Washington took place in
1963, over 50 years ago, it is still very relevant in America today. The
March on Washington led to the passing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964,
the Voting Rights Act of 1965, and Fair Housing Act of 1968. These acts
are corner stones of American society today; it is because of these acts
that all races, including African Americans share the same rights as
whites. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 put an end to segregation in public
places and banned employment discrimination, the Voting Rights Act of
1965 eliminated voting barriers, and the Fair Housing Act of 1968
banned discrimination when dealing with property. The passage of
these acts has allowed America to become the true Land of
Opportunity which in turn has allowed people from all walks of life to
prosper. Equality for all people is what has made America the great
nation it is today.
Along with leading to the passage of several civil rights acts, the
March on Washington also solidified the legacy of an American hero,
Martin Luther King Jr. The legacy Dr. King left is also relevant today
because of the impact he made on America as well as the inspiration
he has sparked in social movements we experience in todays culture.
Movements like Black Lives Matter are based on some of the same
principles the March on Washington was based on, the principles of
different Americans uniting together to force a change for the better of
American society. The power of unity is displayed everyday in America
with not only movements such as Black Lives Matter but also
movements having to do with gun rights, abortion, and gay rights.
Martin Luther King Jr. showed the American people that they can make
a difference with the right actions and although some movements

dont follow Kings non-violent ways, their base principles are still
similar.
This event has linked both to my English 2100 Technical Writing
course as well as my Criminal Justice 1010 course. In my English 2100
course we discussed social and ethic issues such like the ones having
to do with segregation in America, which was fought by the March on
Washington. In my Criminal Justice 1010 course we discussed racial
demographics and police brutality, which can also be linked to the
March on Washington because of the Negro group fighting for equal
rights. New groups continue to merge in America fighting for equal
rights and the March on Washington is a significant event that has
paved the way for those movements.