50 Years Later Following the March On Washington

This past week was a big anniversary when it came to the fight for justice here in the United States. For it was 50 years ago on August 28, 1963, that the Civil Rights March on Washington took place.

 Photo from Hulton Archive

The March on Washington represented a crescendo in the movement for racial equality in America. It wasn’t just that people were marching either. They were voicing their opinions, participating in sit-ins and boycotts, being beaten and even killed for challenging the law of the land in which they were not merely seen as unequal, but forever subjugated to a second class existence.

http://www.npr.org/v2/?i=129470920&m=129497826&t=audio

Martin Luther King typically gets most of the credit and acclaim when we look back on the March on Washington, but there were a bevy of people who also made the moment so special. People such as: Fannie Lou Hamer, Medgar Evers, Bayard Rustin, Dorothy Height, Rosa Parks, and countless other young people as well who took part in the movement. Their sacrifices are ultimately what lead the groundwork for the U.S. finally beginning to live up to its creed nearly 200 years after the signing of the Constitution. As great and symbolic as the March on Washington was in 1963, we can’t stop there. We must keep moving forward everyday.

Fannie Lou Hamer Speaks Out on Voting Rights and Police Brutality

Fannie Lou Hamer is often one of the forgotten names of the Civil Rights Movement.

Mrs. Hamer was from the small community of Ruleville, Mississippi, where she spent most of her early life working as a sharecropper. It was at the the age of 37 that she joined SNCC (the Student Non-violent Coordinating Committee). Seeing that the only way people of color were ever going to have a voice was through politics, she became an organizer and lead voter registration drives for the people of her community. For this, Fannie Lou Hamer caught hell. Her life was threatened, she was the target of multiple murder attempts, and she suffered brutal beatings at the hands of the local Mississippi police. In the following 7 minute audio clip recorded on June 9th, 1963, Mrs. Hamer speaks of the struggle for the right to vote and the horrific consequences that followed.

This clip is courtesy of the Black Media Archive Podcast
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