NBC12 VIEWPOINT: 1963 March on Washington

By: Kym Grinnage email

Next week will mark the 50th Anniversary of the historic March on Washington. I felt that this event in history was so important for all Americans and Virginians that I would spend two weeks with my comments.

Some of you may know that the actual name of the march was The March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. A. Philip Randolph, the vice-president of the AFL-CIO and President of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, was the key person who initiated and planned the march.

In fact, the march began as an effort by the Negro American Labor Council, a group Randolph and other black trade unionists had formed to protest segregation and discrimination within organized labor. But it expanded to a coalition of mainline civil rights groups and sympathetic labor unions united behind the slogan "Jobs and Freedom."

Many have commented that this year's march is being dominated by labor unions, but a reference to history indicates that organized labor played a significant role in the planning and participation in one of the most significant events in modern history.

Ultimately, the March on Washington included, a combination of organized labor, various civil rights organizations, but most importantly, everyday citizens of every race who participated in an event that would change the course of history for all Americans.

Next week I'll share some additional comments on this historic march.

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