The March on Washington
August 28 marks the 60th anniversary of the March on Washington For Jobs and Freedom. Six decades later, many of the original issues that spurred the march, including poverty and unemployment, remain in the spotlight locally and nationally.
College of Liberal Arts Professor Will Jones is available to comment on this historic anniversary.
Will Jones, Ph.D.
“The March on Washington is remembered for Martin Luther King’s powerful “I have a dream” speech, but we too often forget the broad agenda that drew Dr. King and a quarter million others to the nation’s capital. We forget that it was a march “For Jobs and Freedom,” and that marchers were as concerned about poverty and unemployment as they were about segregation and discrimination. Sixty years later, the intertwined problems of racial inequality and economic justice remain as pressing as they were in 1963.”
"When activists decided to march for jobs, the person who said we need to broaden this message was Anna Arnold Hedgeman, a civil rights leader who had grown up in Anoka and attended Hamline University in St. Paul. She had said 'this is important, we should march for jobs, but we should also march for voting rights and integration.' She proposed the slogan 'For Jobs and Freedom.'"
Will Jones is a professor in the College of Liberal Arts. He is a historian of the 20th century United States, with particular interests in the relationships between race and class. His books include The March on Washington: Jobs, Freedom and the Forgotten History of Civil Rights and The Tribe of Black Ulysses: African American Lumber Workers in the Jim Crow South. He is currently writing Essential Workers: Public Employment and the Dignity of Labor.
Will Jones, [email protected]