On August 28, 1963, more than 200,000 Americans collect in Washington, D.C., for a supporting gathering known as the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. Organized by a number of civil rights and spiritual groups, the event was intended to shed light on the political and social challenges African Americans sustained to face across the country. The march, which became a key moment in the growing resist for civil rights in the United States, conclude in Martin Luther King Jr.’s "I Have a Dream" speech, a spirited call for cultural justice and parity.
The first march was planned in 1941 by A. Philip Randolph, president of the Brotherhood of inactive Car Porters. Blacks had advantage less than other groups from New Deal programs during the Great sadness, and continuing racial inequity excluded them from defense jobs in the early 1940s. When President Franklin D. Roosevelt showed little partiality to take action on the problem, Randolph called for a March on Washington by fifty thousand people.
As blacks faced continuing inequity in the postwar years, the March on Washington group met yearly to reiterate blacks' demands for economic fairness. The civil rights movement of the 1960s distorted the political climate, and in 1963, black leaders began to arrangement a new March on Washington, designed specially to advocate passage of the Civil Rights Act then delayed in Congress.
President John F. Kennedy showed as little eagerness for the march as had Roosevelt, but this time the black leaders would not be deterred. The National Association for the improvement of Colored People and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference put aside their long-standing enmity, black and white groups across the country were advice to attend, and elaborate arrangements were made to ensure a pleasant event.
The march was an extraordinary success. More than 200,000 black and white Americans shared a festive day of speeches, songs, and prayers led by a distinguished array of clergymen, civil rights leaders, politicians, and performer. The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King's high address climaxed the day; through his fluency, the phrase “I Have a Dream” became an expression of the highest ambition of the civil rights movement.