by Matt Sitman
Michael Kazin revisits a neglected episode in the Civil Rights movements:
The 1963 March on Washington featured just one prominent white speaker. “We will not solve education or housing or public accommodations, as long as millions of Negroes are treated as second-class economic citizens and denied jobs,” declared Walter Reuther, the legendary president of the United Auto Workers. “This rally is not the end, it’s the beginning of a great moral crusade to arouse America to the unfinished work of American democracy.” Thus did he confidently link the goals of organized labor to those of the black freedom struggle.
[This week] will mark the 50th anniversary of the march, and Reuther’s seven-minute address is all but forgotten. Most Americans think of the great event, which ended with Martin Luther King, Jr.’s transcendent speech, solely as a proud landmark in the toppling of legal segregation and the building…
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