Remembering the March on Washington in 1963
by Danny Schechter
(CORE, Northern Student Movement)

The March and the Movement changed many of our lives. After the March ended, the leaders went to the White House. Many of us feared they would be co-opted. I recommitted myself to the Movement and dropped out of Cornell. I moved to Harlem to work for NSM full time, and ended up editing the magazine Freedom North.

That night, I wandered over to a big DC hotel where many of the leaders were staying and celebrating the fact that the march was consummated so peacefully and successfully. I stayed in DC and actually ran into Malcolm X who was there but did not come to the March. The movement activists were debating the March's impact.

Dr. King's eloquence was still ringing in my ears although I knew that he deviated from his initial text and had actually given the speech before in the mass march in Detroit earlier in June. Like the March on Washington, it was the Auto Workers who made the march happen.

The next morning, in a torrential rain, the hard rain that Dylan said was gonna fall, I took the bus back to Bal'more wondering how we could ever top the great March on Washington.

None of this takes away from the magic of that moment and the fact that 40 years on, I am still thinking about those days and how they changed our world, at least in part.

See March on Washington for Jobs & Freedom for background & more information.
See also March on Washington 1963 for web links.

Copyright © Danny Schechter, 2011.

Copyright © 2011
(Labor donated)