"Black is her beauty. Her soul of gold." - Meshell Ndegeocello, Black is the Color of My True Love's Hair
I was reminded today through the many articles and social media posts* and, most significantly, by NPR's Code Switch's Today in 1963 twitter account that the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom was about more than the speech. It was about more than the spectacle.
The March on Washington was about the radical notion that the United States of America should be in the business of protecting, supporting, and honoring the freedoms of all it's citizens.
There were demands, ten of them, that, in large part, were acted upon within the next five years. That's pretty amazing. We can argue about the effectiveness of how the government chose to enforce and implement these laws. We can argue about whether legislative victories are enough to combat the seeming endless font of despair and awfulness that is American racism. We cannot argue, however, on the effectiveness of the Civil Rights Movement and of this event.
These people—diverse in thought, approach, age, religion, race, sexuality but common in heart and conviction—were badass.
Tom Brokaw may have dubbed The World War II era as The Greatest Generation but, being born 12 years after the March, I'll take these folks.
And I'll appreciate Dr. King's beautiful, powerful words but I'll thank them all for the hard work they put in on changing a society hell bent on not budging.