The week hasn’t ended yet before some out there are possibly attempting to take something away from its significance. Stories about confusion among African Americans seeking to celebrate the MOW (March on Washington) by attending dual rallies in DC are starting to creep up. I say “possibly” because it could simply be an example of good reporting with no ulterior motives present in the minds of those responsible for the stories. Then, on the other hand, who knows?
Anyway, this erroneous double scheduling is causing some to grumble about the overall coordination of the events. They wonder why they couldn’t have been grouped together as one big happening. Many feel that a stronger statement is made by a larger number of people showing up for one event as opposed to two smaller groups of individuals gathering for two. I see their point and likewise wish that all events could’ve occurred under one umbrella. But it didn’t go down like that and moving forward, we shouldn’t let that dissuade us in any way.
We need to remember the history of the struggle and all those involved. We do that and we realize it was never solely just one organization that prompted the original MOW. Not only a vision of Dr. King, the original protest, the largest of its kind in US history, came out of the minds of individuals from the NAACP, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), CORE (Congress of Racial Equality), SNCC (Student Non-violent Coordinating Committee) as well as numerous unions and smaller grassroots civic organizations. Even Malcolm played a part in his non-participation, being always on the fringes to remind America not only that the time had come for change but also that change would surely come either with their help or without it, “by any means necessary”.
So as we embark on this renewed quest to realize Dr. King’s dream, we should take heart that it is a truly utopian task; one that’s taken us fifty years to only make some small incremental advances. And with the amount of work still necessary, we have to be cognizant that today, just as it was in 1963, there are those out there bent on wishing and planning for the movement to fail. We have to be vigilant and try to speak with one voice but in the event we do not, let’s then make doubly sure that we’re definitely speaking with one mind.
Public domain photographs taken from Wikipedia