Miller Center

American Forum - JFK and the Breakthrough for Civil Rights

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The Miller Center is a nonpartisan institute that seeks to provide critical insights for the nation’s governance challenges.

William P. Jones
September 11, 2013
11:00AM - 12:00PM (EDT)

William P. Jones
William P. Jones

In The March on Washington: Jobs, Freedom, and the Forgotten History of Civil Rights, William P. Jones argues that the enormous role of the American labor movement in triggering the epic march in August 1963 must be rescued from the shadow of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s legendary "I Have a Dream" speech. The opening event of the day was a speech delivered by the march’s leader, trade unionist A. Philip Randolph, who first called for a march on Washington in 1941 to press for equal opportunity in employment and the armed forces. Randolph’s egalitarian vision of economic and social citizenship is the strong thread running throughout the full history of the March on Washington movement. Jones’s history delivers a new understanding of this emblematic event and the broader civil rights movement it propelled. A professor of history at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Jones is a specialist in civil rights and labor history and contributes to The Nation and other publications. A book signing will follow his Forum. Photo Credit: The University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents

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