Why Marching is so important in the United States
March Madness? No, ice cold. March for Women? No, but getting warmer. March on Washington? Yes, you hit the spot: hot. Protesting hasn’t just been a thing of the past, but knowing where some of our greatest achievements in the fight for freedom and rights can help us in the future when we need it most.
Many years ago, this nation had one of its greatest moments; today we celebrate its 54th anniversary: The March on Washington. On August 28, 1963, Martin Luther King Jr. and the people who supported the civil rights movement began their march on Washington, around the capital of the United States.
Two-hundred thousand people, one of the largest gatherings in support of African American equality, seems like a small feat compared to the March for Women campaign that recently happened across the United States. But, the March for Women would not have seemed like a huge deal if it weren’t for the large numbers at this Washington March.
This March on Washington is where the infamous “I Have a Dream” speech was given by Dr. MLK Jr., but really economic equality and the call for action from Congress was the real goal. While President John F. Kennedy was not enthused by the March that began in the minds of African Americans years before, (after Reconstruction) and took place during the time of Jim Crow Laws in the South, the African Americans refused to be deterred.
“’There will be neither rest nor tranquility in America until the Negro granted his citizenship rights.”
Even though the March did not call for an immediate success by civil rights activists, it gave them the necessary push that led them onto bigger and better things, like the 1967 Civil Rights Act.
This unprecedented March on Washington can be applied to our own experiences today. While we may not have Civil Rights or Martin Luther King Jr. fighting and protesting for our Civil Rights, we can take his journey and experiences and apply them to the Women’s Marches or the March for Science.
Veronica Finniss is currently a graduated senior with a Bachelor of Arts in professional writing and a Bachelor of Arts in history. She enjoys binge reading and suffocating under her two golden retrievers and miniature poodle. When she isn’t dying, she loves petting other people’s dogs on the street and eating sandwiches, burgers and carbs.