Young African American Historians should know and begin now to get to some very REAL facts of the ‘schizophrenic disempowerment’ of “The March On Washington”. I can identify the fact that there were TWO “50th Anniversary Marches on Washington” in August 2013! While some seek to ‘reconcile’… “The Two”, (and ‘Time Fades’ the ‘Two into One’; with TRUTH being again ‘Crushed to the ground’) …I WILL NOT!
The “March On Washington” is the SOLE VISION and Life’s Work of Asa Philip Randolph. I have come to consider the American political ‘Ad Campaign’ of perpetuating and commemorating Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have A Dream” speech to be… “A Lullaby”. Time now to ‘Wake Up’ from… “The Dream”!
From his 1917 co-startup of “The Messenger”, A. Philip Randolph writes to give meaning to the Negro Condition; and Needs FROM America, living IN America. He speaks loudly and clearly to the highest levels of government. His opposition to the administration of President Woodrow Wilson got the President’s attention as Wilson called Randolph “the most dangerous man in America.” The Justice Department arrested him from his ‘soapbox in Harlem’ and called ‘The Messenger’ “the most able and the most dangerous of all the Negro publications.”
The Original “March On Washington” was in planning stages for “July 1, 1941”. A. Philip Randolf appealed DIRECTLY to President Franklin D. Roosevelt saying this March of thousands of Negro Americans is on behalf of employment in the federal government and in industries with federal contracts. In his June 18th meeting with President Roosevelt, the President asked him “When did he go to Harvard?” Randolph’s reply, “I never went to Harvard.” On June 25, 1941, Roosevelt issued Executive Order 8802, barring discrimination in defense industries and federal bureaus and created the Fair Employment Practices Committee. The “1941 Negro March On Washington” is counted one of the greatest victories in African American History although it DID NOT OCCUR!
I arrived in Washington, DC on August 21, 2013 for the “50th Anniversary March on Washington, Saturday, August 24, 2013”. Of the original “Big Six” organizations, “FOUR” had come to “Conference”. I made accommodations and registered my attendance with the Southern Christian Leadership Conference “SCLC” at the Grand Hyatt Hotel. Since I can’t tell it all in this small space, about how ‘only God can Order The Steps of those who seek to walk in Righteousness/ Justice’; I’ll say only that the “Urban League” was also Conferencing at The Hyatt.
Starting with the ‘SCLC Breakfast’ on Friday morning; and Lunch with Dr. Joseph Lowery and his family; to ALL DAY going between the meeting events of the SCLC AND the URBAN LEAGUE… conversation with C. T. Vivian and Jesse Jackson AND only… Friday!
I came down to the Lobby… early Saturday morning to ‘thousands’! The Urban League Busses had rolled in from… everywhere. We formed our Line and Marched to The Lincoln Monument. Met there by the additional Two of the original “Big Six” organizations: The “A. Philip Randolph Institute” (APRI) whose Conference was held at the Capital Hilton and; the “National Association For The Advancement of Colored People” (NAACP) both with a demonstrative presence on The Mall on Saturday, August 24, 2013.
I confess, that until this moment in my history I had never been taught OR maybe “I never learned” ANYTHING OF SUBSTANCE about A. Philip Randolph— the man that President Woodrow Wilson called “the most dangerous man in America.” Seeing the ‘sea’ of light blue APRI T-Shirts on The Mall AND taking the opportunity to walk up on Danny Glover while in “THE V.I.P. Section” in his APRI T-Shirt, learning that he had been one of the Speakers at the APRI Conference at the Hilton—- I felt… some type of way!
Now, ‘fully woke’ from… “The Dream”; The Speech of Asa Philip Randolph, whose ‘SOLE VISION’ of a July 1, 1941 “Negro March On Washington” was made manifest from the steps of The Lincoln Monument on August 28, 1963.
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