Fifty-three years ago today, Bayard Rustin watched as an event he’d almost single-handedly planned on relatively short notice played out in Washington, DC: The March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. Although Roy Wilkins, of the NAACP, and Martin Luther King, Jr., of the SCLC, were opposed to the timing of the march, Rustin and his mentor,A. Philip Randolph, were determined. Rustin, always quick on his feet, tricked the two men into endorsing and participating in the event. It was here that King delivered his powerful “I Have a Dream” speech.
The country as a whole has made strides toward equality, but perhaps it’s time for another March on Washington.
WE ARE ONE: THE STORY OF BAYARD RUSTIN (Calkins Creek Books)