I'm wishing I was in D.C. for all the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington festivities, although I don't know if I would have braved the train trip from Baltimore to DC alone with LB. I have a love hate relationship with the March. It is such a cool and moving historical event. So why hate? King's "I Have a Dream" speech (with a little Rosa Parks feet were tired thrown in) is the sum total of instruction in African American history for many kids and youth in this country. And by the time those young people show up in my classroom, they're pissed, and rightly so, that no one bothered to talk to them about the richness and complexity of the Black freedom struggle. [So here's a little Robert F. Williams, Fannie Lou Hamer, Ella Baker, Malcolm X, Bob Moses, and a lot of Black Panther coverage.]
I've listened to this Footage of Mahalia Jackson singing "How I Got Over" at The March about ten times, and LB has been dancing to it. And a version with better audio quality here.
Cool footage from the National Archives, which includes Odetta's performance. (This is a restored copy of the documentary The March produced in 1963, and it includes King's speech.)
King's full speech, and why it's hard to find free full video.
Eyes on the Prize, March on Washington clip from youtube.
NPR has had some great coverage of the anniversary, including this nice piece about Bayard Rustin.
They could have developed it more, but I still like this piece from The Root on fashions of the March.
The NYTimes has made their original coverage available here, as well as some lovely photos, and memories from attendees.
Planning documents from 1963 for "How to Organize a March" via Slate.
Bob Dylan performing here. This is a fun clip because Dylan looks like what my mom would call "a hood," and the audience is milling around and looking bored until Joan Baez and Len Chandler jump in for "Keep Your Eyes on the Prize."
Lesson plans from PBS.
And of course, to keep it kind of gay, netflix has a good documentary, Brother Outsider, about Bayard Rustin, March organizer who was pushed out of a public role in the Movement both because he was gay and because of his long leftist political ties. You can read a piece on Rustin here at Buzzfeed, and here's Rustin debating Malcolm X (Rustin first appears at about 1.15). (Rustin was a committed pacifist who had gone to jail for refusing to serve during WWII.)
I'm hoping there will be some TV coverage as well. LB got sick as soon as B left for the weekend, so I need to get off the blogs and hold my sick girl.