Reflecting on the March on Washington

Monday, August 26, 2013

The March on Washington, August 28, 1963. Civil rights and union leaders, including Martin Luther King Jr., Joseph L. Rauh Jr., Whitney Young and others pictured. (United States Information Agency/Wikimedia Commons)

Editor's Note: This audio report contains strong language that many may find offensive. 

This week on The Takeaway, we're remembering the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington—a defining moment in the civil rights movement.

In 1963, some 250,000 civil rights supporters from across the country converged on the capital to march peacefully against racial discrimination and political oppression. It was here that Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his famous "I Have a Dream" speech.

Joyce Ladner worked with the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee to help plan the March on Washington some 50 years ago. The rampant violence and racism she witnessed growing up in the Deep South inspired her activism that day, and for the rest of her life. Ladner is a retired sociologist and author. She became the first interim female president of Howard University.

Ladner joins The Takeaway to discuss the prejudice she witnessed and her role as a student organizer for one of the civil rights movement's most important events.

The Takeaway worked in collaboration with our partner The New York Times on this interview. The New York Times asked readers who attended the March on Washington to recall their experiences and reflect on the legacy of that day. Out of hundreds of submissions, they present a selection of stories and anecdotes, edited and condensed from online submissions and follow-up interviews. They can be found here at their website.



Joyce Ladner

Produced by:

Megan Quellhorst


T.J. Raphael

Comments [7]

Rev. Jude Hankins, OSB from Central Florida

Trevon and Emmet? Emmet did nothing. EMMET was murdered. Trevon profiled "Crazy ass cracker" and stalked George Zimmerman. You failed to make that distinction. I have never heard of the KKK cruising through neighborhoods, like gang bangers. The KKK is dispicable so do not infer praise.

Race relations have stooped to a new low. Lies are the medium. There is much that needs to change but TRUTH has to be the cornerstone. Pandering knee jerk reactions are inane, insulting, and innefectual.

Aug. 27 2013 08:01 PM
Gabriel from Planet Earth

Joyce Ladner lives on another planet comparing Trayvon to Till. That is the most ridiculous comparison.

Aug. 27 2013 01:12 PM

I dream that we END THE DEATH PENALTY. I dream that we have INTEGRATED AND EQUITABLE SCHOOLS for ALL. I dream that there will be no more "legal lynchings" OF POLICE BRUTALITY ---that I have worked on for almost 40 years. I dream that a lot MORE of us of ALL colors live by the Golden Rule & treat others as we wish to be treated.

Aug. 26 2013 03:00 PM
PaulJ from Mankato MN

The country has changed so much since '63; I wonder if Dr. King's dream is still a valid benchmark.

Aug. 26 2013 02:05 PM
Angie from Portland, Or

I dream of a time when all are treated with equality and the worst off among us are given the tools & helping hands to lift themselves up. When all children have the access to quality education. When no American goes to bed hungry.

Aug. 26 2013 01:11 PM
Kay Merkel Boruff from Dallas

I dream of a first class education for every child an America, schools that offer music, art, dance, athletics, ethics, & room enough to dream.

Aug. 26 2013 12:53 PM
Ed from Larchmont

It's wonderful that NYC is discussing The March of 1963, which was controversial at the time. Each year there is the March for Life in Washington in January, about 500,000 people, and the media never mentions it.

Aug. 26 2013 08:46 AM

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