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Table of Contents
See the fact file below for more information on The March on Washington or alternatively, you can download our comprehensive worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
- During the 1950s until the early 1960s, African-Americans in southern states were experiencing legal discrimination. Despite gaining their freedom after the Emancipation Proclamation, African-Americans were still segregated in schools and public transportation. In addition, they were paid lower wages and discriminated against in job applications.
- In 1963, young civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. led a series of protests in Birmingham, Alabama, which resulted in riots and violent arrests. King was arrested, and while in prison, he wrote the famous Letter from Birmingham Jail.
- The Birmingham campaign outraged President John F. Kennedy because the mass riots were covered by international media. As a result, JFK urged Congress to pass a new Civil Rights Act.
- On June 22, 1963, JFK had a meeting with the civil rights leaders known as the Bix Six, including Martin Luther King, Jr., Philip Randolph, Roy Wilkins, James Farmer, Whitney Young, and John Lewis. He specifically told them that the march may result in violence.
- In order to secure a peaceful march, some cities and even companies gave their workers the day off. JFK tasked his brother and attorney general, Robert F. Kennedy, with taking all precautionary measures.
The Actual March on Washington
- On August 28, 1963, 100 years after the Emancipation Proclamation 250,000 people gathered for this historic event. Over 3,000 members of the press worldwide covered the event. It was a joint protest for equal job opportunities and freedom.
- People gathered between the Washington Monument and Lincoln Memorial where a huge stage was set up for the civil rights leaders to speak.
- Civil rights groups such as the NAACP or National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, CORE or Congress of Racial Equality, SCLC or Southern Christian Leadership Conference, and SNCC or Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee united to raise funds and organize the event.
- Entertainers such as Bob Dylan, Lena Horne, Mahalia Jackson, and Paul Newman also participated.
- Presbyterian Church leader, Eugene Carson Blake, emphasized in his speech the importance of unity among religious leaders to attain a racially integrated society.
- Journalist Daisy Bates led the “Negro Women Fighters for Freedom” tribute to Rosa Parks, Prince E. Lee, Diane Nash, and Gloria Richardson.
- One of the original members of the Freedom Riders, John Lewis, delivered his speech calling for protection against police brutality. Furthermore, Floyd McKissick read the message of
- James Farmer emphasizing the need for economic and legal equality. He quoted “until the dogs stop biting us in the South and the rats stop biting us in the North.”
- Whitney Young urged Congress to pass laws that would correct racial discrimination from the past. In addition, the American Jewish Congress president, Joachim Prinz, coined that “The most shameful thing is silence” as he spoke about Jewish history’s roots of slavery and fight for freedom.
- SCLC president, Martin Luther King, Jr., was the last person to give his speech. King emphasized his dream of freedom and equality for all Americans in his famous speech “I Have A Dream.”
- His speech became one of the most famous speeches in American history.
- Bayard Rustin, deputy director of the march, presented 10 demands and urged the public’s approval.
- Randolph led the crowd in a pledge to continue the fight to attain the goals of the march. The march inspired the legislation of the new Civil Rights bill that was signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1964, after the assassination of JFK in November 1963.
The March on Washington Worksheets
This bundle includes 11 ready-to-use The March on Washington worksheets that are perfect for students to learn about The March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom or the Great March on Washington which was the largest demonstration of African-Americans’ fight for civil rights.
This download includes the following worksheets:
- March on Washington Facts
- Knowing the Big Six
- JFK and Civil Rights
- Who Marched?
- Before 1963
- King’s Dream
- Washington Acrostic
- Lincoln Memorial
- Memorable Speeches
- Negro Women Fighters for Freedom
- African-Americans Today
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Link will appear as The March on Washington Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, July 22, 2021
Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.