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august 28, 1963 - their signs read: “we march for higher minimum wages, coverage for all workers”; "civil rights plus full employment equals freedom"; "we march for jobs for all, decent pay now"; "we demand decent housing now." so they were marching for more than civil rights and political equality; they were marching for labour rights and economic equality, as well.

this was “the march on washington for jobs and justice*.” it was an event largely organzied by bayard rustin - who was not only an openly gay man and gay rights leader but a socialist - with the help of the labour movement (hence the united auto workers hat in the bottom of the eighth photo) and religious leaders professing the social gospel (hence the frock in the sixth photo). 

so consider that in the year of the march, the unemployment level for african americans was 10.8%, while for whites it was 5%, but in 2012 it was 6.6% for whites and 12.6% for african americans - still about twice as high. and in 1960, home ownership for african americans was 26.2%, while in 2012 it was only 29.7%.

photos from the library of congress’ collection of more than 200: (1,5,7) rowland scherman (first photo of twelve year old edith lee payne); leonard freed (2,3); marion s. trikosko (4,6); and warren k. leffler (8,9,10).

*changed to “freedom” after the assassination of medgar evers 10 weeks before the march.

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