Impressive 50th anniversary civil rights commemorations crested with August events at the Lincoln Memorial honoring the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, but where was the revolutionary urgency of 1963? Who was asking the hard questions about American inequality? Why have the burning issues of joblessness, affordable housing, decent wages, protection from police violence, income inequality—whose urgency in 2013 remain fierce—shrunken to a celebration of achievement and reform?
VFH Fellow Thomas Jackson tackles these questions as he considers why this 50th anniversary of the March on Washington differs so vastly from the real moment in time so widely experienced as revolutionary in its promises and perils.
Thomas F. Jackson is the Edna and Norman Freehling Fellow at the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, working on Magnificent Militancy: The African American Revolution of 1963. As affiliated faculty at the Miller Center for Public Affairs, he is helping to organize a symposium on the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act on May 2, 2014.
For more information, contact Ann White Spencer, aspencer@virginia.