Introduction to Civil Rights Movement

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These men were a part of the "Big Six" and made a huge impact on the March on Washington and the Civil Rights Movement.

In 1963, a monumental movement occurred. The civil rights movement was unlike any other. In the 1960’s, many African-Americans were grieving about not being able to use a public restroom, not being able to go to the same hotels as white people, and having to use the back entrance when they went to any restaurant. African- American citizens were tired of having to be treated unfairly. So, in 1963 a group called the “Big Six” decided to pursue a March on Washington to hopefully get the rights that blacks certainly deserved. The “Big Six” were huge influences on people living in Washington at that time, and they had a big impact on the black citizens of America. How these people became leaders of the Civil Rights Movement and how affected society during and after the march will completely confound you.

Rosa Parks History and The Bus Incident

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Rosa Parks is known nation wide for being one of the most courageous women in African-American history. She refused to give her seat up to a white man and went to jail because of it.

Rosa Parks was a courageous women who one day decided not to give up her seat for a black man. On December 1st, 1955, Rosa Parks was coming home from a long days work when the bus driver asked her to get up and move to the back so a white man could sit down. She refused to get up even though the bus driver had asked her more than once. The police were called to remove Rosa from the bus and she was taken to the police station were she was placed in jail. Most people have heard that as basic knowledge but there was more to her earlier life that suggests where this rejection might have come from.
According to the New York Times “ Rosa Parks Revisited”, Rosa Parks was raised mostly by her grandparents. At a young age they tried to teach Rosa controlled anger so she wouldn’t lash out at people. This worked for the most part but she had some “influences” on her later life. Her grandfather would always sit outside on the front porch with a rifle incase any Klu Klux Klan members tried to hurt his family. Rosa Parks told the New York Times that “ I wanted to see my grandfather kill a Klu Klux Klaner.” Later in life, she married a man named Raymond Parks who was a civil rights leader and was not a man who would hold in his temper if a white person was to insult him. All of these things led up to the reason she was not willing to give up her seat. She was a strong woman who had a large impact on many children and adults during that time and she still does today. She really set the tone of where black people stood before the March on Washington.

Bayard Rustin- Leader of March on Washington

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Bayard Rustin was an incredible man who was the true leader of the March on Washington. He was the man who made Civil Rights happen.

Bayard Rustin was a man who was the main leader of the March on Washington. A few years before the March on Washington, Martin Luther King Jr. asked Rustin if he could come up with an idea to give black people the freedom and the rights they deserved. According to the Bayard Rustin “Civil Rights in the United States 2000”, Rustin decided he would try to teach the people of Washington the importance of civil obedience and nonviolence. That was when Rustin had the idea to have a protest/march in Washington DC. He set up meetings at the white house, was the largest part of the “Big Six”, and had an amazing impact on the black and white people of not only Washington DC, but also America.

Martin Luther King Jr.'s Amazing Speech

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Martin Luther King Jr. was one of the greatest African-American speakers known to this day and made an amazing impact on the March on Washington.

Martin Luther King Jr. was one of the best civil rights speakers in the 1960’s and one of the most well known civil rights activists. Absolutely nothing could stop King from making his dream become a reality. Martin Luther Mabelvale said “ In the same year that the bus boycott was ended Kings house was bombed by angry whites intending on killing King. They were unsuccessful and no one in the house was hurt, and King was in no way swayed to stop insisting for nonviolence protests.” Time after time the police threatened to take King to jail as well as many other protestors but nothing they could say or do would change the way he stood up for his rights.
On the day of the March on Washington, King made one of the best civil rights speeches that the nation has ever heard. Originally, each public speaker at the march was supposed to give a seven minute speech guaranteeing enough time for everyone. Martin Luther King Jr.’s speech was so good that he finished his whole speech in about fifteen minutes which is double the time. King’s speech made people listen to what was important about the march, civil rights, and equalizing black people to whites.

Asa Phillip Randolph Overcoming JFK's Rejections

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Asa Phillip Randolph was a wonderful man who made JFK change his mind about rejecting the March on Washington.

Asa Phillip Randolph was the man who got the March on Washington proposal renewed and overcame the objections of JFK. Randolph was a very large part of the “Big Six”. He managed to look over the proposal that was once denied by JFK and changed a few statements ( with consent ) to repurpose it to JFK. When the “Big Six” brought this proposal to JFK, he at first did not believe that this proposal was going to work out but Randolph refused to let him deny it again. According to The Civil Rights Movement by: Sanford Wexler, JFK didn’t want this to go any further because he feared the safety of all people and he thought violence would get out of hand. Randolph stated “ Is it not better that they be led by organizations dedicated to civil rights and disciplined by struggle rather than to leave them to other leaders who care neither about civil rights not about nonviolence?” ( Activists, Rebels, and Reformers ). The president saw a point in this statement and proceeded to accept the proposal.

Whitney Moore Young Jr. Bringing Whites to the March

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Whitney Moore Young Jr. was the man who got white people to join the march and support all the black people they know.

Whitney M. Young Jr. was a exceptional man. He was the man that went around to all the houses that he could and tried his best to get whites to go to the march. Young knocked on doors, handed out flyers, and even called people to spread the word. On August 28th, 1963 an estimated total of 200,000 people came to the march. According to “Whitney M. Young Jr. Civil Rights in the United States, 2000”, Young was successful in getting 50,000 white people to attend this march. That is one fourth of the people that attended. Young did a fantastic job spreading the word and encouraging white people to make a difference in their community.

Roy Wilkins- Money for the March

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Roy Wilkins was the man who got any money needed for the march through his organization called the NAACP.

Roy Wilkins was the man who got the sponsors of the march and got the money for the march. Wilkins was a big part of the NAACP. He managed to convince the president of the company to sponsor the March on Washington and help them get the things they needed for this march. On August 28th the NAACP proudly supported the march and anything they needed to make it successful. According to “Roy Wilkins Civil Rights in the United States, 2000”, after the march, under Wilkins power, he increased the number of branches at NAACP from 240,000 to over 500,000. Wilkins was very helpful with the March on Washington and will always be remembered for his sources through the NAACP.

John Lewis- Biggest Political Figure of "The Big Six"

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John Lewis was the biggest political and social leader of the "Big Six" and made it possible for government meetings with the March on Washington plans.

John Lewis was a man who you could rely on legally and politically. John Lewis was a chairman of the SNCC. Since he was a chairman he was able to talk to political figures of the 1960’s and try to convince them of changing the laws for the rights of humans. He was the most militant of the “Big Six” and was politically the strongest. According to “John Lewis Civil Rights in the United States, 2000”, Wilkins had a famous question that he would ask political figures. It was “ I want to know— what side is the federal government on?”. This is such a powering question that makes government figures think about the decisions they are making and how they can solve the problems at hand. John Lewis was an amazing politician and a great human being who was able to get a law passed for civil rights and changed America forever.

James Farmer- The Importance of Civil Rights

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James Farmer was the man who really became famous after the March on Washington. He was known for telling his amazing stories about the importance of civil rights and the March on Washington.

James Farmer was a extraordinary man who was part of the “Big Six” but was really known for his stories and education after the March on Washington. James farmer was the organized leader in the “Big Six”. He put together a lot of their paperwork and different protests proposals but the big difference between him and the rest of the leaders was that he educated the children and some adults about what was going on at that time, why it was so important to fight for your rights, and why it was necessary to know about the civil rights. Farmer was a decent man who “showed commitment, dedication, organization skills, and leadership.” ( Civil Rights in the Unites States, 2000 ).

Results of the March on Washington

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The law to make black people have the same rights as white people became active because of this march. Over 200,000 people of white and black color came to this event to help support the Civil Rights Movement.

The March on Washington was a national celebration. Adults and their children watched on tv as blacks and whites marched together for their freedom, Martin Luther King Jr. making a monumental speech that sank into people’s hearts, and blacks freedom finally starting to form. Many people see this day as the best day in African- American history but I see it as the best day in American history. August 28th, 1963 was the best day for both blacks and whites because it was the day we were all created equal, didn’t have nearly as much racial prejudice, and started building schools, restrooms, etc. for both parties. That was the day that America changed for the better and we couldn’t have done it without the leaders of the March on Washington. They were the heroes that made all of what we have today, possible.


Find Out More Here

March On Washington
March On Washington For Jobs and Freedom
March On Washington

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Sam Farley