Journalism in the Public Interest

March on Washington Anniversary: Great Reads on Racial Justice

It’s been 50 years since the historic March on Washington. Here’s some of the best reporting on the ongoing fight for civil rights.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. walks in the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom (Wikimedia Commons).

On August 28, 1963, hundreds of thousands marched in Washington, D.C., to demand jobs and freedom for Black Americans. Fifty years later, less than half of Americans say the U.S. has made a lot of progress toward racial equality, according to a recent Pew poll. Here's some of the best reads on the ongoing fight for civil rights.

What do you think is required reading on racial justice? Tweet us your suggestions to #EqualityMuckreads.

Hopefully the non-Tweet won’t cause the world to end.

I think the place to start is fifty years ago, with the voices involved at the time.  These are the interviews that formed the basis of “Who Speaks for the Negro?”

The only way we can judge progress is to know where we were.

If you listen to Malcolm X, for example, notice his characterization of white people deserving to die unless they acknowledge the right of blacks to fight back when attacked, and compare that to New York City’s Stop-and-Frisk policy, where minorities basically have an obligation to be passive in the unfounded accusation of wrongdoing.

I imagine that New York City is also diagnostic rather than unique when it comes to connectivity.

But it’s not all bad news.  The long-term unemployed are “old,” not black.  OK, it’s still bad news, but not for racial equality…

I’m also a fan of Dave Schilling’s “This Week in Racism” column at

christopher dodd

Aug. 31, 2013, 5:42 a.m.

if LINCOLN had not been shot the path to equality may have been shorter, on august 28th,1963, I was stationed in the USAF in Biloxi, MISSSISSIPPI and saw 1st hand traveling thru the south , the attitude and the way things were back then ,even after Jackie Robinson was allowed to play for the Brooklyn Dodgers or Bill Russell for the Boston CELTICS , JIM BROWN’S WORK was more of an impact after football even though he was the greatest running back and allowed to be in the movies, Doctor Martin Luther King ‘s speech, I HAVE A DREAM, UNIFIED ALOT OF PEOPLE, BUT TRUE EQUALITY COMES ONE PERSON ART A TIME.

clarence swinney

Sep. 11, 2013, 2:48 p.m.

Clinton ended his 8 years with an 1800B Budget and 5800B of Debt
Bush ended his 8 years with a 3500B Budget and 11,900B of Debt.
Obama ended his four years with 3800B   Budget And 17,000B of Debt.
Bush Tax cut primarily for top incomes added 1900B to the Debt.
Two uncalled for Wars added 2000B to the Debt
Stimulus added 800B and Payroll Tax Cut ?
The Debt increased by 6100B under Bush and 5100B under Obama.
You place the blame wherever it pleases you!

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