We March in Dignity

“We March in Dignity”, a photography exhibit now on display in Special Collections and Archives, documents two significant Civil Rights events of 1963: The March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, held on August 28th, and the September 30th Freedom March in New Orleans.

The photographs, taken from the Louis J. Twomey S.J. Papers and the B. Raynal Arriati Papers, offer intimate glimpses of both events.

The March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom on August 28, 1963, stands as one of the largest political demonstrations ever held in the United States. Between 200,000 and 500,000 people went to the nation’s capital to express their support for civil rights legislation that was then making its way through Congress. The marchers gathered at the Lincoln Memorial, where they listened to songs and speeches for three hours. Events culminated with closing remarks by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. His words are now remembered as the “I Have a Dream” speech.

On the evening of Monday, September 30, more than 10,000 marchers made their way from Shakespeare Park (now named A.L. Davis Park) located at Washington and LaSalle, to City Hall. There the Citizens Committee presented the “Petition to the Greater New Orleans Community”. Speakers at City Hall included The Rev. A.L. Davis, Oretha Castle, Ernest Morial, The Rev. Avery Alexander and Gerald T. Thomas.

Ernest Morial later called the September 30th march “probably the largest peaceful march outside of Washington in 1963.”

“We March in Dignity” will be on display in Special Collections and Archives from September 20 – December 13, 2013.

Found in the Archives is a recurring series of crazy cool stuff found in the Monroe Library’s Special Collections & Archives.

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