27 August 2010

Malcolm X on the March on Washington, 1964

Malcolm X on the March on Washington, 1964 (From The Autobiography of Malcolm X. New York: Ballantine Books, 1964. 278-281).

Not long ago, the black man in America was fed a dose of another form of the weakening, lulling and deluding effects of so-called "integration." It was that "Farce in Washington," I call it.

The idea of a mass of blacks marching on Washington was originally the brainchild of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters' A. Philip Randolph. For twenty or more years the March on Washington idea had floated around among Negroes. And, spontaneously, suddenly now, that idea caught on.

Overalled rural Southern Negroes, small town Negroes, Northern ghetto Negroes, even thousands of previously Uncle Tom Negroes began talking "March!"

Nothing since Joe Louis had so coalesced the masses of Negroes. Groups of Negroes were talking of getting to Washington any way they could--in rickety old cars, on buses, hitch-hiking--walking, even, if they had to. They envisioned thousands of black brothers converging together upon Washington--to lie down in the streets, on airport runways, on government lawns--demanding of the Congress and the White House some concrete civil rights action.

Link: Malcolm X on the March on Washington, 1964