• Martin Luther King Jr. addressing the audience at the March on Washington (Wikimedia Commons)

    Did MLK Improvise in the ‘Dream’ Speech?

    Looking at his prepared speech at the March on Washington, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. balked when he reached this mouthful of a sentence: “And so today, let us go back to our communities as members of the international association for the advancement of creative dissatisfaction.” Instead, he transformed his speech into a sermon. Continue reading

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  • In front of 170 W 130 St., March on Washington, Bayard Rustin, Deputy Director, and Cleveland Robinson, Chairman of Administrative Committee (left to right). World Telegram & Sun photo by O. Fernandez. (Library of Congress's Prints and Photographs division)

    Who Designed the March on Washington?

    If you had been a bus captain en route to the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom in August 1963, you would have known who its organizing genius was, and you wouldn’t have been surprised to see his picture on the cover of Life magazine a week later. Yet of all the leaders of the civil rights movement, Bayard Rustin lived and worked in the deepest shadows, not because he was a closeted gay man, but because he wasn’t trying to hide who he was. That, combined with his former ties to the Community Party, was considered to be a liability. Continue reading

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