PLEDGE NOW
50 Years Since The March On Washington

It’s been a half century since the March on Washington.  We take stock of what we have—and have not—overcome.

Crowds are shown in front of the Washington Monument during the March on Washington for civil rights, August 28, 1963. (AP)

Crowds are shown in front of the Washington Monument during the March on Washington for civil rights, August 28, 1963. (AP)

Fifty years ago today on the National Mall in Washington DC, Americans made a powerful break with this country’s long and bitter racial history.  A quarter million people stretched out before the Lincoln Memorial and, by day’s end, heard Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s historic “I Have a Dream” speech – a speech and vision so powerful that it helped drive decades of change.

Fifty years later, where have we come on race and race relations in this country?

This hour, On Point:  half a century after the March on Washington, we look again at America and race.

- Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Brandon Terry, fellow in economics, history and politics at Harvard University.

Reniqua Allen, journalist and a fellow at the New America Foundation. (@rnz1)

Eduardo Bonilla-Silva, professor of sociology at Duke University. Author of “Racism Without Racists.”

From Tom’s Reading List

The Washington Post: How the March on Washington shaped the Mall — “On Wednesday, when Barack Obama joins former presidents Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter and members of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s family on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, it will mark the 50th anniversary of one of the city’s most iconic moments: a stirring speech, a monumental movement, a march that has since become known simply as the March on Washington, as participants asked the government to do better by African American citizens. It eclipses all other marches with its cast of thousands of activists and supporters.”

ABC News: On Race, Obama Tops Mountain But Blacks See More Peaks — “When Martin Luther King, Jr., shared his dream from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in 1963, the president of the United States was not there to bear witness. John F. Kennedy was skeptical of the March on Washington, choosing to watch the event on TV from inside the White House several blocks away. He later clashed with King over the urgency for legislation to match the march’s message of ‘jobs and freedom.'”

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
May 25, 2015
New York Times columnist David Brooks explores a history of American moral character in his new book, "The Road to Character." Former US Labor Secretary Frances Perkins (R), is one of the subjects he profiles in his books. (David Burnett / AP)

New York Times columnist David Brooks on finding moral character in a self-preoccupied society.

May 25, 2015
Violinist Regina Carter warms up in the On Point studio on Friday, October 17. (Robin Lubbock / WBUR)

Regina Carter turns her jazz violin down home with her new album “Southern Comfort.”

RECENT
SHOWS
May 22, 2015
The Barden Bellas, the all-female a cappella group at the center of Pitch Perfect 2. (Richard Cartwright/Universal Pictures via AP)

Pitch Perfect 2 is the number one movie in the country, and it’s over the top on a capella.

 
May 22, 2015
Crashed cars with airbags deployed are shown to visitors as part of the display of Toyota Motor Corp.'s safety performance standards at the automaker's exhibition hall in Toyota, central Japan. (Shuji Kajiyama/AP)

ISIS rolls on. A TPP vote. Biggest recall ever – airbags. And Letterman’s last bow. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
A Former Bike Gang Member Explains "The Life"
Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Larry called in from Lawrenceburg, KY and told us he was once a member of the Pagan’s Motorcycle Club, a mid-Atlantic biker gang. He didn’t sugar coat the facts as he explained the draw of the brotherhood and what makes the outlaw motorcycle corner the underworld go round.

More »
Comment
 
Our Week In The Web: May 15, 2015
Friday, May 15, 2015

We cancel a few hours and suddenly all of you get convinced of a global radio conspiracy! Plus, dragon zoos.

More »
1 Comment
 
Caller: ‘It Doesn’t Always Turn Out Okay’
Wednesday, May 13, 2015

One caller shares her own story of an extremely premature birth. Her daughter, born at 22 1/2 weeks in 2012, was taken off life support after seven days.

More »
Comment