90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
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
Jan 26, 2015
Yemeni protesters gather during a demonstration to show their support to Houthi Shiite rebels in Sanaa, Yemen, Friday, Jan. 23, 2015.  (AP)

Yemen in turmoil, a new king in Saudi Arabia. We’ll look at what’s next for the Arabian Peninsula. Plus: the President’s trip to the Indian subcontinent.

Jan 26, 2015
Frederick Daniel Hardy's "Baby's Birthday" (1867) shows a typical Victorian English family at home.  (Wikimedia / Creative Commons)

Brush your teeth with soot, stay away from water, wear a steel corset. We’ll talk with the author of “How to be a Victorian.” Strange ways from another age.

RECENT
SHOWS
Jan 23, 2015
People enter the Arapahoe County Justice Center in Centennial, Colo., Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2015. The jury selection process in the trial of Aurora theater shooting suspect James Holmes began Tuesday, and is expected to take several weeks to a few months. Holmes is charged with killing 12 people and wounding more than 50 in an Aurora movie theater in 2012 (AP)

The Marathon bombing, the Aurora movie theater shootings, and the challenges of picking an impartial jury.

 
Jan 23, 2015
A Cuban flag and an American flag stand in the press room during the second day of talks between U.S. and Cuban officials, in Havana, Cuba, Thursday, Jan. 22, 2015. (AP)

President Obama comes out swinging in his State of the Union. High level talks in Cuba. Japanese hostages. “American Sniper” controversy. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Our Week In The Web: January 23, 2015
Friday, Jan 23, 2015

New thoughts on Facebook, new analysis of State of the Union twitter activity and new weekend excitement. New! And exciting!

More »
Comment
 
Meet On Point’s Interns: Spring 2015
Friday, Jan 23, 2015

Good news! We have interns, and they are wonderful, and here they are for the spring term. Meet them digitally, right here.

More »
2 Comments
 
Caller To Author Ron Rash: ‘You Cared About People Like Me’
Thursday, Jan 22, 2015

An unexpected caller from South Carolina brings back guest Ron Rash’s years as a community college professor in a movingly real way.

More »
1 Comment