March on Washington: My Father’s Reflections

As poignant and relevant today more than ever.

cyclingrandma

Today’s the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom that culminated in Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous “I have a Dream” speech. Hundreds of thousands of people from around the country gathered to advocate for racial equality and opportunity.

Among the marchers was my father.

Then 35, he’d been active with labor organizing and joined the march with the United Auto Workers. A poultry farmer, he left the farm, my mother and three young children,  me, 7;  my sister, 5;  and my 4-month-old  brother,  to travel to Washington, DC.

We  grew up learning protest songs. “If I had a Hammer,” “Joe Hill”  and “We Shall Overcome” were part of our family repertoire while hiking or on long car trips.

I talked to my father last week about his experiences.

“We took a bus from New York. I remember the discussions as we marched; we…

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About cyclingrandma

I was a journalist (Danbury News-Times, Ct), before becoming a teacher, and continue to write for professional journals. I have written several study guides for Penguin Books and write for Education Update, a newspaper based in New York City. (www.educationupdate.com). I’ve interviewed many authors, college presidents, and scientists. I wrote “The Kentucky Derby’s Forgotten Jockeys” for Smithsonian Magazine's website, www.smithsonian.com. (April, 2009). Two essays have been published in book anthologies; one for Wisdom of Our Mothers, (Familia Books) and the other in “College Search and Parent Rescue: Essay for Parents by Parents of College-Going Students.” (St. Martin’s Press). I was a middle school Language Arts teacher for more than 10 years and have just completed a five year grant position under No Child Left Behind in Newark, NJ public schools. I have three children, two daughters-in law, and six grandchildren. I'm an avid cyclist, knitter, cook, and reader. I love theater, museums, and yoga.
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One Response to March on Washington: My Father’s Reflections

  1. Worth re-sharing Lisa! ❤
    Diana xo

    Like

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