Cover image for Martin Luther King Jr. and the 1963 March on Washington
Martin Luther King Jr. and the 1963 March on Washington
Publication Information:
Greensboro, North Carolina : Morgan Reynolds Pub., 2013.
Physical Description:
112 pages : illustrations (some color) ; 24 cm.
Growing up with Jim Crow -- The fight for civil rights -- "There will be a march" -- Preparations -- A quarter-million strong -- "Free at last! Free at last!".


Material Type
Call Number
Item Available
Book J 323.092 ARE 1 1
Book J 323.092 ARE 1 1
Book J 323.092 ARE 0 1

On Order



In a 1963 Gallup poll, Americans listed civil rights as the most important crisis facing the nation. That May in segregated Birmingham, Alabama, firefighters blasted black marchers with powerful fire hoses. Millions of Americans were becoming outraged at such events, and so too was President John F. Kennedy. That June the Kennedy Administration worked on a civil rights bill, and Kennedy himself would urge congress to pass it. However, Martin Luther King Jr. knew that southern politicians would do all they could to block such legislation. King told his advisers that "something dramatic must be done" to support the civil rights bill because "I don't think it will pass otherwise." That "something" would be the March on Washington. Black labor leader A. Philip Randolph, seventy-four, had dreamed of such a march for decades. On August 28, it came to fruition, with 250,000 civil rights supporters descending on the nation's capital. King, the last of the many speakers that day, delivered his legendary "I Have a Dream" speech. This book recounts King's ascent to the proverbial "mountaintop" as well as the details of that historic even in Washington. Who made it happen? How did the marchers get through the muggy afternoon? What was their reaction to King's speech? All of these issues, and more, are explored in Martin Luther King Jr. and the 1963 March on Washington.

Author Notes

David Aretha edited Civil Rights Chronicle and Civil Rights: Yesterday Today. He has written eight books in the Civil Rights Movements series published by Morgan Reynolds, including The Murder of Emmett Till, Sit-Ins and Freedom Rides, and Selma and the Voting Rights Act.

Reviews 3

School Library Journal Review

Gr 6-10-Aretha begins his look at the historic 1963 March on Washington with a review of Jim Crow in the American South and the early days of the modern Civil Rights Movement. He then explains why Martin Luther King, Jr., and other civil rights leaders believed they needed to nationalize their cause with a mass demonstration. He also describes the movement's internal divisions over leadership and tactics and its often uneasy relationship with the Kennedy administration. Most of the book, however, focuses on the planning for the march and the events of the momentous day, including objective accounts of behind-the-scenes conflicts about who would speak and what would be said. Aretha offers considerable detail about the march, including the peaceful, racially integrated crowd and the rousing speeches, which culminated with Dr. King's "Dream" speech. Each chapter opens with lyrics from a protest song, and large sepia-toned photos illustrate the text. Chapter notes document sources, and a lengthy bibliography will aid researchers. The march will likely receive much coverage in this 50th anniversary year, but this book doesn't improve upon titles such as Jim Haskins's well-written and widely used The March on Washington (HarperCollins, 1993), which offers similar content, supplemented with clear analysis, to help readers put it and the movement into context.-Mary Mueller, Rolla Public Schools, MO (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Horn Book Review

Black-and-white archival photographs, boxed quotes, and excerpts from notable speeches enhance this series documenting pivotal laws and incidents of the civil rights movement. Each title builds up to the featured event, though Brown more successfully sets the stage with historical context and what follows. Both are well researched additions to library collections. Timeline, websites. Bib., ind. [Review covers these The Civil Rights Movement titles: Brown v. Board of Education and Martin Luther King Jr. and the 1963 March on Washington.] (c) Copyright 2013. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Booklist Review

*Starred Review* Aretha shows an admirable ability to present a great deal of information in a clear, straightforward manner while choosing details and quotes that make the history vivid, memorable, and occasionally moving. Besides filling in the social context of events as they unfold, the writing introduces the people involved as individuals with their own points of view. Many well-chosen and clearly reproduced photos help bring those figures and their times to life. Martin Luther King begins with King experiencing discrimination as a child and traces his growth as a civil rights leader. The focus widens to encompass the social forces and the many people behind the 1963 March on Washington. After helping readers imagine events on the day of the march with great immediacy, the commentary concludes dramatically with quotes from King's I Have a Dream speech. Accessible, informative, and insightful, these volumes are important additions to the Civil Rights Movement series.--Phelan, Carolyn Copyright 2010 Booklist

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Growing Up with Jim Crowp. 11
Chapter 2 The Fight for Civil Rightsp. 21
Chapter 3 "There Will Be a March"p. 33
Chapter 4 Preparationsp. 49
Chapter 5 A Quarter-Million Strongp. 63
Chapter 6 "Free at Last! Free at Last!"p. 85
Timelinep. 92
Sourcesp. 95
Bibliographyp. 102
Web sitesp. 107
Indexp. 108