Those of us who gath­ered on the Wash­ington Mall 50 years ago felt the winds of change at our backs. We sensed across that long, hot day — as we walked tightly together, then rested, then lis­tened, then sang — that what was hap­pening was epochal.

We knew we were embracing a new gen­er­a­tion of leaders, even as we bowed deeply to the statesmen whose work had bridged the post-​​Reconstruction and modern civil rights eras: W. E. B. DuBois, who passed away a day before the march, and A. Philip Ran­dolph, who had ini­ti­ated the March on Wash­ington Movement.

 

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