On August 28, 1963, The March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom drew a quarter of a million people to the nation’s capital in order to protest racial discrimination and advocate for equal rights and opportunities for Black citizens. It is rightly considered a milestone in the civil rights movement of the 1960s and remains a perpetual source of inspiration and courage. It also led to the passing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which the U.S. Department of Labor describes as prohibiting “discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex or national origin.”
A consortium of activists, labor unions, and community leaders organized the March, which culminated at the Lincoln Memorial. Speeches were given by, among others, future Congressman John Lewis, Walter Reuther, head of the United Auto Workers, and – most memorably – the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Dr. King’s words ring out through the decades:
Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy. Now is
the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation
to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to lift our
nation from the quicksands of racial injustice...
In the course of Dr. King’s remarks, Gospel Singer Mahalia Jackson called out, “Tell them about the dream, Martin!” Dr. King put aside his prepared text and – speaking informally and directly from the heart – did just that.
I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons
of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be
able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood. I have a
dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state
sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of
oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and
justice. I have a dream that my four little children will one day
live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of
their skin but by the content of their character.
America has made great strides toward realizing Dr. King’s dream – but has also signally failed to live up to its potential as a haven for all. The current state of the Body Politic, wracked with hatred and ignorance, is proof positive that his good work is not yet done.
One very important means of continuing his work is by exercising the right to vote. If you doubt the power of voting, look at the many ways the enemies of freedom attempt to steal, subvert, or destroy it.
Therefore, it is fitting that on November 3rd, 2023 (Election Day), Netflix will premiere Rustin at in select theatres across America. The film – Executive Producers: Barack and Michelle Obama's Higher Ground Productions – is based on the life of Black leader and activist Bayard Rustin (1912-1987). One of the main organizers of the August 1963 March on Washington, Rustin's story is not only about race and politics. As a gay Black man, he faced additional challenges in both white and African-American communities.
RUSTIN | Official Teaser Trailer | Netflixwww.youtube.com
Directed by DGA award and five-time Tony Award winner George C. Wolfe (Ma Rainey's Black Bottom) and starring Emmy Award winner Colman Domingo, Rustin shines a long overdue spotlight on the extraordinary man who, alongside giants like the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr., Adam Clayton Powell Jr., and Ella Baker, dared to re-envision our entire world, and ignited a movement with a mighty march toward freedom. Produced by Academy Award winner Bruce Cohen, Higher Ground's Tonia Davis, and George C. Wolfe, the film features an all-star cast including Chris Rock, Glynn Turman, Jeffrey Wright, and Audra McDonald.