William P. Jones is a professor of history at University of Minnesota. He is the author of The March on Washington: Jobs, Freedom and the Forgotten History of Civil Rights and The Tribe of Black Ulysses: African American Lumber Workers in the Jim Crow South.
The March on Washington was 59 years ago today. It’s popularly remembered as a moderate demonstration where MLK “had a dream” — but in fact, it was the decades-long culmination of a mass, working-class movement against racial and economic injustice.
Unlike many in his party, Eugene V. Debs believed the struggle for black equality was critical to realizing the promise of socialism.