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.
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.
Unlike many in his party, Eugene V. Debs believed the struggle for black equality was critical to realizing the promise of socialism.