Leaders & Controversies

Transcript: Source5

Extracts from other speeches at the rally, 29 August 1963
(Catalogue ref: FO 371/168485)

Source 5a

Whitney M. Young, Jr., Executive Director, National Urban League –
“That we meet here today, in common cause, not as black or white people, nor as members of any particular group, is a tribute to those Americans who dare to live up to and practise our democratic ideals and our religious heritage. That we meet here today is a tribute also to all black Americans who for 100 years have continued, in peaceful and orderly protest, to bear witness to our deep faith in America; and, in this method of protest, to effect change”

Rabbi Joachim Prinz, President of the American Jewish Congress –
"When I lived under the Hitler regime, I learned many things. The most important is that bigotry and hatred are not the most urgent problem. The most urgent, the most disgraceful problem is silence. A great people had become a nation of silent onlookers. They remained silent in the face of hatred, brutality and murder.

America must not become a nation of onlookers. It must not be silent. Not merely black America, but all of America. It must speak up and act, from the President down to the humblest of us, and not for the sake of the Negro, but for the sake of America."

Source 5b

John Lewis, Chairman, Student Non-Violent Co-ordinating Committee
"For the first time in 100 years this nation is being awakened to the fact that segregation is evil and that it must be destroyed in all forms. Your presence today proves that you have been aroused to the point of action..." "To those who have said, 'be patient and wait.' We must say...We cannot be patient, we do not want to be free gradually, we want our freedom, and we want it now…."

A. Philip Randolph, President of the Negro American Labour Council and an AFL-CIO Vice-President "This is the largest demonstration in the history of this nation... It lets the nation and the world know the meaning of our numbers…"

"Whites know that they cannot be free until all are free".

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