‘Forgotten history’ of 1963 March on Washington is lecture topic

Prof. Will Jones

Prof. Will Jones

The “forgotten history” of the Civil Rights Movement and the landmark 1963 March on Washington will be the topic at UW-Green Bay Wednesday, Nov. 6, in the next installment of the long-running Historical Perspectives Lecture Series.

Will Jones, an author and professor of history at UW-Madison, will speak at 2:15 p.m. in the Christie Theatre on the lower level of the University Union, located on the campus at 2420 Nicolet Drive. Admission is free and open to the general public.

Jones will talk about his research and new book, The March on Washington: Jobs, Freedom, and the Forgotten History of Civil Rights, published earlier this year by W.W. Norton & Company publishers.

Jones argues that the significance of the March on Washington rests only in part on Martin Luther King’s dazzling “I Have a Dream” speech. He notes that opening keynote on Aug. 28, 1963, actually came from the famous trade union leader A. Philip Randolph, who had first called for a march on Washington at the outset of World War II to press for equal opportunity in employment and the armed forces. Randolph advocated not only an end to segregation but also a living wage for every American. The vision of economic and social justice articulated by Randolph remains an overlooked aspect of the Civil Rights Movement, Jones believes.

Jones has been a member of the UW-Madison faculty since 2005. He is a historian of the 20th century United States, with a particular interest in race, class and work. He has written books on African American industrial workers in the Jim Crow South and the Civil Rights Movement. He has contributed essays and articles to The Nation and other publications, has been a frequent guest on Wisconsin Public Radio, and has been quoted in The New York Times, Christian Science Monitor and an extensive list of national and state media outlets.

The Historical Perspectives Lecture Series, first organized in 1985, is the foremost activity of the Center for History and Social Change at UW-Green Bay. The annual series of talks by a wide variety of historians and social scientists is made possible thanks to funds from the University, the Democracy and Justice Studies Student Organization, the UW-Green Bay University League and the UW-Green Bay Founders Association.

The Center for History and Social Change promotes historical thought, study and discourse at UW-Green Bay and in the larger community through lectures, seminars and other campus events. It is associated most directly with the University’s academic program in Democracy and Justice Studies, and pursues its activities in relation to that program’s goals. It also works closely with other academic programs to reinforce and support UW-Green Bay’s interdisciplinary mission.


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