“Hey, man. Did you hear what they did to John’s speech?” It was 1:00 pm. The March on Washington was about to begin, and SNCC’s executive director was being told that SNCC’s chair John Lewis was being forced to change his speech–a speech written to reflect SNCC’s thinking. “They don’t want Lewis to give his speech.”- Freedom Sings communicated to James Foreman regarding the speech written for the August 1963 at the March on Washington.

As stated by the Library of Congress “For many Americans, the calls for racial equality and a more just society emanating from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial on Aug. 28, 1963, deeply affected their views of racial segregation and intolerance in the nation. Since the occasion of March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom 50 years ago, much has been written and discussed about the moment, its impact on society, politics and culture and particularly the profound effects of Martin Luther King’s iconic speech on the hearts and minds of America and the world. Several interviewees from the Civil Rights History Project discuss their memories of this momentous event in American history.”

Visit the SNCC Digital Gateway for a collection of primary source press and policy statements created by SNCC.