Yes, U.S. Latinos Were at the March on Washington in 1963

Kudos to the Associated Press’ Russell Contreras for publishing a piece about the U.S. Latino presence at the 1963 March on Washington.

Contreras’ superior well-researched piece sheds new angles that few media outlets are discussing. What follows are some of the article’s highlights. You can read the whole article here.

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Contreras wrote about this image from the Bridgeman Art Library in New York. CREDIT: Nat Herz

Did you know?

  • One member of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee felt that the march “was largely symbolic and would do little to change things?” That is what 73-year-old María Varela told Contreras: “So we were going to have this huge gathering of people. Then what?”
  • Many of the larger U.S. Latino civil rights organizations were thinking of “publicly denouncing” the march, but in the end, decided against it since they say that it could symbolize a much larger movement?
  • Contreras also wrote this: “A coalition of black and Mexican Americans held a companion march on that same day in Austin, Texas, which drew roughly 900 people, according to the Texas State Historical Association. The marchers, including Hispanics, blacks and whites, protested Gov. John Connally’s opposition to civil rights legislation pending in Congress.”

For more fascinating tidbits surrounding the 1963 march, read what Contreras wrote.

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