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During the period that the American was getting into World War II, the black community was well aware of the discrimination that was there. This was brought about by the hypocrisy that American had towards the black through racism that allowed the black to be discriminated in all areas of life including the business sector. Therefore, due to this, March on Washington Movement (MOWM) was arranged to ensure that this was addressed. A. Philip Randolph and Bayard Rustin organized this movement to help them organize a mass march that was aimed to be staged in Washington inn pursuit of pressuring the US government to disintegrate armed forces as well as offering fair working opportunity to the African American people.
Reasons for forming the movement
The American economy had started rising up in 1940. However, the government of US had did not offer equal opportunity to its entire people. The booming economy only benefitted the whites as the black African American was left out especially in the field of defense among others. There was a lot of racial discrimination in all fields to a point where people in the high could make racial discrimination utterances. Government organized training left out the blacks as they assumed that it was even awkward to train them after all. It got to a point whereby even well trained black workers were left unemployed. It was so irritating to hear the president of the North American Aviation Co. saying, "while were in complete sympathy with the Negro, it is against company policy to employ them as aircraft workers or mechanics regardless of their training." Such utterances show the level of the discrimination that was in US at that time and they really fuelled the formation of the movement to ensure that a march was stage to address such issues.
Significance of Randolph's March on Washington movement
The significance of the march was to pressurize the government and the US President to ensure that all the people are protected against discrimination. They complained very much due to racialism that was there at timer making the black people unable to access the government resources. They also demanded for meaningful civil rights law that gives all the people civil protection and equal rights especially for election. The African American people had no right to the whites especially to elect their person of their choice and this made the march to be organized.
They also demanded massive work programs as their whites counter parts enjoyed. This would protect them from the wrath of failure of accessing the jobs no matter the qualification that one had. They demanded fair and equal employment also that could see the black people in all parts of the jobs according to their qualification. This was accompanied also on their rights in the same jobs. They complained of indecent houses that the black people lived. Therefore, they asked the government to give them decent houses equivalently as they did to the white people. Finally, in their agenda, they were looking for good and integrated education with their white people counterparts. They required the government to bring about a bill that will enable the black people b e involved in an integrated education system as the other American people were enjoying.
The greatest significance of this march was to ensure that the civil right law that was proposed by the Kennedy was passed as it addressed the blacks' lamentations. The media contributed very much in the coverage and thus gave it a very big national exposure. That would count very much in the probable impact that the march would have towards the government. The whole procession was covered and covered throughout the Television and radio news causing a great sensitization. They carried put organizes speech and gave commentary making the whole issue get the right publicity therefore meeting its purpose.
The march was a success contrary to many who thought it would have turned chaotic and had withdrawn. It was peaceful and it leads Martin Luther king, A. Randolph among other civil rights activist to meet President Kennedy at the white house. This meeting starts turning things around, as the government seemed committed to passing the civil right bill that will address their sentiments. However, after the assassination of President Kennedy in 1963, his successor Lyndon Johnson used his congress influence to bring about most of the former president's agenda to reality. This made it possible for the government to address the blacks' issues.
It was in 1964 that the effect of the March came to the light. United State President Johnson signed Civil Right Act that banned such discrimination against color, sex, race, religion or national origin in any employment sector and public places. The bill also was reinforced by ensuring that the Attorney General enforced the new law.
African Americans dilemma in U.S. during World War II
Various dilemmas haunted the Africa American during the World War II. There were so many challenges that affected their democratic principles as well as their testament to the promise. Race in America was one of the greatest moral dilemmas that the African American had to fight with. It was so deep rooted in the country that it appeared so malignant that they had no idea what will happen to make it end. To them, it appeared to be democratic ethos. The way out of the racism was education. However, it was met with so many problems from the government as they were reluctant to funding the black's education.
The other dilemma that the African American had was the issue of improving the economic status. This would have made the black to be put in a better position to combat segregation that they experienced. Otherwise there were so many obstacles that met the whole quest for these issues especially education. There were outright oppositions that were fuelled to ensure that blacks do not benefit through education. The worst of them were the issue of racism that ensured that the black people education was not integrated with the whites. Employment aspect was another dilemma that seemed to be great in the Africa American people. Despite of the education they had, they were not considered for jobs and their rights were really overlooked. Although the World War II was approaching, the government had decided that they cannot give soldier combat jobs to the blacks regardless of the will they had. They were in great dilemma as they wanted to alleviate themselves from poverty yet they were not given a chance to do so by being denied jobs opportunity.
Randolph argument in support of joining the war effort
Randolph put efforts of lobbying disintegration of the military in 1941 to persuade the president to take action. He made a delegation with Walter white and T, Arnold to meet President Roosevelt and other government officials to discuss the matters before the start of the war. The delegation led by Randolph presented a memorandum that stated that there should be immediate integration of the blacks in the armed forces. Nevertheless, the statement that came up from the white house stated that the war policy was not to intermingle whites and the black personnel. This made Randolph to say that he dedicates his life and energy towards change and thus organizing the March on Washington Movement to spear head this through the mass march.