The March

Civil Rights March on Washington, D.C. [A crowd of marchers.] 28 August 1963. U.S. Information Agency. Press and Publications Service, U.S. National Archives and Records Administration.

On Tuesday 27th, August 2013 at 9:00 EST PBS broadcasted MIT Visiting Artist John Akomfrah’s documentary The March. The documentary commemorates the 50th anniversary of the original March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, a watershed moment in the Civil Rights Movement.

Narrated by Denzel Washington, The March charts the story behind the peaceful demonstration, as told by the people who organized and participated in it. Unprecedented in size with over 250,000 people and broadcast live to millions, this massive demonstration for racial and economic equality issued a clarion call for racial justice that would help usher sweeping civil rights legislation and a sea change in public opinion. Through the remembrances of the inner circles of the core of organizational groups such as Jack O’Dell, Clarence B. Jones, Julian Bond, and Andrew Young, the documentary highlights that the demonstration’s success stemmed from a legacy of left wing organizing in the United States that predates the event by several decades.

The March is a Smoking Dogs Films Production, produced by Lina Gopaul and David Lawson. After it’s PBS premiere, the film will be broadcasted by its international co-producers, the BBC and France 3.

MIT Visiting Artists’ Akomfrah and Gopaul will return this Fall to continue their participation in ACT’s Cinematic Migrations, a two year research project including screenings, seminars, lecture series and workshops led by Renée Green.


Related links
Genzlinger, Neil. “Tracing the Steps That Led Up to the March on Washington: PBS Documentary Explores a Civil Rights Triumph.” The New York Times 26 August 2013.