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Will Jones: How Labor Built the March on Washington

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Black Work Talk
Black Work Talk
Will Jones: How Labor Built the March on Washington

In this fourth episode of Black Work Talk’s Season Two, co-hosts Steven Pitts and Bill Fletcher talk with Will Jones. Will is Professor of History at the University of Minnesota. His particular emphasis is understanding the relationship between race and class in the United States during the 20th Century. His 2013 book, “The March on Washington: Jobs, Freedom and the Forgotten History of Civil Rights,” examined the role of Black labor leaders in the 1963 March on Washington and was the basis for our conversation. Beyond understanding how Black unionists were a key to the mobilization of 250,000 marchers to DC, Will discussed how this success was a function of the power of their union and their relationship with a variety of organizations in the Black community. We talked about the relevance of this insight for organizing and mobilizing today and winning durable victories.

Here is a link to the publisher webpage about Will’s book:

Here is an article by Will that captures some of his main points detailed in the book:

Will Jones “The Forgotten Radical History of the March on Washington (Dissent Magazine)

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