UO prof to speak at national event for March on Washington

In celebration of the 60th anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, the National Archives will host a talk by retired UO Clark Honors College professor David Frank and a screening of UO alumnus James Blue’s documentary, “The March.”

The talk takes place Aug. 25 at 4 p.m. View it on the National Archives’ YouTube Channel.

The U.S. Information Agency commissioned Blue, who earned degrees in speech and theater at the UO in 1953, to document the Aug. 28, 1963, March on Washington, where Martin Luther King Jr. gave his famous “I Have a Dream” speech.

But those now-iconic words weren’t how reviewers framed the March initially. Instead, The New York Times declared it “A Polite but Pressing Insistence on Civil Rights ‘Now’” and described it as nothing short of “the greatest assembly for a redress of grievances that this capital has ever seen.”

In his recent talk at the City Club of Eugene, Frank described Blue’s film as “essentially the 1619 Project of its day.”

Frank received a Mellon Fellowship to research and develop courses and exhibitions using Blue’s 1963 documentary “‘The March’: The Cold War, Civil Rights, and the Problem of American Apartheid” to examine American history, racism and anti-racism.

As part of that work, Frank curated “The March” exhibit now on view through fall term at the Knight Library. Visit the exhibit to learn more about the effects of both the march and the film on the Civil Rights Act and Voting Rights Act of the 1960s and other resulting social justice legislation.

—By Kate Conley, UO Libraries
Top photo: More than 20,000 people attended the March on Washington to hear Martin Luther King Jr.