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  • Writer's pictureLocal History Collection

The Roslyn Committee for Civil Rights at the March on Washington

Roslyn residents, including members of the Roslyn Committee for Civil Rights, were among the more than one thousand Long Islanders that attended the August 28, 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. A major aim of the 1963 March was to secure passage in Congress of President John F. Kennedy’s civil rights legislation. Sponsored by the Long Island Coordinating Committee to March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, marchers from across the North Shore gathered at Port Washington’s LIRR station to take a 5 AM train into Pennsylvania Station in New York City where they joined other Long Islanders on a 16-car train to Union Station in Washington, DC.


According to an article in the following day’s issue of Newsday,

“There seemed to be as many whites as Negroes, and almost as many youngsters as grownups. And grouped around seats or clustered in washrooms, the teenagers gave the train its mood of exhilaration.”

Marching behind a green banner, the “four-block line” walked from the station until they “fused with other people from other states” in the march to the Lincoln Memorial.

The documents in this exhibit album are among those collected by Roy Moger, Roslyn school teacher, author of the book Roslyn Then and Now, and a founder and co-chair of the Roslyn Committee for Civil Rights. Preserved in the Local History Collection’s Roy Moger Papers, these physical objects associated with the March on Washington carry with them the weight of the issues surrounding racism and the systemic oppression of African-American people in the United States. As we commemorate this monumental event in American history, it is important to realize that although 57 years have passed, the fight for civil rights continues out of tragic necessity. By supporting initiatives to educate and inform the public about the institutionalized racism faced by BIPOC each and every day, we put our hopes into the future that this country will one day be worthy of its foundational creed of justice, equality, and freedom for all.

Sources:


Marching LIers Tired but Proud / Harvey Aronson, Newsday (1963)


On Long Island / Harvey Aronson, Newsday (1963)


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