We march today for jobs and freedom, but we have nothing to be proud of for hundreds and thousands of our brothers are not here— for they are receiving starvation wages or no wages at all. While we stand here there are sharecroppers in the Delta of Mississippi
who are out in the field working for less than $3.00 a day, twelve hours a day. While we stand here there are students in jail on trumped up charges. Our brother James Palmer, along with many others, is also in jail.
We come here today with a great sense of misgiving. It is true that we support the Administration’s Civil Rights Bill, we support with great reservation however. Unless Title Three is put in this bill, there’s nothing to protect the young children and old women who must face police dogs and fire hoses in the South while they engage in peaceful demonstration. In its present form this bill will not protect the citizens of Danville, Virginia, who must live in constant fear of a police state. It will not protect the hundreds and thousands of people who have been arrested upon trumped charges. What about the three young men...
What about the three young men in Americus, Georgia
, who face the death penalty for engaging in peaceful protest? As it stands now the voting section of this bill will not help thousands of black people who want to vote. It will not help the citizens of Mississippi, of Alabama, and Georgia who are qualified to vote, but lack a sixth grade education. “One man, one vote” is the African cry. It is ours, too—it must be ours! We must have legislation that will protect the Mississippi sharecropper who is put off of his farm, because he dared to register to vote.
We need a bill that will provide for the homeless and starving people of this nation. We need a bill that will ensure the equality of a maid who earns $5.00 a week in the home of a family whose whose total income is $100,000 a year? We must have a good FEPC Bill. My friends, let us not forget that we are involved in a serious social revolution where by and large American politics is dominated by politicians who build their career on who build their career on immoral compromises and ally themselves with open forms of political, economic and social exploitation.
There are exceptions of course, we salute those, but what political leader can stand up and say, “My party is a party of principles”? For the party of Kennedy
is also the party of Eastland
. The party of Javits
is also the party of Goldwater
. Where is our party? Where is the political party that will make it unnecessary to march on Washington
? Where is the political party that will make it unnecessary to march in the streets of Birmingham
Where is the political party that will protect the citizens of Albany, Georgia
? Do you know that in Albany, Georgia
nine of our leaders have been indicted, not by the Dixiecrats but by the federal government for a peaceful protest? But what did the federal government do when Albany
’s Deputy Sheriff beat attorney C.B. King and left him half dead?
What did the federal government do when local police officials kicked and assaulted the pregnant wife of Slater King
, and she lost her baby? Those who have said be patient and wait, we must say that we cannot be patient. We do not want our freedom gradually, but we want to be free now. We are tired. We are tired of being beaten by policemen, we are tired of seeing our people locked up in jail over and over again and then you holler, “Be patient.” How long can we be patient?
We want our freedom and we want it now! We do not want to go to jail, but we will go to jail if this is the price we must pay for love, brotherhood and true peace. I appeal to all of you to get in this great revolution that is sweeping this nation. Get in and stay in the streets of every city, every village, and every hamlet of this nation, until true Freedom comes, until the revolution of 1776
is complete. We must get in this revolution and complete the revolution. For in the Delta of Mississippi, in southwest Georgia, in the...of Alabama
, in Harlem
, in Chicago
and all over this nation—the black masses are on the march for
Jobs and Freedom!
They’re talking about slow down and stop, we will not stop. All of the forces of Eastland, Barnett, Wallace, and Thurmond will not stop this revolution...If we do not get meaningful legislation out of this Congress the time will come when we will not confine our marching to Washington
. We will march through the South, through the streets of Jackson
, through the streets of Danville, through the streets of Cambridge, through the streets of Birmingham
But we will march with the spirit of love, and with the spirit of dignity that we have shown here today. By the forces of our demands, our determination and our numbers we shall shatter the segregated South into a thousand pieces and put them together in the image of [inaudible] democracy. We must say, “Wake up America, Wake up,” for we cannot stop and we will not and cannot be patient.