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Will Jones: How Labor Built the March on Washington

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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:

https://www.norton.com/books/the-march-on-washington/

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)


Guests

Will Jones

William P. Jones is a professor of history at the University of Minnesota and president of the Labor and Working Class History Association. An expert on race and labor in the twentieth-century United States, he is author of two award-winning books, The Tribe of Black Ulysses: African American Lumber Workers in the Jim Crow South (2005) and The March on Washington: Jobs, Freedom, and the Forgotten History of Civil Rights (2013). 


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Labor Organizing
Racial Justice

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