Friday, August 23, 2013

Churches and the 1963 March on Washington

Volunteers making box lunches for the March in 1963 (National Archive Image)
Spokesmen for the National Council of Churches and the Council of Churches of Greater Washington called for all-out participation from member churches. Many churches refused to cooperate with the marchers and contended that the Church should depend on spiritual change to effect social improvement.  But others got behind the event. For example, Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church and Sharp Street Memorial Church in Baltimore provided a hot breakfast with eggs, bacon, muffins and coffee to caravans of buses passing through Baltimore in route to the March.  The Church of the Epiphany in Washington made coffee available to marchers the day of the event The Knights of Columbus supplied $25,000 to help with the cost of feeding and sheltering marchers. Church and local organization leaders the New York City recruited a diverse group of 300 or more volunteers who worked in three shifts making box lunches for the march at Riverside Church in Harlem. Working with $40,000 worth of cheese and bread for sandwiches and apples and pound cake they made 80,000 box lunches that organizers of the march sent to Washington on a refrigerator trucks for overnight storage. They planned to sell the lunches on the Wednesday August 26, the day of the March, below cost and the funds raised for the march would cover the deficit.


March on Washington  and Food Series: http://www.foodasalens.com/search?q=March+on+washington

Bayard Rustin’s Sandwich Brigade & the March on Washington: [Listen Now] http://wosu.org/2012/allsides/the-life-of-civil-rights-pioneer-bayard-rustin/

Stories in the Series Feeding the Revolution with Related Recipes: http://www.foodasalens.com/search?q=Feeding+the+Revolution 

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