The 50th Anniversary of the Epic March on Washington

'We marched and we protested and still we are detested'....and we keep on marching, marching, marching.
‘We marched and we protested and still we are detested’….and we keep on marching, marching, marching.
…and what do we have to show for it?

•African Americans now constitute nearly 1 million of the total 2.3 million incarcerated population
•African Americans are incarcerated at nearly six times the rate of whites

Blacks bear a disproportionate share of the unemployment burden. The national jobless rate is 7.4 percent; for African Americans, it’s 13.7

The African-American and African-American child hunger and poverty rates are even greater than the national averages—sometimes nearly twice as high

In case you didn’t hear, the Department of Education released a report that essentially told many of us what we already knew: inner city schools are in a bad state. Its Office of Civil Rights’ study on college and career readiness, discipline, school finance and student retention showed that minority children face harsher discipline, have less access to rigorous high school curriculum and are taught by lower-paid and less experienced teachers.

It noted that while black males make up 18% of students, 35% were suspended once and 39% expelled.

Supreme Court Invalidates Key Part of Voting Rights Act – NYTimes

How Home Ownership Keeps Blacks Poorer Than Whites – Forbes

The Obama administration’s rules for approving student loans are causing a disproportionately large number of blacks to be denied because of blemished credit histories.

Significant statistical research exists regarding race and the death penalty, and race is an issue that continues to be at the forefront of America’s capital punishment debate. Studies have indicated that race plays a decisive role in the question of who lives and dies by execution in this country. According to some studies, race can influence which cases are chosen for capital prosecution and which prosecutors are allowed to make those decisions. Racial disparities have been shown not just in isolated instances, but in many state studies over many years.

Memphis Accuses Wells Fargo of Discriminating Against Blacks
The lawsuit, filed in federal court in Tennessee, marshaled a raft of statistics to argue that Wells Fargo offered one lending reality for whites and another for blacks.

Baltimore residents to get $2.5M from Wells Fargo settlement
Deal settles lawsuit claiming bank engaged in predatory practices
Read more:

Wells Fargo deliberately steered prime borrowers into taking out subprime loans. The loans were called, “ghetto loans,” and the Black people taking out the loans were referred to as “mud people.” As a result, even churches went into foreclosure.

Emmett Louis Till (July 25, 1941 – August 28, 1955) was an African-American boy who was murdered in Mississippi at the age of 14 after reportedly flirting with a white woman.

On the evening of February 26, 2012, Trayvon Martin—an unarmed 17-year-old African American student—was confronted, shot, and killed near his home by George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch captain in Sanford, Florida.


Alarming hunger and poverty among African-American children…

The Trayvon Martin Killing, Explained

….and the battle against hate, injustice, racial inequality rages on 50 years later. The dream is not a reality and not likely to become a reality anytime soon. We are heading back in time. We have lost ground. We have not made many gains. The election of President Obama to the presidency is nothing to herald as Black people are failing faster all across the board since the beginning of his presidency. He has completely ignored the Black community who overwhelmingly supported him. He has thumbed his nose at everything the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., stood, marched, protested and was jailed and beaten for. He is not fit to even whisper Dr. King’s name.

Even though I wrote this poem for the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, I feel that it is worth posting here on the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington.

For Martin Luther King Jr., Day

People say we’ve come so far.
It all depends on who you are.

There’s been no other to fill your shoes.
Today, you’ll again make headline news.

Would you be pleased at what you see?
Is your dream a reality?

No, your dream is not alive! It crumbled into dust.
And all that’s left to show for it is just another bust.

The vibrant voice is stilled, mere echoes of the past.
Your dream did not live on, a net you tried to cast.

The battle rages on as hate will never rest.
And men who lack in courage will always fail the test.

Who rings the bell for freedom and human rights for all?
While men cease to stand and to corporations crawl.

Who will ignite the spark and watch the fire burn?
And who will just sit back and say, “no, it’s not my turn?”

Will there ever be another Martin Luther King?
Who dreamed that one day, the freedom bell would ring.

“Let freedom ring! Let freedom ring!”
It’s still a dream, Dr. Martin Luther King.

Written by,

Shelby I. Courtland
© 2013 Shelby I. Courtland

10 thoughts on “The 50th Anniversary of the Epic March on Washington

  1. Beautiful and insightful, it’s time to flailing at the branches and start pulling up the tree by its roots. You know my opinion on the POTUS, he represents the cynical co-opting of the Civil Right movement by the ruling class. He has been a puppet from the very beginning, I’m ashamed to admit I voted him the first time. It was the blogosphere that helped open my eyes to the horrors that Obama encapsulates.

    Here’s more relevant commentary on the march…

    Enjoy your weekend, Shelby.


    1. Jeff, I hang my head in shame because I voted for that charlatan, that snake oil salesman Obama, not once, but twice and I have since regretted it most severely. I even wrote a poem singing his praises and it has since been shredded into so many tiny pieces that even an ant couldn’t find a remnant of it. The eyes of many are still unopened when it comes to Obama and I am just so sorry that I was taken in by that smooth talking, “yes we can” piece of dog shit. When George W. Bush showed us the back of his heels by exiting the White House, I just knew that things would get better, I could not have been more wrong. I don’t like being made a fool of and that is just what I was after having voted for Obama. But what alternative was there? Mitt Romney? What I should have done was voted for Donald Duck, at least I would not feel so damned guilty and feel instrumental in precipitating what has occurred.

      I remember when he was holding a press conference and a member of the press asked him what he intended to do about the high rate of Black unemployment and he said something to this effect, “if I decrease unemployment across the board, that will decrease unemployment for Blacks. That son-of-a-bitch knew when he said that that Black people are the first fired and the last to be hired. He knew the condition of inner city schools, he knew about the high incarceration rate among young Black males for petty crimes. He knew how inner city schools were failing Black children by not offering a quality education. He knew and yet, he did nothing concrete to set anything in motion to relieve the hopelessness and helplessness felt by many in Black communities all across this country. Again I say that I am most ashamed for having voted for this depraved, lying, double dealing, hypocritical deceitful corporate piece of shit!

      Thank you for your comment.


      1. I remember the buzz in the air following Obama’s first election and the huge voter turnout, especially among the youth and marginalized populations. What a waste of momentum and potential for real change. This is what makes his betrayal to the black communities, first of all, whose dreams he embodied so devastating. Ultimately, he betrayed all of us. Like you, I’m determined not to be fooled again and if anything positive has resulted, it’s the realization that I can no longer afford to be a passive participant in the democratic process.


    2. The commemoration of the March on Washington has been ruined. President Obama, the global assassin, protector of Wall Street, and reigning Great Mass Incarcerator, will star in the production on the National Mall. “Dr. Martin Luther King serves as a mere prop in the ceremony.” In their embrace of Power, the organizers have desecrated the Black American legacy of struggle.
      For those who seek an independent Black politics that is faithful to the historical Black consensus for peace and social justice, the inclusion of President Barack Obama in the 50th anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington is a desecration. The ancestral sanctum is to be utterly defiled by the presence of the very personification of imperial savagery and a ballooning domestic police state.
      Of course, the organizers of this monumental self-debasement – this obscene groveling at the feet of Power – see Obama’s participation as the ultimate testimony to Black progress. Proximity to Power has always been their Dream. Dr. Martin Luther King serves as a mere prop in the ceremony, which seeks to draw a straight line from the 1863 Emancipation Proclamation, through the 1963 mass march, to the First Black President’s embrace of the 2013 commemoration – a kind of holy trinity.

      Even though I could have attended this event, I chose not to because there is no way in hell that Obama had any business attending the event, neither did Attorney General Eric Holder. I will not be a willing participant to hypocrisy. I will not patiently listen to liars speak, while families of the dead weep because Obama ordered drone strikes. Dr. King stood for peace, Obama is the very antithesis of every thing that Dr. King stood for and those who organized this rally are a pack of hypocrites for condoning this and inviting ‘wolves dressed in sheep’s clothing’ to spout sanctimonious bullshit!


    1. Jeff, that is true! It was a waste and I am no longer going to remain passive. I have not been too passive, but I have been passive enough not to get arrested, but that time is past. If I must be arrested on civil disobedience charges, then so be it. If I am to be arrested for disturbing the peace, fine…because there is no ‘peace’ anyway. I am no better than Dr. King and if he sat in a jail cell, so can I. Do I want to? No, but there seems to be no choice.


  2. Wow- I am still struggling to say more than just that. This poem just cuts into one’s bone. To highlight this part:

    “Will there ever be another Martin Luther King?
    Who dreamed that one day, the freedom bell would ring.”

    It is not only mesmerizing and beautiful, but indeed the ultimate question we are facing. While I was pondering regarding an answer I thought of this: can the democratic, that is, socially just part of the world ever win as long as the majority of us are not aspiring to achieve the values he lived and died for? In other words, the system that represents the majority may need much more than just one leader, but a crowd of leaders with many “King”s within …


    1. You are right Skywanderer! And as much as I hate to state this, we may need a few Malcolm Xs also. Speaking as a person who has never seen the inside of a jail cell, I am about ready to not only see the inside, but to become a revolving door visitor. It is time to aggravate, agitate and instigate. Peaceful is not getting it done. It is time for ‘sit-ins’, refusals to move from in front of ‘off limit areas’ and if that requires that I spend nights in jail, then so be it, but I cannot sit silently by when laws are being passed daily stripping away at the rights that my ancestors fought so very hard for.

      Four little Black girls were killed by a bomb in the 16th Street Baptist Church described as an act of racially motivated terrorism back in 1963 and this marked a turning point in the Civil Rights Movement. Emmett Till was murdered for no reason. Trayvon Martin was murdered for no reason. Am I now simply going to sit back and calmly and quietly and peacefully watch us return to the days where we can be killed for no reason and no one is held accountable? Hell no! Am I going to continue to peacefully march while shit is being flung in my face? Hell no! As the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., stated, “this is no time for apathy and complacency, this is a time for vigorous and positive action !”

      And in the words of Malcolm X, “sitting at the table doesn’t make you a diner. You must be eating some of what’s on that plate. Being here in America, doesn’t make you American. Being born in America, doesn’t make you American. Non-violence is fine as long as it works.”

      Not only are we not eating, we’re not at the table and non-violence hasn’t worked.


  3. Holy shit! Shelby, Jeff and Skywanderer I couldn’t agree more with each of you and you as a collective. All of your thoughts and feeling are so real for me and the rage that looms inside of me because of these course of events are at times overwhelming.

    When Obummer came out of nowhere and became President I knew something was wrong. The white progressives were all enamored with the historicalness of THE-FIRST-BLACK-PRESIDENT that they didn’t pay attention to his words while he was running.

    Obummer the ultimate token!

    Bush and his “reign of error” helped set the stage and the propagandistic hype was all too perfect to be real.

    Well that was then ………..

    Now the new wave of propagandistic hype is smoldering ……….


    And no matter what a fucking bitch Hillary Clinton happens to be the white progressives once again are getting lost in the historicalness of the moment and the pump is being primed.

    And if they succeed, women will elect her not on merit but rather on gender just as so many blacks did for Obummer because he was black.

    That seems to be the nature of the political mind of Americans.

    And would someone who walks the walk like Ralph Nader or Elizabeth Warren be nominated to run? Nah …………

    As my pick for President, Jeremiah Wright, so aptly stated: “Not God Bless America, GOD DAMN America! Now there’s a happy thought for ya.


    1. You are right as usual Tubular! “Odroner” was the token. To rise from an unknown ‘junior’ senator from the ‘gangster style politics endemic in Chicago where the majority of past political office holders are in prison, from mayors to governors, came from out of nowhere. I remember hearing that Odroner had dazzled everyone by some speech at the DNC and the next thing I know, It’s Obama, Obama, Obama. No wonder people questioned just where the hell he was born. Hell! I’m with the ‘birthers’ now. He was NOT born in America! Impeach his ass!!!

      Goddamn it! I am learning a foreign language so that I can go to INS and demand to be deported. I don’t care if it’s to Siberia. Seeking citizenship in another country takes too damn long, IF you’re approved at all. And no one in their right mind is going to have me anywhere close to ‘Top Secret Documents’ because I am quite certain that it is well known just from reading this blog, what I would do with them. So, I’ll never be able to seek asylum from political persecution or whistleblower reprisal asylum. However, I’m needed here because people need to be woke the hell up! And that is just what I intend to do!

      As for Hillary Clinton, that dried up skank should just sit her ass down and be done with it. I would not vote for her even if the only other alternative was Mitt Romney. She actually laughed when Muammar Gaddafi was murdered. That wasn’t funny. When Gaddafi was invited to this country to speak at a U.N. General Assembly, Clinton got up and walked out. Gaddafi was invited here and that was no way to treat a guest of this country regardless of how you feel about him. If Gaddafi had only known it, he wore a target on his back even then. Oh, yes…we did real good didn’t we, we helped to take another dictator out. Unfortunately, we are heading in that same direction ourselves or are we already there? “Papers please!!!!”


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