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Winning the War for DemocracyThe March on Washington Movement, 1941-1946$
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David Lucander

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780252038624

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252038624.001.0001

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What Happens When Negroes Don’t March?

What Happens When Negroes Don’t March?

(p.23) 1 What Happens When Negroes Don’t March?
Winning the War for Democracy

David Lucander

University of Illinois Press

This chapter offers an insider's view of how the Roosevelt administration responded to Randolph's audacious threat to march on Washington. The Roosevelt administration knew of March on Washington Movement's (MOWM) threatened protest since early 1941, but waited until June to address the organization's demands. In the interim, the government monitored MOWM's activities and kept a pulse on the general morale of African Americans. As an executive shepherding the nation through prolonged economic distress and into a global conflict, Franklin D. Roosevelt emphasized in his leadership style what one prominent historian described as balancing the “shared interests and purposes and needs of all Americans.” Thus, he carefully placated MOWM with relatively small concessions that were designed to not be overly offensive to the Democratic Party's segregationist wing.

Keywords:   Roosevelt administration, March on Washington Movement, African Americans, Democratic Party

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