Children’s Books to Celebrate the 1963 March on Washington

The March on Washington, where Martin Luther King, Jr., gave his famous “I Have a Dream” speech, happened sixty years ago on August 28, 1963. Around 250,000 people made the trip to Washington, D.C., to protest racial discrimination and demand equal rights for everyone. Here are a few books to remind us of that day and what was fought for.

In A Song for the Unsung, learn about Bayard Rustin, who was one of the major planners of the March on Washington. Throughout his life, he experienced much discrimination and worked hard for racial justice. Despite not being in the spotlight that day, he was a vital part of the whole process of making the March on Washington happen. Learn about this hero who you may not have heard of before!

If you would like to read Martin Luther King, Jr.’s speech from that day, check out I Have A Dream. The illustrator, Kadir Nelson, has painted some beautiful pictures that go along with the text of the speech.

We March by Shane Evans is a great picture book that captures the mood of that day. Read as a family wakes up and prepares to march with thousands of other people. As they meet up with others, the family walks, sings, listens and finishes the day with hope.

Five years after the March on Washington, eleven-year-old Delphine and her little sisters are sent to Oakland to stay with their mother for One Crazy Summer. During that summer, they learn more about injustice and some of the ways people fight against it.