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Reviewed by Lois J Wickstrom for Readers' Favorite
I’m Glad I Was There! The March on Washington by Juanita Gordon is a first-person account by a nurse who marched for Civil Rights in Washington DC on August 28, 1963, when John Fitzgerald Kennedy was president. This march motivated President Kennedy to introduce Civil Rights legislation that passed after his death, during the Johnson administration. Juanita Gordon’s memoir covers both personal and political aspects of this historic event in an account that is both enthusiastic and detailed. You’ll learn about her plans to attend the march, politicians and entertainers who were there. And most of all about the joining together of people, black and white, holding hands for a common goal.
When Juanita Gordon decided to attend the march in Washington in August of 1963, she thought only black people would be there. She was both surprised and happy to find that plenty of white people were marching, too. She was there when Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. gave his “I Have a Dream Speech.” And she was there to hear music by Harry Belafonte, Joan Baez, Odetta, and Bob Dylan. Most of all, she was there and can speak of the peace that prevailed. Over 5000 police and National Guards were there in case of violence. Happily, there was no violence. This was a peaceful march. It awakened America to the need for more equality for everybody, regardless of race. I’m Glad I Was There! The March on Washington by Juanita Gordon is a good introduction to the 1960s Civil Rights movement, and a reminder to participate in equality movements today. Then you too can say, “I’m Glad I was There.”