John's Speech: Fellowship Commission


John's Speech: Fellowship Commission


Civil rights movements, speechwriting, Nineteen sixty-four, Fellowship Commission (Philadelphia, Pa.)


Text of speech written by Sheila Michaels for John Lewis to deliver to the Fellowship Commission in 1964.


Sheila Michaels, John Lewis


Sheila Michaels Collection, M373, Historical Manuscripts, Special Collections, The University of Southern Mississippi Libraries


Circa 1964


Rights not evaluated








<br />
Mr. _________, ________, ________, ladies and gentlemen:<br />
The March on Washington, this year, was one of the first times in history that America has shown that all faiths, all races, labour, government workers and Americans of all professions and convictions could and would unite [typo] to carry forth a cause that they believe in.  Before this, we have only seen such a show of strength and unity in times of war; but now, Americans are uniting in times of peace.  Americans are demonstrating that they believe in democracy, that it is not a word to be used for propaganda, or something to fight for when our lives are threatened, but that [typo] democracy [typo] will be the American way of life.<br />
The Fellowship Commission, and groups like it, who have paved the way for [typo] last years March are now entering a new era.  As some people have pointed out, the Supreme Court decision did not integrate the schools, but freed the civil rights groups to [typo] begin integrating the schools.  And so, if the Civil Rights Bill is passed, we will be free to begin integration on a nation-wide basis.<br />
	This is the beginning of the third decade after [typo]the original March on Washington; the second half-century of American Labour and the second century after the Emancipation Proclamation.  In the first half of this century there were many marches proposed and carried out, to bring the unemployed to Washington, to bring our [typo] plight to the Federal Government.  Most of these have been forgotten, except by the few who participated in them.
page two<br />
John’s Speech<br />
<br />
But this March will not be forgotten, because it is, as it must be, the beginning of a new era. 'This is the first time we have seen press and government and the whole nation cooperate and recognize that something must be done about civil rights be done about civil rights, about unemployment, and about the future prospect of mass unemployment.<br />
Our task has been put before us, and so, in the words of the late President, “Let us begin.”<br />
for: John<br />
from: Sheila


Sheila Michaels, John Lewis, “John's Speech: Fellowship Commission,” Online Exhibits at Southern Miss, accessed April 18, 2024,

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