This introductory chapter provides an overview of the March on Washington Movement (MOWM). MOWM was arguably the most effective African American protest organization during the Second World War, and in some ways this period represented the zenith of A. Philip Randolph's power. By creating MOWM, Randolph gave local activists and organizers a platform on which they could fight against Jim Crow in innovative and sometimes powerful ways. This organization stands at a critical junction between the Roosevelt era and the years traditionally associated with the Civil Rights Movement, a chronological crossroads that makes it something of a generational interstice. Occupying this unique place in the chronology of twentieth-century campaigns by African Americans to attack Jim Crow segregation makes MOWM something of an anomaly. Its roots were firmly planted in Depression-era activism, but its branches spread through the next three decades and reached into the Civil Rights Movement.
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