Master of Arts (MA)
First Committee Member
Second Committee Member
Third Committee Member
Fourth Committee Member
Number of Pages
The August 28, 1963 March on Washington is often remembered primarily for Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech, which serves as the pinnacle of civil rights movement oratory. This thesis, in contrast, examines speeches of the leaders of the "Big Six" organizations that preceded King's well-known words in order to shed light on the complexities of the movement and the outcomes that can result from meaningful dissent. Occurring at a time of division, the March emerged as a symbol of hope for change in the nation. The addresses of the day reflected this hope and helped build a sense of community, not only through their words, but also through the embodiment of a community working together to achieve progress. This thesis argues that through its materialization as a dynamic spectacle, the arrangement of the discourse at the March, and its iconic representation of desired change, the March on Washington constructed community among civil rights activists. This sense of community, in turn, helped urge subsequent action and provided an identity for the African-American community.
African Americans – Civil rights; African Americans – Race identity; Arrangement; Civil rights movements; Communities; Community; Dynamic spectacle; Iconicity; Identity politics; March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, Washington, D.C., 1963; Rhetoric; Speeches, addresses, etc., American
African American Studies | Communication | Rhetoric | Social Influence and Political Communication | Speech and Rhetorical Studies
Nestelberger, Jennifer, "August 28, 1963: Building Community through Collective Discourse" (2012). UNLV Theses, Dissertations, Professional Papers, and Capstones. 1602.