Check out The March (themarch.uoregon.edu), a new digital exhibition about James Blue’s documentary film on the 1963 March on Washington. Explore the film’s history and meaning through archival documents, interviews, Oval Office recordings, and more.
James Blue was commissioned by the United States Information Agency to make a film about the March on Washington that would share that momentous event with the world. Expected to produce a work of upbeat propaganda, Blue instead created something much richer and more complex, showing racism confronted by anti-racism, and conflict balanced by collaboration. The film’s release sparked a political controversy that threatened to derail the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. President Lyndon Johnson reached a compromise with angry senators: the Civil Rights Act would move ahead, but Blue’s film would not be screened in the US until decades later.
The exhibition was led by Professor David A. Frank and co-sponsored by University of Oregon Libraries and the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art, with support from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.