"I HAVE A DREAM": FIRST EDITION, FIRST PRINTING OF THE DAY THEY MARCHED, 1963, FEATURING ONE OF THE EARLIEST PRINTINGS IN BOOK FORM OF DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING'S I HAVE A DREAM SPEECH, ALONG WITH OVER 100 ILLUSTRATIONS INCLUDING FULL-PAGE IMAGES OF DR. KING
(KING Jr., Martin Luther) (BENNETT Jr., Lerone) SAUNDERS, Doris, ed. The Day They Marched. Chicago: Johnson, (1963). Tall octavo, original color photographic wrappers. $1200.
First edition, first printing, issued within weeks of the March on Washington, featuring one of the earliest printings in book form of Dr. King's epic speech—I Have a Dream—along with a lead essay by renowned African American historian Lerone Bennett, Jr., and more than 100 photographic illustrations including images of Dr. King, Mahalia Jackson, Congressman John Lewis and many more, an exceptional record in original color photographic wrappers of that momentous August day when thousands crossed America for "a call to the national conscience… a rendevous with history."
The Day They Marched, published soon after the March on Washington, contains one of the earliest printings in book form of Dr. King's I Have a Dream speech, and also features an eloquent essay by African American historian Lerone Bennett Jr., who long argued that the "history of black people in the U.S. had been ignored or told only through a white filter." A major editor for Jet and Ebony magazines, he is perhaps best known for his book, Before the Mayflower (1962), which established him "as a leading scholarly voice during the racial ferment of the 1960s" (New York Times). Here Bennett especially honors Dr. King's iconic speech—recalling how his "words… rhythms and the intonation… called back all the struggle and all the pain and all the agony, and held for the possibility of triumph; they called back Emmett Till and Medgar Evers and all the others; called back ropes and chains and bombs and screams in the night… When King finished, grown men and women wept unashamedly."
The volume's many photographic illustrations include full-page images of Dr. King, Asa Philip Randolph and Bayard Rustin; portraits of James Farmer and Congressman John Lewis, then Chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee; images of Mahalia Jackson, Marian Anderson, Ralph Abernathy, Rosa Parks and many more civil rights activists, along with moving images of the men and women who traveled across America to make the March on Washington "the biggest demonstration for civil rights in history." "First Printing" stated on copyright page. Edited by noted African American publisher Doris E. Saunders. In creating this record of the momentous day, Johnson Publishing, which also issued Jet and Ebony magazines, assembled a photographic team that included Moneta Sleet Jr., G. Marshall Wilson, Norman Hunter, Isaac Sutton, Maurice Sorrell, LeRoy Jeffries, Bertram Miles and Charles Sanders, along with photographers Enrico Sarsini, Lawrence Henry and Ernest Goodman. The Day They Marched contains a color image on the wrappers, and over 100 black-and-white images within from their photographs. Also featured are printings of President Kennedy's Statement on the March, a Marchers' Pledge, the Marchers' Goals and lyrics to the spiritual, We Shall Overcome.
Text and illustrations quite fresh, with a few minor paper repairs, small bit of edge-wear, mild soiling to colorful wrappers. A bright near-fine copy.