Monday, January 19, 2015

The March on Washington...Does the clothing matter?

In honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day I’m remembering one of the most powerful moments in human history, when on a sweltering August day in 1963, 250,000 people of all colors converged on The National Mall in Washington D.C.

Look at any photo of the leaders or the crowd and you see suits and ties, skirts, blouses and hats.

Center for Jewish History, 1963
Considering what many feared would be a violent protest, the demeanor and dignity of the massive crowd gave the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom the reverence it needed and deserved. The great words may have still been sung and spoken but the crowd gave some people around the nation and the world their first sight of this movement, and its powerful message was bolstered by its behavior and conduct.

U.S. National Archives and Records Administration

In the grand scheme of things, does dress matter? Maybe not, but it is a choice. What does your choice say about you? What do you want it to say?

And what about those who have no choice? This is a great day to remember those who (unlike me) don’t wear 2nd-hand clothing by choice. Surely there is a suit of your husband’s or a pair of shoes that are never worn—kids clothing that they’ve grown out of. Not only are the impoverished hungry in our communities, they don’t have the clothing they need to stay warm let alone get back on their feet.

In less than one minute I was able to find a list of my city’s homeless shelters along with other places to donate clothing, toiletries and other essentials. I am going to go find some good quality clothing to share today in honor of Martin Luther King’s Day. If any piece of it gives someone the lift she deserves...that would be a small dream come true.

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