On August 28th, 1963, hundreds of thousands of Americans held a march to advocate for equal civil and economic rights among blacks and whites. At the March on Washington, Martin Luther King Junior gave his famous “I Have a Dream” speech, bringing hope for a better future to people of all colors in the United States. A gathering of this magnitude must have been a difficult task to spread the word to hundreds of thousands of people without the reach of social media, but, if this march occurred in 2019, it would look more like what the Women’s March looks like today. The women’s march had almost 4 million women marching across over 600 different locations in the United States and this was possible because of the vast news coverage and spread of information through social media like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter (The Washington Post). If the March on Washington was during a time that every person in the crowd had a personal cell phone with the ability to live record, take videos and pictures, and have the social media accounts to post to, then the turnout of the event and the effects of it would be much different. I believe acts for equal rights for black people would have come at a much earlier time because of the pressure the government would have had to face because of the popularity that this cause was gaining. The Civil Rights Act, the Voting Rights Act, and the Fair Housing Act all were passed years after the March on Washington, but if the march occurred in 2019, it may have only taken a few months to get the government on board. The movement had a lack of momentum because of the fact that there were only newspapers and some households with televisions and radios to spread the word about the march. If Martin Luther King Junior had various social media platforms with a large following because of his growing popularity as a civil rights advocate, then millions would have shown up to the Washington and Lincoln Memorial that day. Everyone would snap pictures and make posts about their time fighting for the rights of colored people. Hashtags would be created similar to #blacklivesmatter which would further extend the reach to more people sharing experiences and stories about their unequal and brutal treatment. Twitter posts would have millions of retweets, Instagram posts would have millions of likes and comments, and Facebook would have millions of views and shares. The advocation for civil rights would be seen by anyone who had a smartphone and any form of social media or friends with social media that shared the march by word of mouth. This type of movement and event with social media would take the world by storm and soon more and more people would be fighting. As discussed in class, social media not only spreads the word, but it also gives people the chance to support a movement without actually being there to march, so the numbers of participants, both physically and externally through social media, would reach peaking heights in a movement like the March on Washington.
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