THIS IS THE DAY
The March on Washington
By Leonard Freed
Getty. 108 pp. $29.95
History has a tendency to abbreviate complex stories in statue-worthy figures and bullet-point moments. The civil rights era is summed up by Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, Emmett Till, buses and police dogs. But “This Is the Day,” by Magnum photographer Leonard Freed, fleshes out the 1963 March on Washington, showing King only once and focusing instead on the shifting emotions of the crowd of 250,000.
Freed captures the weariness and reflection of the marchers, many of whom made long journeys by bus, bicycle and even roller skate. In several rapid-fire sequences, he shows attendees veering from quiet moments to spirited bursts of singing.