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Paul Newman at the 1963 Civil Rights March on Washington

Paul Newman 1963 Civil Rights
Paul Newman 1963 Civil Rights

Remember, folks, that hatred of “the other” isn’t some innate genetic trait that some people are born with. Hatred is learned. Over time, it can be fostered and spread throughout a population or it can be snuffed out like the pestilence that it is.

In 1963, a coterie of A-list stars boarded a “celebrity plane” in Los Angeles and came to Washington in support of civil rights.

Harry Belafonte, acting in concert with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., helped arrange it, and the multi-racial cast of musicians, actors, movie directors, and other performers who answered the call constituted a virtual Hall of Fame of the American arts.

Just listing all the names of the celebrities who came to Washington for the 1963 civil rights march takes some doing. Writer James Baldwin came, along with baseball pioneer Jackie Robinson, Hollywood producer Frank Mankiewicz, song and dance man Sammy Davis Jr., and actress Ruby Dee. Sidney Poitier wasn’t the only leading man (or Academy Award winner) on the plane Belafonte chartered, either. Marlon Brando, Burt Lancaster, Paul Newman, and Joanne Woodward all came, as did Charlton Heston.