Children's March for Survival 1972
Most images in this set are from the "Children's March for Survival" in Washington, D.C March 25, 1972.

The album also includes other images of welfare rights and food stamp protests.

The children's march was to "encircle" the White House. Some of the participants are shown on the Washington Monument grounds.

The march was principally sponsored by the National Welfare Rights Organization, although was endorsed by other organizations. Washington, D.C. schools came under intense criticism for permitting District school children to attend the march.

Social safety net programs such as Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC), Food Stamps and other minimal income measures were under attack by the Nixon administration and their allies in Congress.

The NWRO was formed in the mid-1960s and was active from 1966-75, involving predominently low-income African American women. This was the last major demonstration by the group.

By 1972, a split developed in the organization with one tendency led by George Wiley advocating expanding the organization to the working poor and another tendency led by Johnnie Tillmon who advocated pursuing a black feminist agenda. In late 1972, Wiley resigned as Executive Director and Tillmon became the new ED ending the debate.

The organization went bankrupt and ceased to exist in 1975.

Food stamps restrictions were imposed by Congress in 1977 and again in the early 80s, although the program was later expanded. AFDC was effectively ended in 1996 and replaced with Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) which continues in existence today.

The first five images were scanned & cropped from contact prints. Original negatives have been lost. Some minimal restoration work was done to make the images viewable. Image # 6 was scanned from an 8 x 10 photo. Non-commerical use of these images should be credited to Reading/Simpson. Commercial use of these items is prohibited without express permission. The last five images are copied from original prints by Pete Copeland with a Nikon D-5100 - These images courtesy of the DC Public Library Washington Star Collection © Washington Post.
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