Meanwhile, angered by white violence in the South and inspired by the gigantic June 23 march in Detroit, grassroots people on the streets all over the country had begun talking about marching on Washington. “It scared the white power structure in Washington, D.C. to death,” as Malcolm put it in his “Message to the Grassroots” and in his Autobiography.6 So the White House called in the Big Six national Negro leaders and arranged for them to be given the money to control the march. The result was what Malcolm called the “Farce on Washington” on August 28, 1963. John Lewis, then chairman of SNCC and fresh from the battlefields of Georgia, Mississippi, and Alabama where hundreds of blacks and their white student allies were being beaten and murdered simply for trying to register blacks to vote, was forced to delete references to the revolution and power from his speech and, specifically, to take out the sentence, “We will not wait for the President, the Justice Department nor Congress, but we will take matters into our own hands and create a source of power, outside of any national structure, that could and would assure us a victory.” Marchers were instructed to carry only official signs and to sing only one song, “We Shall Overcome.” As a result, many rank-and-file SNCC militants refused to participate.7 Meanwhile, conscious of the tensions that were developing around preparations for the march on Washington and in order to provide a national rallying point for the independent black movement, Conrad Lynn and William Worthy, veterans in the struggle and old friends of ours, issued a call on the day of the march for an all-black Freedom Now Party. Lynn, a militant civil rights and civil liberties lawyer, had participated in the first Freedom Ride from Richmond, Virginia, to Memphis, Tennessee, in 1947 and was one of Robert Williams’s attorneys.8 Worthy, a Baltimore Afro-American reporter and a 1936–37 Nieman Fellow, had distinguished himself by his courageous actions in defense of freedom of the press, including spending forty-one days in the Peoples Republic of China in 1957 in defiance of the U.S. travel ban (for which his passport was lifted) and traveling to Cuba without a passport following the Bay of Pigs invasion in order to help produce a documentary. The prospect of a black independent party terrified the Democratic Party. Following the call for the Freedom Now Party, Kennedy twice told the press that a political division between whites and blacks would be “fatal.