March on Washington: What We Want

A look at the demands of 1963 and 2013 shows the nation is still far from providing equality for all.

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"If people can take a deep breath and think for just a moment before they get outraged about a black agenda, the reality in American politics is everybody has an agenda," said Morial. 

"The NRA has an agenda. The chamber of commerce has an agenda," he said. "Coca-Cola has an agenda. The LGBT community, the immigrant community, the historical preservationists ... the animal-rights activists and the environmentalists, they all have an agenda. There's no secret about that."

And like every political agenda, the document released by the civil rights groups today will have little meaning if it does not ultimately become public policy, Morial said.

Janell Ross is a reporter in New York who covers political and economic issues. She is working on a book about race, economic inequality and the recession, due to be published by Beacon Press next year. Follow her on Twitter. 

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