Black Quotidian: Everyday History in African-American Newspapers

October 19, 1963

On October 19, 1963, page sixteen of the New York Amsterdam News features two interesting advertisements, one for a local beauty salon and another for one of the most iconic songs in American history.  

The first was a "Rent-A-Wig" ad from Sherry's Beauty Center in Harlem (120 West 125 Street).  "Just call up, come in for your fitting, and take it home," the ad said.  "All colors to match your ensembles.  Styles to pamper your every mood.  Prices to fit every budget.  Credit terms easily arranged.  Harlem's exclusive distributor of the famous FASHION TRESS 100% Human Hair wig.  Need a terrific wig?  Call Sherry's now."

The second ad was for a record from the August 1963 March on Washington, "We Shall Overcome."  "Here, authentically recaptured, are the songs, the speeches, the spirit that touched the heart...and the conscience...of the world," the ad said.  "Here is Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., quietly envisioning a future brotherhood...'I Have a Dream.'  Here are Joan Baez, Marian Anderson, Bob Dylan, Peter, Paul & Mary, Odetta with the inspiring songs of freedom.  Here are Rabbi Joachim Prinz, Whitney M. Young, Jr., James Farmer, Roy Wilkins, Walter Reuther, Bayard Rustin, John Lewis, A. Philip Randolph voicing the aspirations of millions of Americans. Here is the mighty sounds of 200,000 men, women, and children who fervently resolve: 'We Shall Overcome.'"

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