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Others argued that the movement should remain nationwide in scope, rather than focus its energies on the nation's capital. Kennedy invited African-American novelist James Baldwin, along with a large group of cultural leaders, to a meeting in New York to discuss race relations.

Violent confrontations broke out in the South: in Cambridge, Maryland; Pine Bluff, Arkansas; Goldsboro, North Carolina; Somerville, Tennessee; Saint Augustine, Florida; and across Mississippi.

Most of these incidents involved white people retaliating against nonviolent demonstrators.

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The public failure of the meeting, which came to be known as the Baldwin–Kennedy meeting, underscored the divide between the needs of Black America and the understanding of Washington politicians.

However, the meeting also provoked the Kennedy administration to take action on the civil rights for African-Americans. Kennedy gave his famous civil rights address on national television and radio, announcing that he would begin to push for civil rights legislation—the law which eventually became the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Members of The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference put aside their differences and came together for the march.

Many whites and blacks also came together in the urgency for change in the nation.

They envisioned several large marches during the 1940s, but all were called off (despite criticism from Rustin).

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