The Million Man March - Uniting for Justice or Else
20 years ago, hundreds of thousands of black men gathered at the National Mall to bring urban and minority issues to the forefront of policy makers’ minds. Organized by Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, the Million Man March was a charged moment for the African American community to reclaim the rights and services that they deserved. Now the movement that’s been heralded at the beginnings of Black Lives Matter has been revived for a 20 Year reunion, echoing many of the rallies for change.
Tens of thousands of people marched through DC; this time, men marched with women and children, holding signs saying things like, ‘Pro-Black Doesn’t Mean Anti-White,’ and ‘Straight Outta Patience.’ The protesters included Farrakhan, Snoop Dogg, civil rights leader Benjamin Chavis, J. Cole, Rep. Danny K. Davis (D-Illinois), and Common.
The march had a huge social media presence, with over 60,000 posts on Instagram featuring the tag #millionmanmarch. Many users also critiqued the lack of mainstream media presence.
— David McQueen ♕ (@DavidMcQueen) October 10, 2015
In remembering the past, Farrakhan also rallied for the next generation to take up the mantle. “We who are getting older… what good are we if we don’t prepare young people to carry that torch of liberation to the next step?,” he said. “What good are we if we think we can last forever and not prepare others to walk in our footsteps?”
The march was ultimately a peaceful testament to a community that banded together to criticize, celebrate, and, ultimately, remember. We need to remember how far this country has come, how far it has to go, and everyone that has worked to incite change along the way.
To volunteer or donate to the cause, visit the Justice Or Else website.
Images via Evan Vucci, Instagram.