20 years ago we had the Million Man March. On Saturday DC once again saw a Million Man March as Black people from across the country made their way to the march.
Once again Minister Louis Farrakhan was at the helm, just as he was 20 years ago. Many people who were there in 95 went back & brought there children to be a part of it. There were some familiar faces in the crowd such as Russell Simmons, J. Cole, Ty Dolla $ign, Common, Diddy, Snoop Dogg & many others. Cornel West was in the crowd & many from the more recent movement came out, like Deray McKesson, Netta Elzie & the families of Mike Brown, Sandra Bland, Jordan Davis, just to name a few.
The overall theme was Justice Or Else. People showed up with all kinds of signs & showed out in many ways. Minister Farrakhan spoke, of course, along with many others speaking against racism, police brutality, & general racial inequity. Some were disappointed because they did not hear about the march in time to get there, but those who did packed up & made the trip from all over the nation. It was beautiful seeing photos of the crowd with all of those brown faces coming together. There was a large Native American showing as well.
At the Million Man March 20 years ago, a younger Barack Obama could be seen in the crowd. It’s amazing to think that 20 years after the fact, he is President of the United States. Some young girl or boy out there amongst the crowd could go on to do the same. Many were bothered that Saturday was not shown more in the media. Unfortunately, we know how that goes. It wasn’t a riot, there was no looting or violence, so it was no news story. Thanks to social media, however, we don’t need the news to cover it. We are able to spread the word on our own.
Although there were some conflicts with some of the messages, it was a reminder of our strength & power as a community. What we can do together has been spotlighted time & again, particularly recently with the movement swelling back up. It is unfortunate that 20 years after the Million Man March we still have so many of the same problems. However, it shows us that we must continue to push for justice. We must remember that though the 50s & 60s are spotlighted, The Civil Rights Movement was centuries in the making. Harriet Tubman was a civil rights activist as much as Dr. King.
It took a great deal to go from 3/5 of a person to having actual rights. From property to personage, the struggle has been vast, but rewarding. It is only through unyielding work, vigilance, & demand that large scale change is able to be realized. Keep that in mind as you walk through your life. This country’s history is rife with blood & trauma, but we are here & it is ours as much as anybody. We must continue to better this nation for ourselves & those coming behind us. Anything less than freedom is unacceptable. #JusticeOrElse!
If you missed out on the festivities you can go to www.justiceorelse.com to see the full recap. Below are some photos from social media: