Tag: Million Man March

Black Men Rally In D.C. For 20th Anniversary Of Million Man March

(TIM SLOAN VIA GETTY IMAGES)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Black men from around the nation are gathering on the National Mall to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Million Man March and call for policing reforms and changes in black communities.

Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, who spearheaded the original march, will lead an anniversary gathering Saturday at the Capitol called the “Justice or Else” march.

“I plan to deliver an uncompromising message and call for the government of the United States to respond to our legitimate grievances,” Farrakhan said in a statement.

Attention has been focused on the deaths of unarmed black men since the shootings of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in 2012 in Florida and 18-year-old Michael Brown in 2014 in Ferguson, Missouri. Deaths of unarmed black males at the hands of law enforcement officers have inspired protests under the “Black Lives Matter” moniker around the country.

The original march on Oct. 16, 1995, brought hundreds of thousands to Washington to pledge to improve their lives, their families and their communities. Women, whites and other minorities were not invited to the original march, but organizers say all are welcome Saturday and that they expect to get hundreds of thousands of participants.

The National Park Service estimated the attendance at the original march to be around 400,000, but subsequent counts by private organizations put the number at 800,000 or higher. The National Park Service has refused to give crowd estimates on Mall activities since.

President Barack Obama, who attended the first Million Man March, will be in California on Saturday.

Life has improved in some way for African-American men since the original march, but not in others. For example:

-The unemployment rate for African-American men in October 1995 was 8.1 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In September it was 8.9 percent.

-In 1995, 73.4 percent of African-American men had high school degrees. In 2004, 84.3 percent did, according to the Census Bureau.

-Law enforcement agencies made 3.5 million arrests of blacks in 1994, which was 30.9 percent of all arrests, the FBI said. (By comparison, they made 7.6 million arrests of whites that year, which was 66 percent of all arrests.) By 2013, the latest available data, African-American arrests had decreased to 2.5 million, 28 percent of all arrests.

Anti-Muslim protesters plan to demonstrate at mosques around the nation on the same day.

article by Jesse J. Holland via huffingtonpost.com

Farrakhan Announces Millions For Justice Rally in October for Million Man March 20th Anniversary

Nation of Islam Leader Louis Farrakan (photo via Associated Press)
Nation of Islam Leader Louis Farrakan (photo via Associated Press)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan said Wednesday he plans to hold a Millions for Justice March in the nation’s capital this fall, 20 years after the Million Man March.

During a speech at Metropolitan African Methodist Episcopal Church in downtown Washington, Farrakhan said he intends to hold the rally Oct. 10 on the National Mall, scene of the 1995 march.

“This is the time our people must see our unity,” Farrakhan said. “Let’s make 10/10/15 a meeting place for those who want justice, for those who know what justice is.”

Organizers said they aim to stage a more diverse and inclusive event than the one in 1995, which was billed as a men-only event.

Former NAACP executive director Benjamin Chavis, who helped organize the original Million Man March, said he is optimistic that this year’s turnout will be “in excess of a million.” He said the event’s success would be measured more by the political and socioeconomical impact it has on communities.

“What ultimately will be a success is seeing improvements in the communities where these people are going to come from,” Chavis said. “We want to make sure our public policy demands are aligned with those challenges.”

Farrakhan said the rally is intended to galvanize a more strategic movement for equality as supporters unite under the social media hashtag #JusticeOrElse.

“Walk with the young people, the warriors of God, as we say to America, ‘You owe us,'” Farrakhan said.

The Million Man March was held in Washington on Oct. 16, 1995. Its goal, organizers said, was to encourage black men to make firmer commitments to family values and community uplift. It is among the largest political gatherings in American history, although there were disputes over the size of the heavily black and male crowd it drew. Crowd estimates ranged from 400,000 to nearly 1.1 million.

Farrakhan, 82, also used the march announcement to call for fair treatment and an end to injustice in the wake of the massacre of nine people at the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina, last week.  “Yes, all lives matter, but the only reason you’re here is because black lives are being slaughtered,” Farrakhan said.

As for efforts to remove the Confederate flag in the wake of that tragedy, Farrakhan said the gesture does little to remove the stain of injustice.

“The media is (still) twisting the narrative of murderers,” Farrakhan added, referring to perceptions that the media tends to portray white perpetrators more humanely than those of other races or ethnicities.

article by Glynn A. Hill via bigstory.ap.org

Seventeen Years Ago Today: Million Man March Took Place On Washington’s National Mall

Million Man March

The Million Man March (pictured throughout), one of the most moving and emotional moments ever in African-American history, took place on the grounds of the National Mall on this day in 1995. The symbolic importance and cultural impact of the huge gathering signified a shift in the attention on issues that plagued urban environs and minorities. The National African American Leadership Summit and the Nation of Islam worked in tandem alongside local chapters of the NAACP to make the March a reality. Continue reading “Seventeen Years Ago Today: Million Man March Took Place On Washington’s National Mall”