More than 800,000 black men converged Monday, Oct. 16, 1995, on the Washington Mall for a day of prayer, reflection and movement toward healing. The Million Man March was the largest rally ever held in Washington, and became a spot in black history.
The plan was to discuss the strides that blacks have made and encourage the figurative head of the black community- men-to take more responsibility and be leaders in all aspects of their lives.
Ten years later, the time came again for blacks, along with Latinos, American Indians and other ethnic minorities, to converge on the nation’s capital for a “day of atonement” and peaceful demonstration; this time titled the Millions More Movement.
Creating dialogue about the societal ills of minorities is a great way to identify the problems facing the black community, but we must not forget this second day of unity must be followed by some precise organized action.
Minister Louis Farrakhan even admitted that although the March was successful, minorities are still not getting their share of the pie. The problem: too few are “making it.” There is a large black middle class but still too many blacks who have yet to reach their potential.
In order for the Millions More Movement to work, everyone needs to do their part to make their community better. Yes, everyone. Us.
We have to become more involved and informed about our local, state and national government if we ever want to effect change.
We have to stand up and educate the younger members of our community who think that Young Jeezy’s album is the blueprint for how they should live.
We have to hold our heads high in determination to prove the detractors wrong when they devalue the education we receive at our beloved HBCUs. The task is monumental, but it can be done.
The Millions More Movement was about more than just taking a trip to Washington, it was about taking a serious look at the state of minorities in this country and inspiring all members of minority groups to be accountable for their own destinies. We all have to work to ensure that our legacy is not just a few “haves” and many “have nots.” It is not the government’s job to solve this problem, it’s ours.
We have to keep in mind the parting words of Minister Farrakhan at the conclusion of the Million Man March: “…Carry this love all the way back to our cities and towns and never let it die, brothers. Never let it die.”
LaToya Hunter is fourth-year public relations student from Tallahassee, Fla. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.