Twenty years ago, hundreds of thousands of black men gathered on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. to rally to bring attention to the issues facing African-American men. Today, thousands will once again march on the National Mall to mark the 20th anniversary of the Million Man March. MSNBC asked our readers to share their stories of attending the March in 1995 – here are some of the responses we received.
“I had the privilege of attending the original Million Man March at the clarion call of Minister [Louis] Farrakhan. It was a historic opportunity for us as black Men to collectively atone for our irresponsibility as black men and to show the world another perspective of black Men as civil, courteous and responsible men. This historic moment implored us as black men to become more responsible to ourselves, our families and communities. My most memorable moment was witnessing the love, peace and unity of over one million black Men!” – Norman
“I was at the Million Man March 20 years ago. I was a student at Howard University at the time. Me and my friends from Howard and one of my closest friends who came to visit from my hometown of Detroit all went down to the March as proud black men. The March was historic. It is a memory I cherish to this day. Experiences like the March is one the reasons I left a very high paying job as a manager at fortune 100 company to work on ways to help my community.” – Sean Armstrong
“What we witnessed was incredible. Throngs of black men streaming off chartered busses assembled from the Washington Monument to the steps of the Capitol. Faces beaming with pride, fully empowered souls encouraged to take the charge issued from Minister Louis Farrakhan’s grassroots movement. Several things stand out in my mind from the day. Most vividly, walking past two brothers respectively standing on a light post and electrical junction box, holding a Nationalist flag between them, dressed in the full regalia of the Black Panther Party, grim looks on their faces with their free hands clenched into fists of solidarity. Looking to the summit of the Capitol from the Mall grounds over heads crowning a sea of black bodies, their faces affixed to the main stage, where leaders from organizations I’d known solely from study brought their aims to light…. On that day, in that moment, a million black men made the pledge to be servant-leaders of our people, to protect black womanhood and embolden ourselves through study and discipline.
Saturday will be different. I’m looking forward to standing with my black, brown and red brothers to demand Justice or Else. Perhaps I’ll share the experience with you.” – Russ Green