Press Statement 19th Anniversary of the Million Man March
Released Sept. 10, 2014
On October 16th, 1995 close to two million Black men answered the call of the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan to be present at the Million Man March in Washington D.C. The purpose of this monumental event was for Black men to:
- Recommit themselves to being better fathers, husbands, brothers, sons and men in general;
- Confront contemporary social realities of life;
- Shoulder responsibility; and
- Reconcile differences between themselves.
One of the major factors to be appreciated about this grand, unparalleled occasion is that it:
- Created meaningful change by presenting positive imagery to replace negative stereotypes of Black men;
- Produced results through social action and diligence in civic duties, resulting in men joining civic and community organizations;
- Encouraged active participation in community development and building;
- Increased conscientious in voting, as well as a large increase in the registered voting ranks; and
- Saw the adoption of Black children residing in foster care homes.
Since 1995 a legacy was established whereby every year around October 16th, there has been a commemoration of the Million Man March where the spirit and principles of the Movement are remembered and revived. This historic moment was undoubtedly a turning point in our history!
To date, this march was the largest recorded gathering of Black people ever. The three general themes were:
- Atonement (reparation for a wrong or injury);
- Reconciliation (the restoration of friendly relations); and
- Responsibility (being accountable and delivering on something a person has to do).
Among the many critical points dealt with by Minister Farrakhan were:
- The need for uniting and becoming one;
- Putting down the guns and drugs;
- Stopping the violence Black men were perpetrating on each other; and
- Making amends for the wrongs we are guilty of committing.
Without such a process, it would be difficult for our community to move forward in the manner in which we ultimately must. Pivotal to Brother Farrakhan’s keynote address were the eight steps of atonement, which were specifically designed to remedy issues of conflict and confrontation that exist between brothers. The 5th anniversary of the Million Man March was marked by the staging of the Million Family March which took place on October 16, 2000 in Washington D.C. One of its key features was the Declaration of the Family Bill of Rights and Responsibility. It listed 10 key proposals to strengthen, develop and make functional the family unit. The 10th anniversary commemorative event was branded as the Millions More Movement, and was held on October 15, 2005 in Washington, D.C. The gathering saw creation of a number of sub-organisations that each held a specific area of focus that directly addressed challenges within the Black Community.
This year—2014—the 19th anniversary of the Million Man March will be commemorated in Kingston, Jamaica. The legacy of the initial historic March lives on, but the outreach base of love, unity, peace, forgiveness and progressive consciousness has expanded to include the people of the Caribbean in this dimension of the Black struggle. In light of the Caribbean’s dreadful contemporary pattern of:
- Escalating crime levels;
- Spiraling murder statistics;
- Economic stagnation;
- Moral decay;
- General social deviance; and
- Loss of direction and purpose.
There is no better time for the Million Man March Anniversary to come to this part of the world. This is the first time the commemoration of the Million Man March is being held outside of the United States, and Jamaica was specifically selected because of its heritage, history, and heroes, as well as its culture and the undying love Minister Farrakhan has for this nation. It is expected that this occasion will bring together diverse peoples from across the region, and foster the cooperation and collaboration of a number of social action groups including activists, clergy, entertainment figures, and cultural artistes. In light of the fact that women play a vital role in the nurturing and development of the Black family, Black women played a critical role in the planning and staging of the original 1995 Million Man March, and continue to play important roles in all of the commemorative events that are staged to revitalize the spirit and principles of this historic event. This is why not only men, but women, children, and the entire family are invited, and are being encouraged to come hear the powerful and profound message that Minister Farrakhan will deliver at the National Arena on Oct. 19. A think tank of persons from at least 7 countries across the hemisphere have been involved in the planning and preparation of this upcoming Oct. 19 event, and the organizers have pulled together stake holders and participants from the widest possible cross section of progressive social thought throughout the region.
The over-arching vision of this momentous 2014 event is the fortification of one harmonious Caribbean region, operating together as a single entity under the mission of:
- Youth development.
- Poverty eradication.
- Political self-determination.
- Educational attainment.
- Family reorganization and,
- National progression.
Minister Farrakhan will be delivering a unique and profoundly important message to the Caribbean at the National Arena—a message that will provide healing, direction, energy, and purpose at this critical make or break time in the history of our Caribbean region. No better place than Jamaica (the home of his father), no better time than now, no better reason than the outlined objectives of the mission, and no better vehicle of truth than the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan.