The Million Man March 2015 was held yesterday, October 10th, 2015. I really enjoyed seeing thousands of African-Americans gather together along with Native Americans and Latinos in Washington, DC at the Capitol. It was the 20th anniversary of the Million Man March which was called “Justice Or Else!” rally convened by the Nation of Islam’s leader, Louis Farrakhan.
The March was different from 1995. The 1995 March was more about Black men needing to take responsibility and accountability in their home. This year’s March was about a few things that are happening in the Black community; police brutality, calling for unity and institutional reform on social justice issues, Black on Black crime, homosexuality, and Black women should love themselves and always carry themselves with dignity and respect especially the young women. The March was beautiful to see on TV, people were waving flags, hugging each other, singing, and just happy to be at a peaceful gathering that felt like a family reunion.
Minister Farrakhan, 82, spoke to the crowd on the National Mall in Washington and reflected on the importance of passing the torch to the next generation. “We who are getting older… what good are we if we don’t prepare young people to carry that torch of liberation to the next step? What good are we if we think we can last forever and not prepare others to walk in our footsteps?” he said. Minister Farrakhan was also addressing men to respect and love the Black woman. He also addressed the social injustices that Latino and Native Americans are experiencing.
Minister Farrakhan discussed passing of the torch and gave thanks to the Black Lives Matter movement, the group that demanded justice for police involved deaths. He regarded the group as “future leadership.” Minister Farrakhan said that Ferguson ignited it all, “So to all the brothers and sisters from Ferguson who laid in the streets, all the brothers and sisters from Ferguson who challenged the tanks, we are honored that you have come to represent our struggle and our demands.” There were several celebrities that attended the March such as; P. Diddy, Russell Simmons, rapper J. Cole, Snoop Dog who was dressed up in a suit with a bow tie, comedian Dave Chappelle, and “Empire” star Bryshere Y. Gray. Also in attendance was the families of Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown.
This was a wonderful event that was only covered by C-SPAN news. I was very disappointed in the limited coverage that this positive gathering received. I wasn’t surprised that CNN and Fox news did not cover this event. I was surprised and very disappointed in the Black media like BET, TVOne, and even OWN for not covering such an important event. I saw Roland Martin apologize for not covering the event due to other priorities. Other priorities? Really Roland! The Black media is really looking like a true follower of mainstream media these days! I thought I could trust that the Black media outlets would cover this historical event but nothing happen! I think a lot African-Americans were surprised by no coverage from the Black outlets.
I am learning that we can’t depend on Black media anymore and they are mainly being controlled by the mainstream media. I think a lot of folks depended a lot on social media feeds and pictures from people who attended the event to get updates and information. Thank goodness for C-SPAN in covering the event or we all would have been lost in the dark about this event. Majority of people heard about the event through word of mouth versus media outlets. However, I am sure this event would have covered by all networks if there were protests in the streets, burning communities, or police brutality. I am noticing whenever African-Americans get together in a positive manner it’s not news worthy because it shows unity that mainstream media don’t want the world to see. The mainstream media only want to perceive the African-American community as people who can’t get anything together.
Well, we may not received the mainstream coverage but the world got a chance to see the event courtesy of the social media outlets and the many people who tweeted their pictures and videos. Thank you Minister Farrakhan for creating this event in a time racial injustice is happening around the world! I hope all the people who attended the event go back to their communities and volunteer, mentor the kids in their communities, create non-profit organizations, and just educate the community on loving themselves. This event showed me that the Black community wants change, new leadership, and direction in their communities. The Black media is a huge disappointment but it prove to me that they are no better than the mainstream media when covering stories in the Black community!