It’s been 21 years since the first Million man march on October 16, 1995 this day will ever be etched in my mind. This day was a day of love, peace, brother hood. Hope for my race as a man and father, hope for the future. I remember everyone was talking about going to dc We made a plan to go to hear the many speakers and to listen to what everyone had to say about the day of atonement what started out as a group of 25 people turn to an army of one.
One by one they started to back out of the plan, Mike said he wasn’t going because he feared for his life so he didn’t go, Kip said his mother thought that the Government would bomb D.C so he backed out once the dust settled I was the only one still going.
The days leading up to the march I thought about backing down and not going, the United states past history shows that when it comes to Blacks in America they don’t always play fair or by the rules but something inside of me kept telling me to go. At the time I was working at Nations Bank and if you wanted to go to the march they would let you have the day off. As the day approach I was excited and nervous at the same time, excited about the day and hope for the future and nervous about the unknown of what to expect once i made it to dc..
As I arrived at the train station to purchase a ticket I looked around and saw Black men everywhere, the turn out was big not only was there a large crowd but everyone was getting along ( that’s something I thought I would never see in a lifetime) there was no egos, no drama, no one trying to see how tough they where just one common goal unified. It was so packed in the stations that I had to look around to find a seat. Once I found a seat I sat down checking out my surrounding ( where I from you have to B-more careful ) still looking around in amazement to see how many men was at the station when one guy stood up and said let’s get pumped we’re going to Washington DC baby make some noise everyone started clapping their hands then we heard the train to DC was about to pull into the station.
As everyone started to get on the train seats was going quick , I was walking through the cars hoping to find a seat finely after six different cars I found a seat. I set next to a man name Marcus this was quite ironic this is also my son’s name i thought about taking my son with me to D.C. at the time he was 5 but the uncertainty of what lies ahead made me change my mind. Me and Marcus talked all the way their about what we hoped would happen at the march a day of atonement and the future of our race then I heard the announcement that we have arrived in Washington D.C.
Once we got off the train Marcus said he knew the way to National Mall so I followed him as we were walking towards the march the crowd begin to get larger and larger as we walked around meeting people from all over the United State everybody giving us warm greeting I met people from Alabama, California, Texas, Denver and Portland.
One person that I would never forget was Dave from Alaska at first I thought that he was joking then later that day I found out he was telling the truth. Dave was the first person I have ever met from Alaska let alone a black man living in Alaska had never cross my mind that day my mind-set was opening up to a lot of new things. Dave spoke about a better future for Black men in America how we all have a personal responsibility to our self, our family , our community and our race. Everyone started to head over to hear the many speakers Dr. Benjamin Chavis jr, Rosa Parks, Maya Angelou, Rev. James Bevel and Ayinde Jean Baptiste who at the time was 12 years old just to name a few for me the speakers was just an encore the bigger prize for me was to see all those Black men with different religious beliefs, views, and back grounds coming together for one common goal and getting along.
Speaking from someone who was at the march to see so many Black men approximately 1.5 Million to 2 Million at one event this site was something to behold, this also gave me hope as a Black Man for my community, and my race. I have seen first hand the power of unity, it’s truly a beautiful thing, we have to remind our self that it starts with us we first have to learn how to love and respect one another once we do that we can start a path for a better tomorrow.
Who will save us? / We will save our self # Who will save us?