A call was heard in the States and around the world for a million Black men to converge on the National Mall. Some said it could not be done, but a million Black men marched from all points to one point in Unity-fixing the foundation. Shining hours of renewal and bonding lighted the way back home. Some of the men were active before the Million Man March and so their convictions were reaffirmed. Others became energized transforming words into deeds, infusing our communities as activists. Each day then and now we are reminded that more are needed to climb the uphill journey. The only passport required is the four letter word WORK. Persistence, patience and perseverance are the key words.
On a personal level, I was moved to join the Million Women March on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway in Philadelphia one year later. The theme was Celebrating Sisterhood, in the spirit of peace, freedom and justice. These events mobilized my support for some of the organizations that I saw as active participants facing many of the problems in our communities.
This new gathering of thousands, on the twenty year anniversary of the Million Man March, was more diverse with women and children, symbolizing the need for a sustained collective struggle on all fronts joining hands, walking side by side, shoulder to shoulder en masse, sharing, renewing and transforming. The theme was "Open Mind." I was unable to watch this on CSPAN, because I was attending a yoga conference. I have been looking at some of the comments made in the media and listening to some of the comments on WURD, the only Black owned and operated radio station in Pennsylvania. One thing that many people agree on is the logistics involved in moving thousands of people in and out of the National Mall is an awesome feat. Within hours after each event, the Mall looked as if no one had been there. But I am sure that energy and peace filled the empty spaces. Sometimes we don't agree with the messenger or the message, and some of the rhetoric may have sounded harsh, but for many people this gathering was special.
Keeping an "open mind" I am energized and hope that the positive energy released is filled with self determination and purpose raising images that reflect the great survival skills of our people. Remember we had a remarkable history before slavery. It is my hope that this message of unity and strength can be explored in our homes and communities with a sense of purpose. We can plant the seeds in our younger generation to embrace each other and work towards solutions for the magnitude of problems facing us in education, jobs and the criminal justice system. Each of us has been endowed with a gift or reason for being here. Let the momentum of this gathering be shared, not only in our homes but in our places of worship as we move forward.
I continue to support the organizations that deal with hunger and services to our youth, but have had some roadblocks and detours this past year which have prevented me from attending many of their conferences and workshops. I look forward in the near future to working more directly with our youth, especially those who have been involved with the justice system. This is a part of my purpose and my humble dream.