Date: Thu, 2 Sep 1999 02:05:09 -0400
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From: Max Nomad <>
Subject: [BRC-NEWS] The Millionth March
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The Millionth March

By Maximillian Nomad <>, 2 September 1999

The Million Man March in Washington, D.C.—I was there. Beautiful, sunny afternoon in a sea of black faces. My friends and I stood on Capitol Hill for roughly 9 solid hours, about 40 yards to the right of the speaker podium. I watched and listened to everything from the Libations and African drums in the morning to the Honorable Louis Farrakhan late that afternoon. Although exhausted and barely able to stand at the end of the day, I left feeling rejuvenated about my people and my brothas. I also left with the feeling that every black man there whether he liked it or not was going to have to spend a lifetime to atone for our sins and particularly those of OUR forefathers, each in his own way. Speakers gave good rhetoric.... I left with a stronger sense of purpose, but without a unified sense of agenda or direction for the black community.

October 25, 1997:

The Million Woman March in Philadelphia—I was there, too. Rained off and on all day. After marching through town, I came to find myself standing amidst a sea of black faces again. I went to provide support for my ex-fiance and the busload of sistahs we went with (I carried alot of heavy bags).... I stood in place for about 5-6 hours holding up huge brown signs that read Jazz'M'Tazz—Hampton Roads, VA—essentially, providing a beacon for everyone else in our party to find their way back to a central point. There was a spirit there, too, but something was missing. It turned into more of a huge chatty festival versus any kind of large gathering with a sense of purpose. There were plenty of vendors and hawkers selling some of everything under the sun. I caught as many lewd and rude comments from women as I did thanks and praise for being supportive. I was surprised when even Winnie Mandela received a stale lukewarm welcome from the crowd; many seemed more concerned about participating in the event itself (a party to some) versus seeking to hear proposed agendas for the black community.

September, 1998:

The [first] Million Youth March—I didn't bother going. We can barely control classrooms full of kids in our own communities. If the Million Woman March was any indication, it's foolish to attempt to gather a million children ANYWHERE unless you've got between 300,000 to 500,000 adults there to maintain order (incidentally, by early afternoon at the MWM, there were dozens of children in the lost and found area—some of which ended up staying there all day). I also believe it was (and is) reckless to put the march's young participants in the way of NYPD who were going to make a strong show of force due mostly to Khallid Muhammad's pre-march rhetoric and agitations—and I still say that even after having had the opportunity to speak with Dr. Muhammad and watch video documentation of the incident the weekend after it happened.

I doubt I'll march again.


A Million Marches (each with Millions of us Marching) over Millions of Miles with Millions of Messages means Millions of Wasted Hours if those Millions don't have a clear agenda with what they're Marching for. A Million speeches ranting about Black Economic Empowerment are useless if people have no clear clue or agenda to what Economic Empowerment truly means for our people beyond materialistic gains and bullshit. A Million speeches about Black Unity are useless if those that hear the message aren't in a mindset to keep their own families together. A Million speeches about the need for higher Black Education standards are useless if heard by those who will gladly spend $100 on a pair of sneakers for their child versus investing in that child's brain.

Marches without clear-cut ACHIEVABLE agendas are nothing more than a day-long walk-a-thons, complete with placebo-laced emotional highs and sore feet when the sun goes down. Each person may take away a special meaning after the event (usually after some serious soul searching), as well as having shed a few pounds.

I'm tired of the feel-good speeches—we as a people have become desensitized to their impact and they rarely initiate true action.

I'm tired of putting it in the hands of the Creator—the Creator helps those who help themselves. As a whole, we're not there yet to meet that help halfway.

I'm tired of the big marches and rallies—they tend to be fertile ground for opportunists behind the scenes to make money under the guise of doing something for the people. Some of these events might as well be sponsored by Nike, Pepsi, or Tommy Fieldnigga.

I'm tired of the protest marches—all they served was to bring attention to problems that people already knew about and give the local media something to report on that day.

My reason:

Social, Political, and Economic change for African Americans isn't going to come from a march, until those changes happen within each one of us as individuals first. I'm still working on those changes inside and out. I've moved on to the Millionth March.

Have you?