Anniversary of ‘Million Man March’ falls short of potential

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October 10 marked the 20th anniversary of the 1995 Million Man March in Washington, D.C. An anniversary rally entitled “Justice or Else,” was organized by Louis Farrakhan, a leader in the Muslim community. The march was planned as part of an effort to continue the fight for justice among blacks in America.

The event itself was not just intended for those of Muslim faith but for people of all faiths, traditions, races, and political beliefs.

The newfound diversity of the march is reaching a broader audience in comparison to the gathering of just black men in 1995. Some of the key points that were discussed among the crowd were the present oppression and tyranny of blacks in America, mistreatment and disrespect of latinos, and “justice or else!” The theme of Dr. Kings “I Have a Dream” speech was deeply emphasized and rang true in the diversity of the crowd.

The leaders at the event focused on the younger generation by encouraging them to take pictures and tweet about the event to bring awareness around the country. But ironically, the event did not gain the desired coverage even with social media as a main point of its public relations campaign.

The overall message came across unclear and seemed as if it had no real direction. The 20th anniversary event could’ve also been overshadowed by the man associated with the event, Louis Farrakhan, and the underdeveloped public relations aspect of it all.

The whole event was focused on Farrakhan, who a lot of people do not particularly care for due to his radical views during the time of Malcolm X.

His speech at the rally seemed to carry a vibe of condemnation. He spoke about not being judges of the LGBT community, but has openly made homophobic statements in the past.

He revealed his views on women and how their wombs are a sign of honor and how they should dress appropriately in order to gain respect.

Although these are things that people concern themselves with, Farrakhan’s message completely missed the mark and strayed away from the overall goal.

He was right to want to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Million Man March but it would have been more effective with a different keynote speaker who didn’t try to push his personal beliefs on attendees.

In the end, the number of people that attended was acceptable and it was all for a great cause, but the ineffective speech definitely cast a shadow on a 20-year legacy.

Author: Kaitlyn Marshall

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