October 16, 2004

The Million Man March

Today is the ninth anniversary of one of the most spectacular events I ever witnessed and been a part of; The Million Man March. It was back in 1995 that Minister Farrakhan called for a million black men to meet him in Washington D.C. to bring attention to the crimes committed against us and the crimes we commit against one another. I and about six brothers of mine answered that call, driving from California to Washington D.C. I will never forget arriving on the mall that morning before the sun rose thinking we would be some of the first brothers out there, little did I know if we wanted to be in the top ten thousand we would have had to arrived several hours earlier. The spirit of that day is one that sticks with me to this day; there was no mean mugging, no disrespect, no nigga this or nigga that, it was all love for one another and kind.

Black men arrived on the mall in the thousands some say and believe in the millions. Black Muslims, Black Christians, Black Jews, Black Atheist, Black Nationalist, Black Homosexuals, Black Republicans, Black Democrats, Black men from the East Coast, Black men from the West Coast, Black men from the South, Black men from the Mid-West, Black Police, Black Fireman, Black Masons; we all came representing nearly every affiliation there is in our community. However, this march was not about any of those affiliations, it was about Black men coming together and atoning for our past transgressions and taking a pledge to do better after that day.

Here is the pledge Black men took on that day and it is as relevant today as it was on that great day.

“I pledge that from this day forward I will strive to love my brother as I love myself. I, from this day forward, will strive to improve myself spiritually, morally, mentally, socially, politically and economically for the benefit of myself, my family and my people. I pledge that I will strive to build business, build houses, build hospitals, build factories and enter into international trade for the good of myself, my family and my people.

I pledge that from this day forward I will never raise my hand with a knife or a gun to beat, cut, or shoot any member of my family or any human being except in self-defense. I pledge from this day forward I will never abuse my wife by striking her, disrespecting her, for she is the mother of my children and the producer of my future. I pledge that from this day forward I will never engage in the abuse of children, little boys or little girls for sexual gratification. For I will let them grow in peace to be strong men and women for the future of our people.

I will never again use the `B word' to describe any female. But particularly my own black sister. I pledge from this day forward that I will not poison my body with drugs or that which is destructive to my health and my well-being. I pledge from this day forward I will support black newspapers, black radio, black television. I will support black artists who clean up their acts to show respect for themselves and respect for their people and respect for the ears of the human family. I will do all of this so help me god.”

Minister Farrakhan also laid out Eight steps of atonement I have found these steps to be useful in every aspect of my life and I am sure they can work in yours as well.

Eight Steps of Atonement
1. Someone must point out the wrong
2. Acknowledgment of the wrong
3. Confess the fault; first to God, then to those offended
4. Repentance; a feeling of remorse or contrition or shame for the past conduct which was wrong and sinful
5. Atonement; meaning to make amends and reparations for the wrong
6. Forgiveness by the offended party; to cease to feel offense and resentment against another for the harm done
7. Reconciliation and restoration; meaning to become friendly and peaceable again
8. Perfect union with God

Atone Brothers and Sisters and let’s move forward and help our people.


At 4:07 AM, Blogger Constructive Feedback said...

I attended the MMM.

It was a powerful and life changing event for me.

I saw a sheet of Black people gathered together for a purpose. On that day I saw how Black people can be united with consciousness and are able to accomplish anything we set our minds to.

There were no riots or mass arrests that had been feared.

Our usual tendency to "talk B.S." and chase after women was preempted by a greater purpose.

The challege is to setup a management infrastructure that allows us to accomplish some of these goals between the first march and the next march that is made out of anger. This happens at the cultural level. We need to prioritize the time of our young people and remove them from certain activities and conditioning which lead them astray.

The MMM is still alive but there is much work to be done to maximize all of the potential.


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