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About The Million Man March

A Glimpse of Heaven

The Million Man March, Oct. 16, 1995

Inspired and led by the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan, more than a million Black men gathered in Washington, D.C. to declare their right to justice to atone for their failure as men and to accept responsibility as the family head.

On that day, Monday, October 16, 1995 there was a sea of Black men, many who stood for 10 hours or more sharing, learning, listening, fasting, hugging, crying, laughing, and praying. The day produced a spirit of brotherhood, love, and unity like never before experienced among Black men in America. All creeds and classes were present: Christians, Muslims, Hebrews, Agnostics, nationalists, pan-Africanists, civil rights organizations, fraternal organizations, rich, poor, celebrities and people from nearly every organization, profession and walk of life were present. It was a day of atonement, reconciliation and responsibility.

“The Million Man March was one of the most historic organizing and mobilizing events in the history of Black people in the United States,” said Chicago-based Dr. Conrad Worrill, who was a main organizer of the March and the current president emeritus of the National United Black Front.

Congress shut down that day and President William Clinton was “out of town.” Mainstream media in American and media outlets from around the world were watching. The world did not see thieves, criminals and savages as usually portrayed through mainstream music, movies and other forms of media; on that day, the world saw a vastly different picture of the Black man in America. The world saw Black men demonstrating the willingness to shoulder the responsibility of improving themselves and the community. There was neither one fight nor one arrest that day. There was no smoking or drinking. The Washington Mall, where the March was held, was left as clean as it was found. Two of the best descriptions of the Million Man March include the word “miracle” and the phrase “a glimpse of heaven.”

Along with those who attended, many men, women and children spent the day at home watching the event on television and participating in the day of fasting and absence. Workers did not go to work that day, children did not go to school that day and no one engaged in sport or play.

During Min. Farrakhan’s message to the millions gathered in the mall and those watching on television around the world that day, he explained to the world the need for atonement and he laid out the eight steps of atonement. Thus, for the past 18 years, people gather, reflect and observe the Holy Day of Atonement.

At the conclusion of the March, the millions of men repeated a pledge given by Minister Farrakhan that focused on a personal commitment to be responsible and active in improving the Black community. The purpose was for Black men to take responsibility for their own actions and to help develop their own communities, and to atone for their lack of responsibility. Many of the men assembled took the pledge given that day seriously and have been actively involved in making their word bond ever since.

“The March changed my life and my perspective of life in so many ways. I (gained) a tremendous commitment to the betterment of my culture, and a heightened capacity to care and to love. I am now trying to live by the code of honor and the right conditions set forth in the pledge that I took,” said Glenn Towery, owner of Fairy God Brother Productions and Film Company, LLC that produced the DVD, Long Live the Spirit, a documentary about the Million Man March.

“I have formed my own company and am striving to create culturally enriching productions for African Americans and the world. Thank you Minister Farrakhan for being a conduit to God that allowed such a magnificent idea as the Million Man March to come through your person into fruition. Thank you Benjamin Chavis and all of the organizers, planners and conveners of the Million Man March.”

Immediately following the March, roughly 1.7 million Black men registered to vote and organizational memberships skyrocketed—the NAACP, churches and mosques reported huge increases and the National Association of Black Social Workers reported a flood of 13,000 applications to adopt Black children.

The spirit of the March continues to this day.

“Since the Million Man March, October has become a special month for me,” said Dr. Ayo Maat, Organizer in Green and Disability Issues. “During the first march, I kept my children out of school and they stayed up all night and watched the event the entire day without complaint or fatigue. Since then, I have been working to instill the spirit of atonement and uplift of the race.”

“The spirit, energy, and the ideas that were articulated on that day still resonate among the activists and organizers and thinkers and the masses of Black men who participated in 1995,” said Dr. Worrill. “Although it may not appear that the energy and spirit and impact of that day is still with us; it has manifested itself with us today as Black men are engaged in numerous projects inspired by the Million Man March that can be documented.”

In another public display of accountability, the Million Man March was the first ever public march to provide an independent Financial Audit of its operations.






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October 16, 2008



The poor have no voice
By the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan

[Editor’s note: The following text is excerpted from “A Torchlight for America,” written by the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan, 1993.] In The Name of Allah, The Beneficent, The Merciful.

The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan Photo: Kenneth Muhammad
It’s said that most of the congressmen, the representatives of the American people, are from the wealthy class. The wealthy and the privileged in this society, who have benefited most from the federal debt, corporate restructurings and plant relocations, are the people charged with representing the poor. Can they adequately represent the poor?

In the 1992 presidential debates, a young woman asked the candidates how can they, who have never known suffering in their lives, lead the American people and bring a healing to what ails the country? The closest people to the proper representation of the masses and their suffering are the Blacks, women, Native Americans, poor Whites and Hispanics. In the Congress, the closest representative of the poor is the Congressional Black Caucus. Each year, they have developed and presented before Congress a budget that would keep America strong, while at the same time looking out for the masses of America’s people. Each year, their efforts have been belittled and their budget has been voted down.

It’s our peculiar relationship with suffering that has prepared us for leadership today, and it is precisely because we have an intimate understanding of the devastating effects of being subject to greedy, racist, sexist, immoral leadership, that we have a chance, if reformed, to be a torchlight for ourselves and for all of America.

In truth, the poor are voiceless in society as it is presently structured. Every president in recent history has been of the privileged class. This does not mean that being wealthy disqualifies one for leadership. Being wealthy does mean that there is a lack of an experiential vantage point that we must pay careful attention to.

The American worker has worked and sacrificed to build this country. The corporations, the high-paying government jobs, the fine material possessions, all of this was built on the backs of slaves and the labor class. It is wrong for companies to leave the poor and the working classes in the lurch—conceding manufacturing to other nations under the guise that America is becoming a more service-oriented economy.

It was Mr. Ross Perot, among all the candidates in the ’92 presidential election, who recognized—and openly stated—that the wealth he has achieved is from the poor. Now he sees that same country and those same working-class people who gave him the opportunity to be a billionaire, going down the tubes.

Jesus said in his sermon on the mount, “Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:3) How can you be blessed and poor at the same time? How can you be blessed when you’re barely surviving or can’t feed yourself? Jesus meant that out of the poor will come the Jesus who can lift the poor. This is why the rulership of that day feared Jesus. In him they saw the end of their power and the end of their rule.

The man, Jesus, was sent because no one was speaking concerning the real issues of the poor. Jesus became the advocate of the poor and got in trouble with the rich. The poor today need a Jesus. The poor today need an advocate who will stand for them and speak out to the rich on their behalf.


It’s the greed for short-term profit that has generated an entire society devoid of values and that alienates the poor and the few non-greedy. Most of the incentives and many of the laws in the society are corrupt.

As an example, more is paid to professional athletes than society’s teachers. The teachers have to work two jobs to make ends meet, yet they are responsible for shaping the future by shaping the minds of our children. I’m happy to see the Brothers and Sisters in sports and entertainment making money. However, I am appealing to them, what are you doing with the money to help your people? What kind of opportunity is paraded before our young, when there are only about a thousand positions for our talented sports figures, but there are millions of Black children suffering, who can never become professional athletes to escape from their condition?

Legislative policy and tax law is perverted to work for the rich. The political action committees (PACs), the lobbyists, the special-interest groups, all work for the rich. The rich get a capital gains tax break. The corporations get to write off special deductions and interest on loans. The poor get nothing but the burden and the blame. The lowest rung of the workforce is made idle through plant closings, and America spends next to nothing to retrain them to make them useful in the economy.

Pride and arrogance are part of the leaders’ mentalities. This spiritual disease is what blinds them to the true formula for success, because they’re trying to keep up a posture in the world that is out of step with the will of God and the demands of the time. They want to maintain themselves as the great imperialist power, the overlord, the slave-master, the god beside God.

It doesn’t profit America’s leaders to lose the respect of the people who have sacrificed to build this country. The American worker has worked and sacrificed to build this country. The corporations, the high-paying government jobs, the fine material possessions, all of this was built on the backs of slaves and the labor class. It is wrong for companies to leave the poor and the working classes in the lurch—conceding manufacturing to other nations under the guise that America is becoming a more service-oriented economy.

It’s the failure to deal effectively with this old mentality of slave-master and slave that has taken the country to the brink of ruin. If America does not deal with this mentality—which is rooted in the outdated relationship between Black and White—then America is doomed.

Manufacturing is the bedrock of self-independence. Why should America let others produce for her what she can produce for herself? Why should Italy produce all the shoes while the American shoemakers sit idle at home? Why should your garments be fabricated in Taiwan while your own plants close and collect dust? America could see the simple solutions to its problems if America were not blinded by greed and that old mentality of slavemaster and slave. Both mentalities have to be broken and replaced with a sense of community, humanity and fairness structured on truth and the principles of justice and equality.


Black organizations and leadership must focus on self-help. We should create a forum in which we can convene regularly to discuss the troubles of our people and develop solutions that we can execute on our own.

Each Black organization and every Black leader has a role in the upliftment of our people. We must recognize and respect each other’s role and learn to work with those with whom we may be at variance ideologically. We should consider establishing a united front for the purpose of converging our efforts to meet common objectives over one, three, five and 10 years.

As a people, we must recognize and understand that, in order for America to survive, she must tighten her belt, and all of her citizens will need to make sacrifices. The country is not in a position to give away because it has mortgaged its future. Even its veterans, who have fought to maintain America as the number one military power, will need to make yet another sacrifice.

Therefore, Black leadership cannot go to the government to beg it to provide a future for us. Putting the beg on America is not a wise program for our leaders to advance on behalf of the people. That old slave mentality that keeps us at odds with one another and dependent on White people has to be broken.

Black leadership must champion the strategy of turning within to do for self. Meaning, we must teach our people to use our talent, time and money, and pool our resources educationally and financially, to address our troubles. Whatever America decides to do, our actions cannot be dependent on the actions of a benevolent, White, former slave-master.

Even though this country owes us reparations, in her present condition what she owes will stay on the back burner or not on the stove at all. We must work harder to address our own problems. We must also provide the country with solutions that benefit us as well as the whole, to pull the country to a state of strength. Perhaps, when the country’s condition improves, we can speak more effectively about what is owed to us for our services, past and present, to repair our condition.

© Copyright 2008 FCN Publishing,

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