The three to five million black men that gathered in Washington D.C. were not petitioning the government for a redress of injustice. Although undoubtedly some latent discrimination still existed, the driving goal was to present a different portrait of African-Americans that what had been popularly accepted. Too many of them were still living in poverty, with crime rates were statistically a lot higher in their communities. Part of the blame lay with the media, for glossing over the issues important to them, but part of it required commitment and self-discipline from them marchers themselves.
On this day, October 16, in 1995, Louis Farrakhan’s Million Man March gathered in Washington, D.C., for an all-day summit on black issues. Notable speakers included Rosa Parks, Maya Angelou, Rv. Jeremiah Wright, and Martin Luther King III, son of the slain civil rights leader.
At the end of the event, Farrakhan bade the crowd to make a pledge, to promise to devote themselves more to issues important to them, starting with joining local organizations and registering to vote. Many attendees were inspired to better themselves, to become better citizens, fathers and sons. Farrakhan’s words inspired many to take responsibility for their lives.