By: Amber Murray
The 20th annual Million Man March happen at the National Mall on October 10, 2015. The focus of the March was to call for change in policing and in black communities. TIME Magazine reported, “The original march on Oct. 16, 1995 brought hundreds of thousands to Washington to pledge to improve their lives, their families and their communities. Women, whites, and other minorities were not invited to the original march, but organizers welcomed all on Saturday, saying they expected hundreds of thousands of participants.” By allowing all races to come to an event were only black men were accepted shows that the Million Man March isn’t just for black men, its for everyone. TIME Magazine also reported the improvement of African-American men in life since the original march. For example,
- The unemployment rate for African-American men in October 1995 was 8.1 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
- In September 2015, it was 8.9 percent. In 1995, 73.4 percent of African-American men had high school degrees.
- In 2004, 84.3 percent did, according to the Census Bureau. Finally, Law enforcement agencies made 3.5 million arrests of blacks in 1994, which was 30.9 percent of all arrests, the FBI said. (By comparison, they made 7.6 million arrests of white that year, which was 66 percent of all arrests.)
- By 2013, the latest available data, African-American arrests had decreased to 2.5 million, 28 percent of all arrests.
According to USA TODAY, the difference from the 2015 march to the 1995 was that Minister Louis Farrakhan, organizer and Nation of Islam leader, widened his sentiments to include abortion, politics, and self respect and sounded a inclusive tone. It also said, the initial Million Man March seemed to be a milestone in modern black American history. Like now, many black American men felt they were taking society’s hits-as the go-to crime suspects, the people pedestrians move away from and those with some of the highest rates of catastrophic illness. The Million Man March has shown an amount of progress throughout the 20 years and hopefully they will continue to inspire the generations to come and have 20+ marches in the future.