It’s a very contentious time in America as it pertains to race relations. Twenty years after the 1995 Million Man March, we’ve made progress with the election of the first black President, all the while thousands of unarmed African American males have been the victims of senseless killings and police brutality.
Today, thousands of men, women and children descended upon the National Mall in Washington, DC to not only acknowledge the 20th Anniversary of the Million Man March but to also show our strength and our ability to be united and on one accord as a community.
Marchers also chanted lyrics from Kendrick Lamar’s song, “Alright”.
With the event theme being “Justice or Else” Minister Louis Farrakhan spoke about a vast number of topics not just pertaining to the African American experience but abortion, politics and self-respect. “You should never call another woman a bitch,” he said. “Get that word out of our language.”
In terms of being pro-choice Farrakhan said, “…but it would be so tragic if the next Sitting Bull was aborted or if Malcolm X, Martin Luther King or Jesus was flushed away.”
One of the greatest aspects of the march is the opportunity for those who attended two decades ago to now share the experience with their family and friends. USA Today spoke a father and son duo about the importance of being apart of history.
“Rev. Ronald Bell, Jr., a 34-year-old pastor from Wilmington, Del., who was there with his 4-year-old son, Ronald Bell III. The elder Bell attended the 1995 march with his own father, Rev. Ronald Bell, Sr., when he was 14-years-old. He never forgot it, he said.
“Just to see all those strong black men in one spot does something to you,” said Bell, who heads Wilmington’s Arise congregation.
Holding his son’s hand, he said, “I hope he gets the experience I did 20 years ago with just the visual that we are strong. That we may not be where we thought we’d be 20 years later but we’re still strong.”
Check out some of the beautiful images of peace and unity in DC! What do you hope happens as a result of this next generation’s Million Man March?
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1. Two step! President Obama dances with his half-sister Auma Obama and President Kenyatta at a state dinner during his first trip to Kenya.
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2. Seriously, how much more down to earth can Obama and the First Lady get? Here they are rocking their alma mater t-shirts in the White House one morning.
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3. WINNING! The exact moment President Obama heard that the Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care Act.
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4. Presidential Perfection! The First Family poses on the White House lawn on Easter Day 2015.
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5. Just like us! The president swats a fly in the Oval Office.
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6. Someone needs an umbrella. The president dodges a rainstorm as he addresses supporters in Nashville.
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7. The president does his best “Charlie’s Angels” impression with an ensign at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy commencement in New London, Conn.
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8. Anything you can do, I can do better. President Obama crawls around with Ella Harper Rhodes, daughter of Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes.
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9. Presidential high fives for all!
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10. Like seriously, who doesn’t like pizza?
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11. Checking Twitter, perhaps? #AskPotus
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12. The real presidential advisors.
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13. Two peas in a pod. The president and Joe Biden always have each other’s backs.
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14. Who’s got the power?! President Obama poses with another ensign at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy commencement.
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15. Who wants to play the president in a game of basketball? Obama talks with students and law enforcement officials at a sit-down discussion at a New Jersey Salvation Army Community Center.
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16. Joking around with “Gronk,” aka New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski.
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17. Family affair! The president, the First Lady, and presidential dogs Bo and Sunny speak to a crowd at this year’s Easter Egg Roll.
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18. Are you covered? Obama puts health first…but doesn’t he always? #Obamacare
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19. Who knew our president was the “baby whisperer?”
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20. It’s never too early (or late) to shoot some hoops in a suit.
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21. Green tie. Must be St. Patrick’s Day.
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22. Who said presidents couldn’t have fun at bars? Obama throws darts at an Atlanta tavern while waiting for his interview with VICE to begin.
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23. Word is, President Obama is an avid tea drinker. Here he is sampling some Ethiopian coffee at the National Palace in Addis Ababa. Talk about authentic!
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24. Boys will be boys.
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