Two decades ago, scores of black men gathered in the nation’s capital to pledge support to family and community. Some of the leaders of that original rally are planning another march—one that will include black women this time.
Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan announced on June 24 that he plans to hold a Millions for Justice March in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 10, the Washington Post reports. He delivered the announcement to a packed assembly of Christians and Muslims at Metropolitan African Methodist Episcopal Church in downtown Washington.
Farrakhan, 82, said that the 20th-anniversary march on the National Mall will focus on a demand for justice and an end to police brutality and racist violence, like last week’s church attack in Charleston, S.C., that killed nine black worshippers. His supporters are united under #JusticeOrElse.
“These are not the times for weak people, for cowardly people,” he said, according to the Post.
The outspoken Muslim minister chastised the eagerness to forgive the accused Charleston gunman, Dylann Roof. “He didn’t ask for forgiveness,” Farrakhan admonished, according to the Post.
The Associated Press reports that former NAACP Executive Director Benjamin Chavis, who helped organize the Million Man March, is optimistic that the turnout in October will exceed a million participants—an attendance figure at the 1995 event that many disputed.
“What ultimately will be a success is seeing improvements in the communities where these people are going to come from,” said Chavis, who helped organize the original march. “We want to make sure our public policy demands are aligned with those challenges.”