Justice or Else... Was it Effective?
October 10th was the 20th anniversary of the Million Man March. Due to prior arrangement for travel, I was not able to attend. However, from pictures, blogs, and personal testimony, I have a feeling that it was incredibly powerful and moving for some.
On a personal level, I have been feeling extremely discouraged in the fight. Through the things that are happening at my job, the things that I am seeing on a daily bases, and the experiences of others, I was slowly losing my inner spark to fight. I think that can happen with anything. In cases like that, I feel like I need a reminder or a boost in my spirit. While I was not in attendance, the photographs and vibes from those that were in attendance were extremely inspiring. I thought to myself, “Wow, these are all the people that feel the same way and they’re here ready to fight.”
However, there have been some criticisms on the March and I cannot say that I completely disagree with. Some note that the Black community has had way too many marches, rallies, and protests. Instead of marching, they feel that the energy could be better spent into actualization. One person told me that they would rather the people that attended the event save the money on travel, lodging, and expenses and invest that money into the Black community (whatever that looks like).
Again, I cannot completely agree with these thoughts. However, I can’t disagree with the them either. As a person who received a lot of inspiration from photographs and videos alone, I understand how effective the event can be for the inner fight that we’re all fighting. At the same time, I would like to see more done within our communities by us.
My personal thoughts on the issue are very simple. For those that needed the encouragement and speeches, the march was right on time. Honestly, no one really thought that the Black economy would expand or increase as a result of this. No one thought that racism would end or that Congress would pass some legislation that would end the disadvantages that we face daily. If anyone thought that, they were delusional. Instead, the march was something that served as true “soul food”. It fed the souls of people like myself that were starting to feel worn from all of the fighting and emotional strain.
A few weeks ago, I had a dilemma at work and the only thing that I could do was go to my desk and weep in silence. I wept because I felt like we were fighting in vain as a people. I wept because at the time I watched a group of people dismiss my feelings as a member of the community that their decisions would ultimately affect. They dismissed me and insisted that I contributed to the development of this project that would hurt my people. At that point I felt hopeless. While DeRay is some place fighting for an end to police brutality, the people in my office are making major decisions that will negatively affect another aspect of Black lives. It was at that point that I didn’t know where I should be aiming my punches. I felt like we were being jumped by the system. I wept in silence.
After almost feeling alone in the fight, it was refreshing and inspiring to see our nation’s capital flooded with support of the Black movement. Now that I am refreshed and ready to continue being a positive light in my community, I can continue to support the Black community, economy, and people. For those who felt that the march was pointless and those in attendance should have been focusing their energy elsewhere, maybe you’re right. Maybe the march was pointless for you. Moral support may not be the weak point for you and that’s perfectly fine. However, I feel that those who were in attendance will be the people that return to their hometowns and have so much more fire and drive that they will be better equipped to be productive and effective in those areas that are lacking in our communities.
Y’all know that I’m a supporter of “do what works for you”. That’s all this is about. Doing what we have to do to prosper. We need to have patience with each other and know that this is a draining fight and some people need ways to recharge. For some that may come in the form of watching the Roots series. On the other hand, being surrounded by likeminded people with a burning desire to empower our community is the solution for another. Besides, everyone has different roles in this movement. Some are on the ground blocking roads and protesting while others are developing a class to improve Black business ownership within our communities. Both are powerful in their own right.
So, do I think that the march was effective? Yes. It gave to some what they needed and because you progressive, degree toting Blacks love to prove a point I know the people that felt like it was a waste of time were sure to sign up for an extra service project this weekend or donate an extra $100 to their favorite charity. It was effective because even if there was only one person that got their life from the event, we are now one more person stronger in the fight.
We gon’ be alright.
Afros and Ovaries
Ready to Stand up to my boss… If she fires me, can I sleep on your couch?