Even when there are over 400,000 African Americans on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol, the Million Man March is one of those big events few public officials recognize. Rep. Danny Davis of Chicago spoke at the 20th anniversary event last Saturday, the only member of Congress to doso.
Of the few statements released on the 20th Anniversary of the march, Congressional Black Caucus Chairman G.K. Butterfield and Rep. Steny Hoyer of Maryland are two. Neither mention Nation of Islam Leader Minister Louis Farrakhan, who called both gatherings.
Congressional Black Caucus Recognizes 20th Anniversary of the Million Man March
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressional Black Caucus Chairman G. K. Butterfield released the following statement to mark the twentieth anniversary of the Million Man March, which took place on October 16, 1995:
“Twenty years ago, we witnessed a historic gathering of African American men in the nation’s capital that brought worldwide attention to the plight of Black men in America. The Million Man March created a movement that highlighted the socioeconomic perils facing African American families in communities across the country.
“Today, issues of mass incarceration, disparities in health, an increasing suicide rate among Black youth, and a perennially high unemployment rate continue to plague the African American community. These issues are unacceptable but not insurmountable, and it will take all hands on deck to find effective solutions for the next generation. So as we commemorate the 20th anniversary of this momentous march, let us reflect on the work that still remains undone in the African American community, and use this anniversary as a call to action for the progress and change that has yet to be realized, especially as it pertains to Black men in America.”
Hoyer Statement on the 20th Anniversary of the Million Man March
WASHINGTON, DC – House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) released the following statement today on the twentieth anniversary of the Million Man March:
“Twenty years ago, the Million Man March raised the consciousness of our nation and made it clear that challenges affecting African Americans could not be ignored by policymakers in Washington. At a time when many African Americans felt left behind by the prosperity and opportunity of the 1990s, the march served as a reminder that Congress has a responsibility to ensure that every American has the same chance to find a good job, live in a safe neighborhood, receive a solid education, afford quality health care, and secure a place in our middle class. As the thousands who rallied on the National Mall this past Saturday reminded us – and as has been driven powerfully home by the tragic killings of African-American men in Ferguson, Baltimore, New York, and elsewhere – there is still much work to be done to ensure that the goals of the Million Man March are met.
“Both before and after the Million Man March, I’ve been proud to fight for federal investment in programs that reduce poverty, support the creation of jobs that pay well, and ensure that justice is always blind. At the same time, I will keep working with my colleagues in the Congressional Black Caucus to restore the Voting Rights Act so that millions of voices in our democracy are not silenced but can be heard as loudly and clearly as they ought to be. As we mark this anniversary, let us remember that building a more perfect union is an ongoing project, and we must do more to make certain that every person growing up in our country, regardless of color or creed, has an equal opportunity to pursue the American Dream.”