Black Americans call for changes on Million Man March anniversary

USA-Million Man March

China Central Television (CCTV)- Tens of thousands of black men and women from across the United States gathered at the National Mall in Washington D.C. on Saturday for the 20th anniversary of the Million Man March, calling for changes in policing and social justice for black communities.

Waving flags, carrying placards and listening to speeches, people filled the streets around the U.S. Capitol and the Mall in commemoration of one of the largest gatherings in the nation’s history and to protest against racial inequality over the years in the United States.

Echoing the same messages from the march 20 years ago, the speeches on Saturday also called for unity and more profound changes in society.

“So, once what had to take place, there needed to be a spiritual and mental awakening. That has taken place. And 20 years later, now we are poised and the message is Justice or Else. So now it’s going to be an economic, a physical and a political awakening that will be taking place,” said Peace El, a young man from the U.S. state of Georgia.

Another mentioned the Black Lives Matter group which arose in response to police-involved deaths of black men, saying that African-Americans should always make their voices heard.

“We still have people dying in the streets. We still have to do stuff like this. We still have to chant ‘Black lives matter’. We still have to turn on the news every day and see another one of us dying in police brutality. America has the No. 1 incarceration rate. We are supposed to be the land of the free. So, with all that being said, we’ve got so much work to do,” said Wes Wells, from Ohio.

Led by Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, the first march on Oct 16, 1995, drew an estimated one million people to the National Mall from all over the country for hours of speeches calling on black men to take responsibility for improving themselves, their families and communities.

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