Sunday, October 16, 2005

Marching Orders

Yesterday on the Mall in Washington, DC, Nation of Islam Minister Louis Farrakhan closed a day long celebration commemorating the 10th Anniversary of the Million Man March by giving marching orders to the hundreds of thousands that had gathered for what was called the Millions More Movement.

The idea of the day was to create a new movement to deal with the inequities that still exist in America. An eclectic and impressive mix of African American leaders followed one another to the podium perched in front of the United States Capitol to discuss the state of African Americans and outline new initiatives to close America's racial gap.

As impressive as the leaders, plans, strategies and speeches were, we are left to wonder what's next? Speakers were correct to say it now lies in the hands of each African American to implement the wide ranging plans. The speakers were also correct to call on the government and collective community to do better and assist in implementing the visions and the movement. We often speak here and on about the three concentric circles of responsibilities -- Individual, Community and Governmental -- and each of those were highlighted and called on throughout the day as the speakers spoke about creating a movement.

If the energy of yesterday remains or even grows it may very well turn into a movement, but it will not be an easy hill to climb, in fact as Mr. Farrakhan was giving "marching orders" at the end of the day a race riot was occurring in Toledo, Ohio as violence erupted during a Nazi march in the mid-size Midwestern city. A Nazi march, in America, in 2005, an ironic twist as myriad African American leaders spoke from the foot of democracy about the incompleteness of America and the need to creating a new movement.

A new movement that needs to march through Washington, Toledo and into the hearts of the rest of America may be on its way, only time will tell.