Million Man March 10th
Delivered by the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan
Planning Committee Meeting at the
National Council of Negro Women Headquarters
633 Pennsylvania Avenue N.W., Washington, D.C.
It is time for our leadership to stop thinking and acting solely
on behalf of our churches, mosques, temples, synagogues and organizations. It is
time for us as leaders to come together and begin to think, plan, and act on
behalf of the whole of our people.
Why should there be a
commemoration of the historic Million Man March?
This historic event brought
nearly two million men to the Nation’s Capitol. It demonstrated the willingness
of Black men to atone to God for our shortcomings as men, husbands and fathers;
it demonstrated our willingness to reconcile differences at home, school,
church, organizations and in the society in general; it demonstrated our
willingness to accept responsibility to change our behavior and to strive to
make our communities a more decent place to live.
Although many wonderful things
have happened as a result of the march, 10 years later, the masses of our people
are slipping further behind. We have a larger middle class, many more
millionaires and a few billionaires, however, the overall condition of our
people is worse. We have more entrepreneurs, more college graduates, more
persons holding political office, more Black mayors, city councilors, aldermen,
state representatives, city managers, more corporate executives, yet the masses
have not been empowered or improved.
The masses of our people are on a Death March into
the oven of social deterioration, broken homes, broken marriages, broken minds,
broken spirit, evolving from a string of broken promises by government and
leadership that has failed to help our people turn around the misery and
wretchedness of our condition.
The knowledge to correct the horror of our condition is among
us. The potential force and power to cause us to rise as a people is among us.
The finance to fuel our rise is also among us.
What then is needed?
It is the unity of our
leadership and organizations. Our unity, the pooling of our resources,
financially and intellectually will solve 95% of our problems.
DICTATES THE AGENDA
What time is it?
It is time for our leadership to
stop thinking and acting solely on behalf of our churches, mosques, temples,
synagogues and organizations. It is time for us as leaders to come together and
begin to think, plan, and act on behalf of the whole of our
Each leader has gradually come to
the conclusion that no one organization or leader can solve the many problems we face.
Each leader and organization has done the best it could working on its agenda
and programs – yet, the masses are slipping further behind.
We have come painfully to the
conclusion that we need each other desperately. Allah (God) has given us gifts,
skills and talents that must be gathered, harnessed, organized and structured in
a way that will enable us to lift our people from where we are to where Allah
(God) wants us to be.
Christians, Muslims, Hebrews,
Jews, agnostics, nationalists, socialists, men, women and youth are
coming together in agreement that the time is now for us to articulate
our demands, and to accept our responsibility to change the condition
and reality of our lives. Even though we petition the government, our
covenant must first be with our Creator and with each other.
This is the challenge of the
time. Within us is the will to do this, however, our will must be fed by the
insatiable desire to see our people, free, justified and equal with the best in
civilized society. Therefore, it is proper that we seize this moment in time,
recapture the spirit of the million man, women, youth and family marches, and
make the necessary sacrifice to save ourselves and our people.
All of our leaders, teachers and
guides who have paid the ultimate price have led us to this moment; all of our
people who have died hoping for a better day have led us to this moment; all of
those whose hope is lost, who are dying in the streets of America, the homeless,
the sick and diseased, those imprisoned, our political prisoners, our veterans,
our youth locked in a culture of death, the jobless, the destitute, the forlorn,
the abandoned, have led us to this moment in time.
We must seize this moment
There is no better time; there is
no more historic occasion than the 10th Anniversary Commemoration of
the historic Million Man March to mobilize and organize our people
nationally, and, put systems in place that will permit a successful programmatic thrust to bring
to fruition what we envision for ourselves and our people.
Toward this end, we must gather
the best, brightest and most willing minds to mobilize and organize our people,
and to develop short and long range plans and programs for:
To develop the systems necessary to bring these plans and
program initiatives to fruition.
We must develop strategic alliances to further our aims. We
must never form an alliance from a position of
weakness, but, rather from a position of strength.
We must forge unity with the struggle of the African Union
to develop Africa, with the Caribbean, Central and South America, with the
Isles of the Pacific, and with our Native American Brothers and Sisters. We
must develop through the registration process for the mobilization of the
commemoration of the Million Man March, a skills bank, the talent of which
should be used in the development of our people in the United States and
We must demand an end to police brutality and mob attacks.
We must demand an end to the lack of adequate health
care and substandard education.
We must demand an end to racial profiling, the
herding of our young men and women into prisons and the biological and
chemical warfare being perpetrated against our people.
We must demand reparations.
We must demand that America take the appropriate
steps to help in the repair of the damage done to the descendants of slaves
for 300 years of slavery, 100 years of segregation, and 50 years of the
misuse and abuse of governmental power to destroy Black organizations and
leaders that have over the years been working to heal the condition of
nearly 40 million of our people in America.
To this end, Christians, Muslims, Hebrews, Jews,
agnostics, nationalists, socialists, men, women and youth are coming
together in agreement that the time is now for us to articulate our demands,
and to accept our responsibility to change the condition and reality of our
lives. Even though we petition the government, our covenant must first be
with our Creator and with each other.
– A binding and solemn agreement by two or more persons, parties, etc., to do or
keep from doing some specified thing; a compact. In theology, the promises of
God to man, usually carrying with them conditions to be fulfilled by man, as
recorded in the Bible. A solemn agreement between the members of a church, that
they will hold to points of doctrine, faith, etc.
Can we logically and practically
make a covenant with the Government of the United States before we make a covenant with each other and with our people? We were taught that
word must be our bond. When we break our word we destroy the life of the
covenant or the agreement that we have made. It is absolutely necessary that as
leaders we must build trust among ourselves. We can only build trust when we
strive to keep our word, particularly a solemn agreement or covenant that we
make with each other and with our people.
Ever since our fathers set the
soles of their feet in the western hemisphere, particularly since the ending of
chattel slavery, many promises have been made to us as well as to others by the
Government of the United States of America that have been broken because those
who have given their word to us and the Native Americans had no intentions of
fulfilling what they put on paper as a treaty or what they wrote as a law where
we are concerned. Every gain that our leaders and their followers fought, bled,
and even died to give us, while we celebrated the success of the agreement or
the law, the process began to erode and destroy the life of that agreement.
Therefore, it is wise and prudent
that we make a covenant
among ourselves as leaders and make a covenant or solemn agreement with
our people that we sign, and, in signing declare in our hearts and publicly that
our word shall be our bond. In so doing, we as leaders can create the
spirit of unity in our people. Then, we need not make a demand. Our unity will
command our presence at whatever table, in whatever forum we decide to be a part
of and gain for us whatever we desire for our people.
A COVENANT WITH OUR CREATOR
This covenant that is written in
the scriptures of the Bible is made with a God whose integrity is bound up in
His Word. Since, He cannot lie, and He teaches us in His scriptures that before
one jot or tittle of His Word would fail, the heavens and the earth would pass
away. So, let us make a covenant with Him. The covenant with Him makes demands
on us, and, if we fulfill our part, it is automatic that He will fulfill His.
This is the written covenant with
God that is found in the Word of God in the Bible, "If my people which are
called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from
their wicked ways then will I hear from heaven forgive their sins and heal their
land." II Chronicles Chapter 7
The burden is on us to fulfill
our part. The Qur’an teaches this truth similarly in these words,
"Allah will never change the condition of a
people until they change within themselves."
My dear brothers and sisters, the
burden is on us to change our behavior; to build love, trust and confidence in
each other and in our people for us, then, 95% of our problems shall have been
We, as leaders of organizations,
must declare that we will never sell out the aspirations of our people for
personal wealth, position and advancement in the society of our former slave
masters and their children. We must make a covenant with our people to work and
sacrifice and be willing to be the good shepherd (leaders) who will lay down our
lives for our people.
Let us accept our responsibility
and change our behavior to that which will make us more than comrades and
brothers, but a behavior that will make us friends and companions in the
struggle for the total liberation of our people here and wherever we are found
on this earth.
Revised: Thursday, March 17, 2005