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- Louis Farrakhan
Nation of Islam leader
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- President Clinton
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- Gen. Colin Powell munities,"
he call of this march participate
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- Marcia Gillespie
s. magazine editor in chief VAF
wish the black men continued
ould show solidarity in standing
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- Katherine Calzada Gen. Cc
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- Maureen Peratino shirts that
FCC spokeswoman At a sp
M N The M ichigan D aily - T uesday, October 17, 1 995 -
inspire hope, resentment in others
Women divided over
request to stay home
sylor, 21, of Washington, holds a sign urging people to remember the plight of black women during the Million Man
Aerday at the Capitol.
INGTON - They gathered
ate balcony high above the
heir white faces evincing a
f curiosity and aloofness as
ered the sea of black human-
om that lofty perch of an art
the dozen-or-so white folks
on a crispy autumn day dedi-
ack men; and they seemed to
he state of the black-white
America as the Million Man
end, it's going to take all of us.
to come together - and then
ommitment back to our com-
said Sue Ann Hecht, a white,
on-area social worker who
ed in the march to demonstrate
arity" with the marchers.
hing has to be done about the
among black Americans,"
bert Goldberg, a Jewish man
Los Angeles Times
mon of Washington heard Nation of
Islam leader Louis Farrakhan's mes-
sage for women to stay home, but chose
to ignore it, feeling that her 9-year-old
son, Ray, had to be here -because his
"Somebody had to bring him," she
said, squinting into the bright sunshine
of a brisk fall morning. "I don't know
where his father is," she added, shrug-
ging her shoulders. "But isn't that what
all this is about? Black men taking
responsibility for their families?"
McCrimmon said she deliberately
brought Ray, a fourth-grader, in order
to expose him to a positive image ofthe
black man - different from the only
one he knew.
Although a number of women were
sharply critical of the march's deliberate
exclusion of them, others were more un-
derstanding-and even supportive-of
the approach. Black men are confronting
a staggering, painful array ofproblems-
from crime, drugs and violence, to unem-
ployment and hopelessness - and must
find the strength within themselves to
overcome them, many ofthe women said.
And the long common struggle against
racism always has had more immediacy
within the black community than other
battles, such as sexism.
"America and the world needs to see
our men assert their unity, strength and
commitment to their families," said C.
Delores Tucker, chair of the National
Political Congress of Black Women.
"The present social, economic and
spiritual crisis in black urban America
demands that we put aside our ideologi-
cal and political differences....
"This is a cause which I hope will be
turned into a hurricane force to rid our
communities ofdenigrating music, vio-
lence, drugs and crime," she added.
"The world needs to see black men
standing straight, marching tall and
dedicated to assuming their rightful
place in this nation and the world."
But if Tucker- a veteran civil rights
activist and feminist- couldtranscend
the exclusionary vision laid out by
Farrakhan and his supporters for the
event, other prominent women's lead-
ers could not.
Critics-amongthem Angela Davis,
former Black Panther and now college
professor, and Marcia Gillespie, editor
in chief of Ms. magazine-denounced
the march as degrading to women.
the world needs to
see our men
assert their unity,
- C. Delores Tucker
Chair, National Political
Congress of Black Women
"The call of this march was a call that
ten carefully to what the leaders of this
event are saying:' We've been bad mas-
ters, now we're going to be good ones.'
Many women have said to me: 'C'mon
girlfriend, don't rock the boat. This is a
start.' But I also think there are great
numbers of women who have been made
And Davis said: "No march, move-
mentor agenda that defines manhood in
the narrowest terms and seeks to make
women lesser partners in this quest for
equality can be considered a positive
step.... There are ways of understand-
ing black masculinity that do not rely
on subjugating women."
At the Mall, however, many of the
women who came did so not to protest
Farrakhan's edict, but to show an un-
usual display of solidarity withthe men.
"I don't feel excluded at all," said one
woman, who did not identify herself.
"This is something by the men and for
the men - something they need to do."
Lisa Powell, a graduate student at
George Washington University, said
she came to support the opportunity
presented by the march to enable black
men to come together in an atmosphere
of warmth and love that could help
dispel negative images long held of
them by white America.
"This is the time for them' to say:
'We're not like this, and we don't want
to be thought of like this, as violent, or
drug adicts or thieves,"'she said. "This
is a unification of all African American
men, for them to take their rightful
place in our community as well as in
society. The message to America is that
we are human - just like everyone
Unidentified protesters denounce Nation of Islam Leader Louis Farrakhan at a rally
by the Jewish Defense Organization in New York.
from Skokie, Ill., who stayed in Wash-
ington after a weekend meeting to attend
the rally - despite Louis Farrakhan's
well-known anti-Semitic views. "This is
such a momentous event. Other people
should be involved," Goldberg said.
In Denver, Jean Easley, a 53-year-,
old realtor, said the march came too
soon after O.J. Simpson's acquittal for
her to feel any empathy.
"I think the Million Man March is a
sham, another fraud," she said. "Maybe
Around the corner from where Easley
was having coffee, Earl Gordon, a 44-
year-old black man who is the guest ser-
vice supervisor at Denver's Regency Ho-
tel, said the woman has missed the point.
from Page 1.
erect in suits and their trade-
ties, lent an air of solemnity.
ghts veterans Jesse Jackson,
ks and Dick Gregory were
zens of back-to-back speak-
poke from behind bulletproof
vie Wonder sang briefly and
gelou read a poem urging the
do right by itself and "save
blin Powell, who did not at-
iarch, expressed grudging re-
terday for Farrakhan's suc-
aging the rally.
somebody else had thought
a of the Million Man March
Minister Farrakhan," Powell
mpson never surfaced at the
racial tensions exposed by his
rder case were apparent at the
tion. Vendors were selling out
n-related merchandise, such as
read "O.J.'s Free."
eech in Austin, Texas, Presi-
on praised the rally but ex-
sapproval of Farrakhan
Church officials in Michigan esti-
mated at least 10,000 men came from
the state, with 30 bus loads from Detroit
alone. But nobody knew exactly how
many there were.
Detroit Mayor Dennis Archer took
the stage shortly after noon, asking the
men to look beyond the march.
"Let our choices be for keeping our
villages, our neighborhoods and our
communities safe, clean and disciplined
and let our choices be for keeping our
brothers free of drugs, free of crime,"
Michigan Rep. Peter Hoekstra (R-
Holland) said he listened to about 20
minutes of Farrakhan's speech.
"I have a lot of problems with the
messenger," Hoekstra said. "But I re-
ally think a message of men taking
ownership in their community, that's a
really powerful message."
Several women spoke on stage, but
few were scattered through the crowd.
Farrakhan had asked them to stay home
to pray, fast and teach the children. He
also asked all black Americans to stay
home from work or school and avoid
- Daily Staff Reporter Ronnie
Glassberg contributed to this report.
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