Power 105’s “The Breakfast Club” usually steers away from political gossip and educational figures for more buzzworthy guests and entertainment news. Every once in a while, Charlamagne Tha God, Angela Yee, and DJ Envy sit down with motivational and empowering figures to get serious for an uplifting moment. This past week was one of those shining times. The number one radio station’s morning show crew sat down with the controversial, yet motivational, leader of the Nation of Islam, Minister Louis Farrakhan, to chat about the social and economic state of black citizens in America, including his decision to organize a second Million Man March on the 20th anniversary of the first.
The almost two-hour long interview allowed the Farrakhan to speak about his upbringing, how he became involved in the Islamic faith, generational racism, Kanye West and Kim Kardashian, and his disappointment in Obama for his comments about the Baltimore youth rioters. The 82-year-old was very candid with The Breakfast Club, and mentioned the Million Man March early on.
The original march was a celebrated moment in America’s history. Occurring on October 16, 1995, on the west front grounds in Washington, D.C., the event unified more than just the capital, but also a nation of black men, women, and children with a peaceful demonstration of how the community can come together, move forward, and call for justice in a time of racial and social distress. Organized by the Nation of Islam, multiple civil rights activist groups under the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), and the National African-American Leadership Summit, the Million Man March saw speakers from all over take the podium and uplift the people. Speakers like the late poet, Maya Angelou, Martin Luther King III, Reverend Jesse Jackson, Reverend Benjamin Chavis, and Farrakhan encouraged both the older and younger generation to take a stand against the social and political neglect of Washington. Farrakhan also educated listeners on how to become respectable men within their community.
The march was the first of its kind and a groundbreaking moment in American history. Spawning from the 1994 Republican win in the congressional election, the march was a way for black voices to be heard in a time where the community was being vastly neglected. In 90s America, the black community faced unemployment rates almost twice that of white Americans, and over 40 percent more poverty of white households. For black males between the ages of 16 to 19, the unemployment rate had reached over a devastating 50 percent. Funding for many urban communities’ public schools and for many early education programs in poorer communities had been cut. The Million Man March was more than just a stand on the woes of the African-American community, but a call for needed change. During the march, there were calls for widespread voter registration, teach-ins, and some worship services to further educate the youth.
Farrakhan’s movement was more than just a simple, peaceful protest of spiritual unity, but a call to action and a chance to let the black voice be heard without it being maligned. Now, in 2015, it seems that little has changed in the minister’s eyes. With recent news of continued police brutality against unarmed black males and females, Republicans remaining in control of the Senate and Congress, and continued suffering of African-Americans in the United States, Farrakhan released his plans to return to the Capital on the 20th anniversary of the first March (October 15) to organize a second Million Man March and is calling for others to also attend for justice.
Opinion by Tyler Cole
AllHipHop.com: Louis Farrakhan Talks Organizing Second Million Man March & President Obama Calling Baltimore Protesters “Thugs” (VIDEO)
BlackPast.org: Million Man March, 1995
HipHopSince1987.com: Louis Farrakhan Talks Organizing Second Million Man March & More On The Breakfast Club