The Millions More Movement
The writer of this op-ed is Breea Willingham, the woman currently sitting in my old office at SBU. She has what you might call an informed take on the issues surrounding this week’s 10th anniversary commemoration of the original Million Man March, and in this article does a neat job articulating why all of us ought to care.
My brother wasn’t at the Million Man March a decade ago, and he won’t be going this year.
He’s in prison for life.
My father won’t be at Saturday’s 10th anniversary commemoration of the Million Man March, either. He’s serving a 45-year prison sentence.
My father and brother never came together with hundreds of thousands of other black men on Oct. 16, 1995, for a day of atonement. They never stood and pledged to love their families and respect the mother of their children.
Thousands more are preparing to gather at the National Mall in Washington, D.C., again this weekend for the Millions More Movement, hoping to recapture the spirit of the first march. Just as many men won’t have the opportunity to be there because they’re behind bars. Of the 2.1 million offenders incarcerated last year, an estimated 576,600 were black men ages 20 to 39, according to the latest figures from the Bureau of Justice Statistics.
But the anniversary of the Million Man March is not just a time for black men to make up for failed promises and for the black community to make a vow of solidarity. It’s also a time to give a voice to the voiceless: the families left behind every time a black man is sent to prison. (Story.)
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