On Oct. 16, 1995, approximately 1 million Black men came together in Washington D.C. in response to a call by the Nation of Islam’s leader minister Louis Farrakhan. The stated objective was to atone and address the problems particular to the Black community.
Even though the Million Man March focused primarily on Black men, there were many speakers and honorable guests of both genders. The wife of Malcolm X, Dr. Betty Shabazz, civil rights activists Martin Luther King, III, Rosa Parks, Dorothy I. Height, Rev. Joseph Lowery, philosopher and historian Dr. Cornel West and activist and comedian, Dick Gregory, were among the attendees. In addition to the activists, Stevie Wonder entertained the gathering, while Maya Angelou read poetry. Other famous guests included activists Benjamin Chavis, Rev. Jesse Jackson and Rev. Al Sharpton.