100 Strangers: Million Man March 2015, Washington, D.C.

Mannie King

"What brought me here was...20 years ago...My mother wasn't into this type of stuff but my father was. My father was what you can call a 'mason muslim', my mother was a christian and my grandmama was a methodist. So my family was all mixed up when it came to religion. So over the years, I've just been doing a lot of seeking for myself to try and find out if we have one God and one devil, why we got a million ways to get to Him? So while seeking myself I discovered something called Islam, something called Yahweh and started connecting with the people who knew about that as well. So I was introduced with the opportunity to come out here because I'm tight with all the brothers out here in suits.

Outside of the march, I do a lot of activist work for the youth. Right now I'm teaching them about entrepreneurship. I just want to help them become more self sufficient so they can pass it on to generations to come..."

100 Strangers: Million Man March 2015, Washington, D.C.

Hachi Bee

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"You watch TV? They're degrading us. You listen to the radio? They're degrading us. Advertisements? It's degrading. They don't like to show us in our power. 

Not only do I hope for, but I will work towards the uplifting of our black people. We have to get back to where we are supposed to be and in order to that we have to make some moves. And as far as in my world, I'm making moves..."

100 Strangers: Million Man March 2015, Washington, D.C.

Brianna and Mary Jane

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Brianna- "I'm from New Jersey but I'm currently attending George Washington University getting my graduates degree. I'm here because I feel like I need to be here. It's a moment that will definitely go down in the history books. Along with everyone out here, I'm also here due the great of amount of police brutality and prejudices that's been going on as well.

I live in a white Jewish town, and notoriously  every year the cops would shut down our birthday party while letting everyone else do whatever they want to. Like, literally. Everyone else could be having a fireworks party and the cops won't shut anything down.

I hope that when this is all said and done that there will be a decrease in the  violence in D.C. because it's been a great amount of it lately..."

Mary Jane- "I'm simply here because black lives matter."

100 Strangers: Million Man March 2015, Washington, D.C.

Shaed

"I'm a sophomore communications major at North Carolina A&T State University in Greensboro. I'm here because of the recent events of young black males being shot in the streets. It's something that struck me personally because I've been in positions where I didn't feel comfortable around the police myself. So I'm here to show my support to the people who can't stand up for themselves or never had the chance to..."

100 Strangers: Million Man March 2015, Washington, D.C.

Layla

"I'm coming from Silver Spring, MD. I wasn't really planning on attending the Million Man March for sure until a friend of mine came over to my house and told me a guy that he hangs out with had gotten murdered. This hurt me so bad. Like, this really affected me because it's happening all the time and it's happening by our own people and being handled by a f**ked up system. So I feel like it's best for all of us to attend these kind of meetings to hear the truth about our people because the system and the media aren't telling us the truth..."

100 Strangers: Million Man March 2015, Washington, D.C.

Brothers of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Incorporated

"What brought me to the march was the fact that issues we face as African American's were being brought to the surface to make change. The change in which will bring about laws and hold the justice system accountable for protecting our lives as equal citizens. I hope that we wake up as African American's and realize that the only way to change the world is to start by changing the way we think and act. Support black owned businesses, and stop killing each other"

- Micah Wells, Cleveland, OH

 

"I simply could not sit back and miss out on history. I've always been captivated by what my ancestors have done and been apart of. How on Earth could I be anywhere else on this planet other than Washington, D.C on 10/10/15? The vibrations sent out amongst that crowd cant be duplicated. The weekend mirrored a family reunion, it was a reunion amongst my line brothers and a reunion amongst a culture young/ old. The fact that absolute strangers were glad that I was there is enough reason right there. This is what brought me to D.C and is why I will cherish it forever! I hope that future generations will grasp their own understanding. Not just believer all that's heard across this crazy world. Do your research, love learning, and watch how your world illuminates. This was an illuminating event- the most of that category since I've been born into existence."

-Mark Peterson Jr., Milwaukee, WI

 

"What brought me to the 20th Anniversary of the Million Man March is to be in solidarity with my people in the fight for justice and to pay homage to those we have lost in this battle. When the march was originated and organized by Minister Farrakhan in 95', I was 7 years old. I had no clue what it was about or why it even mattered, but I do remember hearing about it as a young child. Fast forward 20 years later... we are still faced with very similar issues and there was no way as a conscious black man, I could miss out on being apart of African-American history in the fight to create a better world for our young people. The brothers/sisters I was able to meet, time spent with my frat brothers/friends, and the experience as a whole was very fulfilling. I've never in my life been in a collective space of hundreds of thousands of African-American people- for one cause, one mission, one movement in peace! The experience was indescribable, and further confirmed the positive narrative I believe about our race. What I hope for future generations is that they don't fall victim to the propaganda the media perpetuates. They must understand that we have the power to write our own ticket. All the negative imagery of African American's isn't the dominant reality of who we are. We can't let them fall victim to that, and it's our job as black men and women to live lives that display the possibility of what they can be."

-Lance Woods, Detroit, MI