A Look At The Million Man March, 25 Years Later

Oct 16, 2020
Originally published on October 19, 2020 12:51 am
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RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

On this day in 1995, hundreds of thousands of black men gathered on the National Mall for the Million Man March. Here's what Wade Hudson saw.

WADE HUDSON: Thousands and thousands of black men loving each other. It was almost like long-lost relatives, you know, even though we had not seen each other. I mean, honestly, I felt the presence of our ancestors there, too. You know, Frederick Douglass and Harriet Tubman and all of those who fought the fight - they were there.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Hudson was 48 years old at the time. He was already a civil rights activist who had joined the Black student movement in the 1960s and '70s. Now, the event he attended in 1995 was much criticized because it was organized by Louis Farrakhan, a leader identified as an anti-Semite by the Southern Poverty Law Center and by the Anti-Defamation League. It was attended by many other Black leaders with differing views. And today, Hudson takes a long view of the fight for freedom and equality.

HUDSON: I went to all-Black elementary school, all-Black high school. My mother and father - neither of them got beyond the fourth grade. So there is progress. There's so much more still to be done. But not to claim that progress is to really deny the legacy that those who came before us have left for us to be a part of and to claim.

MARTIN: He has watched the videos of George Floyd's killing and others. And they do anger him.

HUDSON: It is a continuous struggle. I know that and that what I can do is all I can to achieve the progress that I know that's needed and pass the baton on to the next group.

MARTIN: Wade Hudson in East Orange, N.J. He was at the Million Man March 25 years ago today. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.