Newark leaders look to build support for new Million Man March

By Dan Ivers | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com
Email the author | Follow on Twitter
on August 12, 2015

People's Organization for Progress Chairman Lawrence Hamm speaks at the press conference at Saint James AME Church in Newark.

 

NEWARK – Two decades ago, a group of more than 1,500 hopped off a convoy of charter buses to gather at Newark's Saint James AME Church, fresh off an experience that had given new momentum to the country's civil rights movement.

The congregants had just attended the Million Man March in Washington, D.C., where they were among an estimated 50,000 participants from New Jersey.

On Wednesday, many of them found their way back to the church, ready to make the trip yet again.

On October 10, nearly 20 years to the day of the original march, civil rights leaders and others from around the country are planning a return to the nation's capital to hold a new march, with an already formed mantra of "Justice or Else".

"Here we are standing again, because it's time to abolish injustice in this country," said the Saint James AME pastor, Rev. Ronald Slaughter.

Speakers at Wednesday's event, intended to galvanize New Jersey residents to attend the event, addressed a crowd of more than 200 that included Assemblywoman Sheila Oliver, Municipal Council members Gayle Chaneyfield Jenkins and Eddie Osbourne and Newark School Advisory Board member Dashay Carter.

Organizers said the event will be led by controversial Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, who spearheaded the 1995 march to draw national attention to social and economic issues facing black men.

Those who took to the altar at Saint James Wednesday called for a new demonstration focused on issues of inequality and other racial issues, including the recent deaths of various unarmed African-Americans during interactions with police.

"We must demand justice, because black people are being murdered like dogs in the the streets of America," said People's Organization for Progress Chairman Larry Hamm. "We're going to Washington because our nation demands it."

Do you like this post?

Be the first to comment