On October 16, 1995, an estimated 850,000 African American men from across the United States gathered together at the National Mall in Washington, D.C. to rally in one of largest demonstrations in Washington history.
This assembly of black men was organized and hosted by the Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan who called for all able-bodied African American men to come to the nation’s capital to address the ills of black communities and call for unity and revitalization of African American communities.
Although the Million Man March was proposed and organized primarily by the leader of Islam, many religions, institutions, and community organizations across the spectrum of African America joined together not only for a rally of black men but also to build what many saw as a movement directed toward a future renaissance of the black race.
Farrakhan also called on march participants and supporters to refrain from spending money on October 16 to illustrate to the United States the importance of African American dollars to the national economy.
Although many of the changes pledged in Washington on October 16 to revitalize African American communities were not prominently in evidence in the years that followed the march, organizers claimed two notable successes.