By Christopher T. Matthews
On Friday October 9, 2015, several local men and women embarked on a journey to Washington DC for the 20th Anniversary of the Million-Man March. It has been almost four months since the group took that trip and The Toledo Journal is following up with four of those marchers.
Ten years ago, Mutaqim Price, 17, attended the Millions More Movement with his family, which was the first commemoration of the Million Man March. He felt it was nice to go back to D.C. and relive the memories and a lot to take in from being there before. But, none the less, the various messages about economic growth and unity as an African American nation were motivational and inspiring.
When asked if the Justice or Else Movement and the Black Lives Matter Movement from his perspective where collectively being effective? Mutaquim’s response was, “I think they are having their positive effects. .I see presidential, demands of the Black Lives Matter Movement. So, looking at it from that perspective, it appears to be having an effect when presidential candidates are taking time out for their overall agenda to address the wants, needs and the demands of the African American community.”
Jasmine Goolsby, 19, was a first timer going to Washington DC, and thought it was really refreshing to see so many different people in the same place for one common cause. She feels that Justice or Else Movement and the Black Lives Matter Movement is having some effect, since there is alot of promotion on these topics. But, at the same time, it appears that there are a lot of people who seem to have a lack of interest in regards to these topics of discussion.
When asked is it a difficult task to spread the message as teenagers to other teens and adults to the aforementioned movements both Mutaquim and Jasmine collectively agreed that they have not been taken too serious by teenagers, but they do get better responses and/or support from adults.
Mutaquim is trying to come up with ways to bring awareness to teenagers, about the matters in discussion, and he feels it will be more than likely through the conduits of music.
Twenty two year old Yusef Muhammad thought the march was a powerful thing witnessing people from all over the country and the world united together striving for justice in a peaceful manner. When asked about his experience in the movements, Yusef expressed that by demonstrating in a peaceful manner, this promotes unity, positivity and love. When asked if the Justice or Else Movement and the Black Lives Matter Movement were being effective from his perspective, he responded, “Yes, I believe they are being effective.” He continued by stating that, throughout the course of history, the various movements were built upon the social and economic injustices of that time. Now, it happens to be the Justice or Else Movement and/or the Black Lives Matter Movement.
Rahwae Shuman who’s a supporter of Minister Farrakhan, said that, back in October, 2015 there was a two part message and or meaning to the justice or else and it meant there will be justice or God would punish America. And, the second part was that 10,000 fearless African Americans males would be called upon to rise up and fight back spiritually, mentally, and physically.
When asked how does he feel about the younger generation being involved in this movement, Mr. Shuman’s response was, “I am very encouraged by the younger generation who are stepping up and playing a part, although, some of them feel abandoned by the older generations. I am here to support them and they are demanding change and they want it now.”
He also shared his experience when he was in the streets of Ferguson, Missouri with the young people. And, they were not chanting, we shall overcome, they were fighting for justice, and their chant is fight back. So, by any means necessary, they feel we must get Justice. We can demonstrate peacefully but if that does not work they feel we will give them back what they give to us.
“So in essence, the black man has to take some sort of a stand all over the world. Social injustices are being done to the Black Race from Africa to Australia, and we need to take a stand and usher in a New Black Renaissance, he stressed.