Economic and Social Woes of Black Folk
Million Man March of 1995
One of the primary motivating factors for the march was to place black issues back on the nation’s political agenda. In the aftermath of the Republican Party’s victory in the 1994 Congressional election and the continued success of the party’s campaign platform, the Contract with America, some African American leaders felt the social and economic issues facing the black community fell by the wayside of policy debates. March organizers believed that politicians were failing the black community by “papering over the most vital dimensions of the crisis in international capitalism” and blaming urban Blacks for “domestic economic woes that threatened to produce record deficits, massive unemployment, and uncontrolled inflation.”
At the time of the march, African Americans faced unemployment rates nearly twice that of white Americans, a poverty rate of more than 40%, and a median family income that was about 58% of the median for white households. More than 11% of all black males were unemployed and for those aged 16 to 19, the number of unemployed had climbed to over 50% Further, according to Reverend Jesse Jackson’s speech at the March, the United States House of Representatives had reduced funding to some of the programs that played an integral role in urban Americans’ lives. “The House of Representatives cut $1.1 billion from the nation’s poorest public schools,” and “cut $137 million from Head Start” effectively subtracting $5,000 from each classroom’s budget and cutting 45,000 preschoolers from a crucial early education program.
Media portrayal of the march.
In addition to their goal of fostering a spirit of support and self-sufficiency within the black community, organizers of the Million Man March also sought to use the event as a publicity campaign aimed at combating what they perceived as the negative racial stereotypes in the American media and in popular culture. March organizers were dismayed by the sweeping stereotypes they thought white America seemed to draw from the coverage of such figures as Willie Horton, O. J. Simpson, and Mike Tyson. Believing that “black men have been designated by the culture as the sacrificial lambs for male evil”, event organizers asked black male attendees to make a public display of their commitment to responsible and constructive behavior that would give the mass media positive imagery to broadcast. Now in 2010 ; Why is President Obama doing something for everyone else but us. Gays, Mexicans, and Jewish folk, what about his folk?
We need another March on Washington “soon and very soon” as the old gospel song says to get President Obama to start doing more for black folk? President Roosevelt told A. Phillip Randolf that if he wanted something more for black people to make the president do something. Because the president wanted to do something but the powers that made him president would not allow him to do something unless there seemed to be some political strife in the horizon. Note to self: the squeaky wheel gets the oil. Black people let us organize and get started marching to the Washington plaza. We are a country of 41 million black folks with a economy of 893 billion dollars, but for simplicity sake we’ll round it off to 1 trillion dollars. That is comparable to Spain, Argentina, Portugal, we have clout ya’ll lets use it.