Who can forget Mrs. Tucker’s festive annual Christmas parties in which she twisted mighty arms in order to pair black role models with disadvantaged D.C. youths?
It is not enough to speak out; we must act out. And, we must develop more effective strategies than feel-good festivals to force change. As Mr. Farrakhan stated, “The day after the march is when the real work begins.”
Millions More Movement sponsors, for example, cannot simply continue to hurl a laundry list of demands at Republican leaders. The Black Caucus members must make good on the promise they made Saturday to introduce and lobby for substantive legislation including a comprehensive anti-poverty bill.
Equally important, black constituents must participate in the political process before Election Day.
“The success of this march will be that we take charge of our communities and make a difference in the [upcoming] elections,” the Rev. Al Sharpton said.
After riding around the Mall for an hour in the Saturday afternoon sun, I was somewhat surprised by the large crowd, resembling a huge family reunion, which grew rapidly.
Unfortunately, there was little publicity and no clear clarion call had been sounded — like the one of brotherhood and atonement — which brought about the Million Man March in 1995.
One friend, who like others I spoke with decided not to attend the gathering out of a “been-there-and-done-that” mind-set, went further to suggest that the Millions More Movement was an ego-driven rally and a last gasp for a group of aging black activists.
But my 36-year-old son, who rode his bicycle through the throng listening to the harsh and sometimes hollow speeches emanating from the Jumbotrons, managed to decipher the main theme. He said: “Ma, stop saying it is a march; it is a movement.”
If the past decade set a standard, we’ll have to do a lot more than pray and pontificate for progress. As C. Delores Tucker’s meaningful life demonstrates, it takes more than millions of wasted words to produce and sustain a “real” and credible movement.
By Elaine Donnelly
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