Magazine article Ebony

The Million Woman March: Historic Gathering Reaffirms the Power of Sisterhood

Magazine article Ebony

The Million Woman March: Historic Gathering Reaffirms the Power of Sisterhood

Article excerpt

It started out slow. News of the gathering spread quietly like a steady hum stirring the souls of Black women in Internet chat rooms, on street corners, in bookstores and boardrooms across the globe. The Sisters listened and passed the word to others that two years and nine days after a legion of Black men enveloped the Washington Mall, the women's march was on. It was the Sisters' turn to show the nation how powerful and phenomenal Black women are.

The naysayers said the women wouldn't show. They said the march would be unprofessional and unorganized. They said two unknown Philadelphia activists--Phile Chionesu and Asia Coney--couldn't pull it off.

Despite some problems with the sound system and the inevitable difficulties of organizing a national march, masses of Black women stood together on that rainy day--October 25, 1997--in a gesture of solidarity and love. And whether their number was 300,000 or 2 million, the world watched and learned what Sisters united could become.

The women came in planes, buses, trains and cars. A group from New Jersey traveled on foot. Wave after wave, generation upon generation of grandmothers, mothers and daughters marched from the Liberty Bell toward Philadelphia's Benjamin Franklin Parkway, pounding out the beat of African drums with their steps and singing Spirituals in their hearts.

The steady drizzle mingled with their joy and sadness to wash away their pain. The historic day of healing had begun.

The grass-roots message came from mothers and daughters of the movement. …

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