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African Americans mark anniversary of Million Man March

October 16, 1997
Web posted at: 2:33 p.m. EDT (1833 GMT)
March in 1995

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan called on African Americans across the nation Thursday to observe a "Day of Atonement" on the second anniversary of the Million Man March.

Appearing on ABC's "Good Morning America," Farrakhan urged black Americans to stay home from work and school to pray and fast in a show of solidarity to celebrate "our coming back to God."

He said more than 100 cities planned to host events commemorating the 1995 march, and he predicted that the day would eventually become a major religious event in the United States.

This year's 
ceremonies in Atlanta and New York

"It will become a major holy day among not only our people, but I believe the American people as well," said Farrakhan, who organized the original event, a peaceful march on Washington by hundreds of thousands of black men.

Since then, he said, black Americans have become energized.

"There's a new spirit among our people, and that experience of two years ago definitely was a transforming experience for most of those men," he said.



A L S O :

  • African Americans gaining economic power nationwide
  • Profile of Farrakhan's aide
  • March 'brought home' adoption need

  • In Washington, Mayor Marion Barry has made the day official by suggesting that black city employees take a vacation day. Barry said it will be a chance for them to reaffirm their commitment to God and family.

    Reuters contributed to this report.

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