Last week marked the anniversary of the most powerful gathering of African-American women in history: The Million Woman March.
On Oct. 25, 1997, an estimated 2 million women converged on Philadelphia’s famous Benjamin Franklin Parkway to address issues relevant to the black community. Those issues included human rights abuses against blacks, the start of independent black schools and a demand for the investigation into allegations of CIA involvement in the crack trade in black neighborhoods. The marchers gathered at the Liberty Bell at sunrise, then walked one mile to the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
Organized by Philadelphia grassroots activists Asia Coney and Phile Chionesu, the event drew prominent figures like Winnie Mandela, Rep. Maxine Waters, Sista Souljah, Jada Pinkett Smith, Attallah and Illyasah Shabazz and the late Dr. Dorothy Height. A message was read from Assata Shakur, sent from her exiled home of Cuba.