Paradox: Remembering the Million Man March/Day of Absence On Its Twentieth Anniversary

“welcomed her into the world
with the fanfare of 26 sleepless hours,
giddy and chewing bubble gum cigars
for a sugar high to get through a cnn broadcast
of a million men gathered three states over.
passed the day with nods of approval
to the t.v., her and mother sleeping peacefully…”

darlene anita scott

I was 21 years old, 20 years ago, on October 16th 1995.

That was the day of the Million Man March/Day of Absence.

In what I named “solidarity,” I refrained from attending class.  I was a solid student.  Mostly.  So I doubt any of my professors batted an eye.  Besides, almost half of the campus had boarded buses to DC so there was little of the typical foot traffic seen by HBCU campuses at that time of year–somewhere around midterms and homecoming and still warm enough on the East coast to be “out.”

I also refused to go to the part time cashier job I had just started at the Sears department store in the mall.  It was a job I kept for an entire week.  I quit that day in October because as I told my supervisor when I called to explain my absence, I didn’t “plan to…

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