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Millions More Movement Impacts Youth
By: Christopher Wall
Special to the NNPA from Afro Newspapers
Originally posted 10/20/2005

Washington (NNPA) -- “The Millions More Movement serves as a source of motivation to inspire Black youth to be productive,” said Alicia Howard, a sophomore at Howard University who marched from the campus to the National Mall with over 1,000 other students. “A movement has to start with the youth.”

The Movement brought Black people together in fellowship to come up with ways to eliminate biases within the Black community, however, Howard isn’t sure if the Movement will impart a strong impression on Black America as a whole.“I don’t know if [the Movement] will have a lasting effect,” said Howard. “I would like to see it live up to its purpose.”

In an effort to encourage Black youth to participate in the movement, hip-hop leaders such as Wyclef Jean, Jim Jones and Russell Simmons, all aroused awareness in the Black community.

“To see so many people come out for a positive cause is excellent,” said Jim Jones of New York-based rap group The Diplomats. “Hip-Hop is so instrumental to life right now.”

Russell Simmons, entrepreneur and chairman of the Hip-Hop Summit Action Network, agrees.

“The hip-hop generation is so powerful. Rappers have access and they are listened to,” said Simmons.

North Carolina A&T State University student, Hadiya Adams, said that hip-hop plays a large role in the Black community and, for some, it was the only incentive to come out and participate.

“Hip-Hop is connected to Black empowerment,” said Adams. “The Millions More Movement gives a sense of unity and speaks to action and change. It doesn’t matter what brings you out, just as long as you come out.”

Although barely old enough to remember the 1995 Million Man March, Adams was able to cite the differences in the Million Man March and the Millions More Movement.

“The Million Man March had a specific purpose that called for solidarity specifically between Black men,” said Adams. “The Millions More Movement is an open call to transform the negativities within the African-American community, and ultimately, American society.”

Colleges and universities across the nation also assembled and students from Duke, Morehouse and Hampton came out in support of the Movement.

“This is a new generation with new issues,” said Marcella Dixon, a junior at the University of Rochester. “Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, along with the war in Iraq are issues that were nonexistent in 1995.

Change lives for positive things and Black youth today have a different mindset that could be beneficial to the Black community.”
Howard University student, Robert Modest, agrees.

“The Millions More Movement seemed to inspire Black youth to do more within their community,” said Modest. “Speakers such as [the Rev.] Jesse Jackson and Cornell West really enlightened me as to what many challenges I face as a Black male and I think others were enlightened as well. As youth, we’re here to get knowledge, use tools and make an impact.”

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