The Million Man March and Day
A Position Paper
We, the women of the Senut Society and the Organization Us, stand
in ongoing solidarity with Black men in life and struggle and are
supporters, participants and partners in the joint project of the
Million Man March in Washington, D.C. and the Day of Absence throughout
the country on this day, October 16, 1995.
The Day of Absence is a holy day, a sacred day a day of atonement,
reconciliation and responsibility.
We see the March and Day of Absence as a necessary challenge
to ourselves and the country at a critical point in history in
which this country has embraced the negative and we must struggle
to achieve the positive. As our philosophy Kawaida says, we must
resist and struggle against all forms of oppression and establish
a model of the best of what it means to be both African and human.
We maintain that to put forth this model of excellence, we must
mobilize, organize and direct in positive ways the collective energies
of our people, that we must build family and community, and that
we must stand together as one against the regressive forces of
this country. And we see the March and Day of Absence as a historic
opportunity to lay groundwork for the harnessing of our collective
From the inception of the call for the March, we along with other
women and men across the country have carried on discussions about
the meaning of the March, the form it should take and how it fit
in our struggle to build family and community and end our oppression
as a people. We were concerned that the March and the activities
and discussions surrounding it represented the best of our tradition
as a people in struggle.
Therefore, we along with other women and men across the country
worked hard to expand the original conception of the March so that:
a) the priority focus on men in no way suggested the exclusion
or lack of concern for women; b) that women at all times were viewed
and treated as equals and partners in the efforts to strengthen
family and community and wage a successful struggle for liberation
of our people; c) and that a joint project be created in which
this equality and cooperative partnership were expressed.
From the extensive exchange at the local level and in national
meetings, we of Us and other women and men with similar concerns
expanded the idea of the Day of Absence so that it became an essential
part of the overall project of standing up and assuming a new and
expanded responsibility by Black men in particular and the Black
community in general.
We made a significant input into the formulation of the mission
statement which summarizes the best of our thoughts as a people
concerned about the state of the world in which we live and the
impact of this on the quality of our lives. We especially stressed
the need for a moral vision of society and Black male-female relations
which upholds the equal rights, role and responsibility of Black
women and men in the life and struggle of our people.
Therefore, we accept the Million Man March/Day of Absence Mission
Statement and the challenges, goals, and ongoing projects which
it puts forth as representative of our views and concerns, our
input and the collective process in which the document was created.
As the Mission Statement says, "unless and until Black men stand
up, Black men and women cannot stand together and accomplish the
awesome tasks before us."
We applaud the gathering of men in Washington for standing up,
making commitments to be better persons, build stronger families
and struggle to bring into being a just society and a better world.
We applaud the assembling of women in the community to mobilize,
organize and conduct teach-ins around the larger meaning of the
March and Day of Absence. And we share the common commitment of
Black women and men to strengthen ourselves, our families and community
and move as one in life and struggle for the greater good.
Our support of our brothers comes from our need to see them responsible,
principled, active, committed and strong enough to make and keep
commitments, to live full and meaningful lives and build equal,
loving and mutually-respectful relations with Black women. It is
also based on our sense of mutual obligation to be sensitive to
each others needs, to share each others dreams and aspirations
and work together to create and maintain all good things.
We support male projects for the same reason we support female
projects: it is a positive practice of our culture and tradition
to create structures and processes for women and men to bond with
other women and men, to speak to the challenges and aspirations
of their particular gender and to address issues together in sisterhood
and brotherhood. In this regard, the Million Man March is led by
men, but women are not excluded, and the Day of Absence is led
by women, but men are not excluded. And as the Mission Statement
says both activities are equally essential.
In conclusion, we embrace and support the brotherhood that gathers
at the March as the brothers embrace and support the sisterhood
that mobilizes, organizes and conducts the teach-ins on the Day
of Absence. We take the position that the well-being of our people
and their capacity for successful struggle depend on our working
together as sisters and brothers as equals and partners. As our
Mission Statement says, our task is "to build an empowered community,
a just society and a better world" together as mutually supportive
partners in love and struggle. And we take up this task, fully
aware that our very future depends on it.
- SENUT SOCIETY (Us)
A Sisterhood of the World African
Community - 2560 W. 54th St
Los Angeles, CA 90043