Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan speaks at the Million Man March, which he organized. (Photo by James Leynse/Corbis via Getty Images)

“If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”— 2 Chronicles 7:14 (KJV)

When the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan made the call for a million Black men to come to Washington, D.C., the world was astounded when nearly two million showed up on the Mall. The call and theme for that day on Monday, October 16, 1995 was one of Atonement, Reconciliation and Responsibility and for Black men to accept their roles as leaders and protectors of their families and communities. That day was declared a Holy Day!

The world saw on that day Black men committed to bettering and healing themselves. Though the call was made by God through Min. Farrakhan, a Muslim, those men who responded were from various backgrounds. Christians, Muslims, Hebrews, Agnostics, Atheists, Pan Africanists, Black Nationalists and those with no religious or organizational affiliation joined with countless others that day including members of street organizations (so-called gangs), Black fraternities, and brothers representing a wide variety of ideological and political thought.

“We must accept the responsibility that God has put upon us, not only to be good husbands and fathers and builders of our community, but God is now calling upon the despised and the rejected to become the cornerstone and the builders of a new world,” Min. Farrakhan told the men during his message.