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The Essential Ellen Willis$
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Ellen Willis and Nona Willis Aronowitz

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780816681204

Published to Minnesota Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.5749/minnesota/9780816681204.001.0001

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Million Man Mirage

Million Man Mirage

(p.339) Million Man Mirage
The Essential Ellen Willis

Nona Willis Aronowitz

University of Minnesota Press

This chapter criticizes the Million Man March for its obvious sexism, and Louis Farrakhan for his obvious anti-Semitism, calling the event a shot at a “utopian moment” but insisting that “it’s a mistake to imagine that the good feelings generated by the Million Man March negate its political dangers”. Farrakhan is a skilled organizer who, with his own powerful persona, conveys the hope of power not only to black men but also to many black women. But his appeal is not confined to people who embrace the Nation of Islam’s tenets. The marchers were middle-class and working-class black men whose ordinary humanity is daily denied and challenged, coming together not to declare a cultural revolution but to contest their demonization as culturally alien, inferior, and criminal. The most potent message conveyed by the Million Man March was that blacks have come in from the cold, are ready to be part of the profamily solution instead of the problem.

Keywords:   sexism, Million Man March, Louis Farrakhan, anti-Semitism, Nation of Islam, blacks

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