Farrakhan, “Million Man March,” Textual Authentication

Farrakhan Louis (1933– )

edited by
Jill M. Weber

2007

Voices of Democracy: The U. S. Oratory Project

Department of Communication,
2130 Skinner Building,
University of Maryland,
College Park, MD 21774
USA

Brief notes on the text are included in the editorial
declaration of this header.

Farrakhan, Louis. [1995a] 2006. “Million Man March.” Chicago, IL: Final Call. [=A]
Farrakhan, Louis. [1995b] 1996. “Day of Atonement.” In Million Man March/Day of Absence: A Commemorative Anthology. Edited by Haki R. Madhubuti and Maulana Karenga, 9-28. Chicago, IL: Third World Press. [=B]
Farrakhan, Louis. 1995c. “Minister Farrakhan Challenges Black Men: Transcripts from Minister Louis Farrakhan’s Remarks at the Million Man March.” CNN. http://cgi.cnn.com/US/9510/megamarch/10-16/transcript/ (accessed 4 November 2007). [=C]
Farrakhan, Louis. 1995d. “Text of Louis Farrakhan’s Speech at the ‘Million Man March.'” Alachua Free-Net, Inc. http://www.afn.org/~dks/race/farrakhan-e6.html (accessed 4 November 2007). [=D]

Jill M. Weber and Lubov Zeifman of The Pennsylvania State University compared the different versions of “Million Man March” available online, in print, and on video. On October 17, 1995, CNN published transcripts of the speech (http://cgi.cnn.com/US/9510/megamarch/10-16/transcript/). This version of the speech appears to be the most frequently duplicated and excerpted account. The Alachua Free-Net, Inc., a Florida 501(c)3 not for profit corporation, also published a similar version of the speech on October 17, 1995 (http://www.afn.org/~dks/race/farrakhan-e6.html). The following year, Third World Press published a third version of the speech in Million Man March/Day of Absence: A Commemorative Anthology, edited by Haki R. Madhubuti and Maulana Karenga. With the exception of a few changes in word choice, punctuation, spelling, and paragraphing, the anthologized version was nearly identical to the CNN transcripts and very similar to the Alachua Free-Net, Inc. version. In 2006, the Final Call/Nation of Islam published a video recording of “Million Man March.” This version appears to be the most accurate version of the speech, however, roughly ten percent of the speech footage (paragraphs 198-206, 216-233, and 235-236) was edited out of the recording. Media coverage following the Million Man March makes mention of the deleted passages, specifically Farrakhan’s call for Black families to adopt children (198-200), his request for donations (200-202), and his promise to create an economic endowment fund (200-202). Additionally, multiple versions of the speech document these missing sections, including the versions published in Million Man March/Day of Absence, to which Farrakhan owns the copyright, the version published on the CNN website, and the version posted on the Alachua Free-Net, Inc. The authenticated version of “Million Man March” used in this unit reflects a verbatim transcription of the video recording. The deleted passages have been restored using the anthologized speech, the CNN transcripts, and the Alachua Free-Net, Inc. versions. Variations in word choices between these three texts are indicated in the commentary.

To review the discussion of the speech and its content, see the following sources: Dowdy, Zachary R. “Farrakhan to Focus on ’96 Election.” Boston Globe (19 October 1995), sec. National/Foreign, 3; Dowdy, Zachary R. “Rally called big step for Farrakhan.” Boston Globe (18 October 1995), sec. National/Foreign, 1; Fletcher, Michael A. “Million Man March Solicits $150,000; Organizers Ask Local Committees to Raise Cash to Pay Shortfall.” Washington Post (24 February 1996) sec, A, 6; Fletcher, Michael A., and Dan Balz. “Farrakhan Seeks Wider Role.” Washington Post (18 October 1995), sec. Financial, A1; Harden, Patrick. “An American Political Star is Born.” Toronto Sun, (17 October 1995), 4; Naylor, Janet, and Jim Keary. “Opportunities Abound for Marchers,” Washington Times (19 October 1995), sec. Metropolitan Times; District News, C4; Neal, Terry M. “Farrakhan’s Message of Redemption.” Washington Post (17 October 1995), sec. a, 1.

The copy-text is Farrakhan 1995a [=A], a video recording of the delivered speech. This selection was based upon the plausible efficacy of the delivered speech and the relatively large number of viewers of the speech on television and subsequently in various venues. Except where specified in notes, 1995b [=B] is followed for spelling, punctuation, and paragraphing. Rana Yared provided the accurate spelling for the Arabic terms and served as the translator for the Arabic portions of the speech. (Yared is a native speaker of Arabic, who is originally from Lebanon. She holds a B.S. from the University of Pennsylvania and works for an international consulting company.) Vocal disfluencies have been corrected without comment. This version of the text, however, attempts to reflect Farrakhan’s decision to use words like “hangin'” instead of hanging, “gotta,” instead of got to, and “’em” instead of them. Where applicable, the informal word has been included in the text. Throughout the speech, individual audience members responded to Farrakhan’s statements with applause, laughter, and remarks such as “yes, sir” and “preach on.” This version of the copy-text does not include all of those interruptions and remarks. Instead, it documents the audience’s responses to Farrakhan’s requests for crowd participation, using Farrakhan 1995a [= A] as a guide. These additions and accounts of Farrakhan singing are included in brackets [ ].

Standard date values are given in ISO form: yyyy-mm-dd.

Characteristics of interpretation of this edition are as follows:

End of line words: no end of line words were hyphenated.
The text of this edition has been thoroughly checked and proofread.
Double quotation marks appear as (“). Single quotation marks appear as (‘)

Departures from the copy-text and general editorial procedures (reference numbers specify paragraph in which the departure occurs):
2 Al Salaam Alaykun A: translates as “peace be with you” Weber/Yared
2 Oo Alayk al salaam A: translates as “peace be with you too” Weber/Yared
42 controlling Black slaves Weber: controlling black slaves B
46 The Black slave after Weber: The black slave after B
46 Black male against the young Black male Weber: black male against the young black male B
46 And the young Black male against the old Black male Weber: And the young black male against the old black male B
48 distrust all Blacks Weber: distrust all blacks B
85 Manne, manne, tek elauhu phossen: This phonetic spelling is taken directly from B and C. The Arabic translator was unable to verify that this phrase was Arabic.
94 Reverend Al Sampson A: Farrakhan was likely referring to Reverend Al Sharpton, whom he again identified in 217 Weber
127 “a” equals 440 vibrations C: a equals 440 vibrations B
128 will come the “a” tone Weber: will come the a tone B
129 you heard the “a” tone Weber: you heard the a tone B
152 reason Black folk rejoiced Weber: reason black folk rejoiced B
198 Did anybody mention the political prisons? Brother Conrad Worrell mentioned our political prisoners, never forget them. And now, brothers, there are 25,000 Black children in need of adoption. This is our brother Eason who is the president of Blacks in Government. I’m sorry, brother Dunston, the president of the Black Social Workers. He has 25,000 children in need of adoption. Out of this vast audience, there must be 25,000 men who will take one of these children and take them through life and make life worth living for those children BCD: passage deleted from video recording A
199 In this vast audience, is there anyone one, two, ten, twenty-five, hundred, a thousand, 25 thousand who would be willing to adopt a Black brother or sister, bring them into your home and rear them properly? How many of you think you would like to do that, would you just raise your hand, let me take a look. Raise them high. That’s a wonderful expression. Where should they do, what should they do, who should they see? [a voice from the crowd shouts, “They should see booth 26 north.”] BCD: passage deleted from video recording A
200 Booth 26 north is where you should go. It is to my right, your left. Or you should call 1-800-419-1999. Now brothers, the last thing we want to say, we want to develop an economic development fund. Suppose, the nearly 2 million here, and 10 million more back home that support us gave $10 a month to a national economic development fund BCD: passage deleted from video recording A
201 Inside of one month, we would have over $100 million. And in one year, we would have $1.2 billion B: we would have $1 billion, $200 million C: we would have $1,200,000,00 D: passage deleted from video recording A
201 What will we do with that? I would love for the leadership up here to form a board and call in Myrlie Evers Williams and ask her, what is the budget of the NAACP for this year? It’s $13 million. It’s $15 million, write a check. Now, next year you have to become accountable to the board, and the members of the NAACP will be on the board too, which means that no Black organization will be accountable to anybody outside of us BCD: passage deleted from video recording A
202 But accountable to us and we will free the NAACP, the Urban League and all Black organizations to work in the best interest of our people BC: we would free the NAACP, the Urban League and all Black organizations to work in the best interests of our people D: passage deleted from video recording A
202 How many of you would like to see all our Black organizations free? CD: Now many of you would like to see all our Black organizations free? B: passage deleted from video recording A
202 Now, look brothers, an economic development fund for $10 a month is not a big price to ask to begin to build an economic infrastructure to nurture businesses within the Black community. Soon the leadership is going to meet and work out the details of an Exodus, Exodus Economic Fund BCD: passage deleted from video recording A
203 And we’re going to get back to you. This is not a one day thing. A task force will be formed right out of this leadership to make sure that the things that we say today will be implemented so that next year on the day of atonement, which this will take place each and every year from now on until God says, well done. Now, you saw the money that was taken up today, didn’t you? How many of you gave some money today? I see some hands that wanted to give, but didn’t get that box to them BCD: passage deleted from video recording A
204 Well, let me tell you something brothers, we want an outside accounting firm to come in and scrutinize every dollar that was raised from your pockets to make the Million Man March a success. And if there is any overage, it will not be spent. We will come back to this board of leadership and we will account for every nickel, every dime every dollar BCD: passage deleted from video recording A
205 Do you know why? We want Willie Lynch to die a natural death. And the only way we can kill the idea of Willie Lynch, we have to build trust in each other. And the only way we can build trust is to open up the coat and show that you don’t have a hidden agenda. All of us will be looking at the same thing, for the same purpose BCD: passage deleted from video recording A
206 And then we’ll come back to you and make a full accounting for every nickel, every dime and every dollar so that you can trust BCD: passage deleted from video recording A
216 Well, I think we all should hold hands now. And I want somebody to sing “To God be the Glory” BCD: passage deleted from video recording A
217 And the reason I want this song sung is because I don’t want anybody to take the credit for a day like this. I didn’t do it. Reverend Chavis didn’t do it. Reverend Jackson didn’t do it. Reverend Sharpton didn’t do it BCD: passage deleted from video recording A
217 Conrad Rawell or Maulana Karenga didn’t do it B: Conrad Rawell in Manarana Karinga (ph) didn’t do it C: Conrad Warrell (sp) and Mowlana Karenga (sp) didn’t do it D: passage deleted from video recording A
217 Dr. Cornell West didn’t do it. But all of us worked together to do the best that we could but it’s bigger than all of us BC: passage deleted from video recording A
218 So since we can’t take the praise, then we have to give all the glory, all the honor, all the praise to Him to whom it rightfully belongs BCD: passage deleted from video recording A
219 So in closing, we want to thank Mayor Barry and Mrs. Barry for opening this great city to us. And out of every dollar that was collected, 10 percent of it we’re going to leave here in Washington that Mayor Barry may aid some institution, some good cause in the city. We want to set a good example BCD: passage deleted from video recording A
220 This was a beautiful and peaceful meeting. Probably one of the best that ever was held in Washington held by Black men who want to atone to God and clear our slate. Beautiful Black brothers. Beautiful brothers, I’m going to say a prayer and I want to thank Phi Beta Sigma and its wonderful, wonderful president and all the Greek letter organizations but Phi Beta Sigma especially because they opened their BCD: passage deleted from video recording A
220 door to the Million Man March and made it possible BC: doors to the Million Man March and made it possible passage D: deleted from video recording A
220 I want to thank the Reverend Dr. Benjamin Chavis who did a wonderful, wonderful job BC: passage not included in D: passage deleted from video recording A
221 I thank his wife for her sacrifice and my wife for hers. I thank Dorothy Height and the National Council of Negro Women. I thank Dr. Betty Shabazz who came in the name of her husband and I thank God for allowing the negative thing to be turned into a positive that she and I might start a process of reconciling 30-year-old differences BC: passage not included in D: passage deleted from video recording A
222 Lord knows if we could do it with blood between us, God knows that Bloods and Crips have done it and what we have done to one another, don’t let the sun set before saying to your brother, I love you and I’m sorry B: Lord knows if we could do it with blood between us, God knows that Bloods and Crips have done it and whatever we have done to one another, don’t let the sun set before saying to your brother, I love you and I’m sorry C: passage not included in D: passage deleted from video recording A
222 And after the prayer is said and the song is sung, I want you all to just embrace each other and say to each other, I love you my brother and thank you for making this holy day of atonement real in my life BC: passage deleted from video recording A
223 Don’t do it now, wait ’til after prayer and the song Weber: Don’t do it now, wait till after prayer and the song B: Don’t do it now, wait til after prayer and the song C: passage not included in D: passage deleted from video recording A
223 Will you bow your heads, please? Oh, before we say that prayer, the brother of my leader and teacher, the honorable Elijah Muhammad, is here with me and with us. He’s like my father in the absence of my father. He knows this history of the Nation of Islam better than any man in America and I thank God that he lived long enough to see the day that he suffered and worked for, for now 65 years. The brother of the honorable Elijah Muhammad, brother John Muhammad BC: passage not included in D: passage deleted from video recording A
224 And so now BC: passage not included in D: passage deleted from video recording A
225 [Muhammad says: “Dar al rahim salaam”] BC: passage not included in D: passage deleted from video recording A
225 Dar al rahim salaam BC: translates as “house/kingdom of the forgiver is peace” Weber/Yared
226 Dar al rahim salaam BC: translates as “house/kingdom of the forgiver is peace” Weber/Yared
226 Dar al rahim salaam. He looks just like my daddy! And oh, Reverend Jackson, where is that great man? He had to go! Didn’t he preach today? And now, with your heads bowed, BC: passage not included in D: passage deleted from video recording A
226 [Farrakhan sings in Arabic] BC: no specific account available from published sources: passage not included in D: passage deleted from video recording A
227 In the name of Allah the beneficent, the merciful, praise be to Allah the Lord of the world, the beneficent, the merciful master of the day of requital BC: passage not included in D: passage deleted from video recording A
228 Thee do we worship. Thine aid we seek. Guide us on the right path. The path of those upon whom you have bestowed favors, not the path of those upon whom wrath is brought down. Nor those who go astray. Oh, Allah. We thank you for this holy day of Atonement and Reconciliation BC: passage not included in D: passage deleted from video recording A
229 We thank you for putting your spirit and your calm in Washington, D.C. and over the heads of this nearly two million of your servants. We thank you for letting us set a new example, not only for our people but for America and the world BC: passage not included in D: passage deleted from video recording A
230 We thank you, oh, Allah, for bringing us safely over the highways and we beg you to take us safely back to our wives and our children and our loved ones, who saw us off earlier or a few days ago B: We thank you, oh, Allah, for bringing us safely over the highways and we beg you to bring us safely back to our wives and our children and our loved ones, who saw us off earlier or a few days ago C: passage not included in D: passage deleted from video recording A
231 And as we leave this place, let us be resolved to go home to work out this Atonement and make our communities a decent, whole, and safe place to live BC: passage not included in D: passage deleted from video recording A
231 And oh, Allah, we beg your blessings on all who participated, all who came that presented their bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable as their reasonable service B: And oh, Allah, we beg your blessings on all who participated, all who came that presented their bodies as a living sacrifice, wholly and acceptable as their reasonable service C: passage not included in D: passage deleted from video recording A
232 Now, let us not be conformed to this world, but let us go home transformed by the renewing of our minds and let the idea of atonement ring throughout America BC: let us go on D: passage deleted from video recording A
233 That America may see that the slave has come up with power BC: passage deleted from video recording A
233 The slave has been B: The slave is been C: The slave is being D: passage deleted from video recording A
233 restored, delivered, and redeemed C: resorted, delivered, and redeemed B: passage deleted from video recording A
233 And now call this nation to repentance. To acknowledge her wrongs. To confess, not in secret documents called classified, but to come before the world and the American people as the Japanese prime minister did and confess her faults before the world because her sins have affected the whole world. And perhaps, she may do some act of atonement, that you may forgive and those ill-affected may forgive, that reconciliation and restoration may lead us to the perfect union with thee and with each other. We ask all of this in your Holy and Righteous Name BC: passage deleted from video recording A
235 And now Gregory Hopkins to sing “To God Be the Glory.” Keep holding each other’s hands, brothers. And after the song is sung, let us embrace each other. [performance of song] BC: no specific account of song available from published sources: passage deleted from video recording A
236 Turn to your brother BC: Everybody turn to your brother D: passage deleted from video recording A
236 and hug your brother and tell your brother you love him and let’s carry this love all the way back to our cities and towns BCD: passage deleted from video recording A
236 and never let it die, brothers. Never let it die BC: Never let it die, brothers. Never let it die D: passage deleted from video recording A

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Library of Congress Classification

16 October 1995
Million Man March
Washington, D.C.

English
Arabic

History of the Americas–United States–Elements in the Population–Afro-Americans–Status and development since emancipation.

E185.86.M54

2006-04-25

VOD Associate Editor
Gaines, Robert N.

Created TEI header and xml conformant file. Validated on 25 March 2006 in XMetal 3.1.3 against teixlite.dtd (version 2004-07-16)

2006-06-30

editor
Weber, Jill M.

transcribed video recording

2006-07-02-15

editors
Jill M. Weber and Lubov Zeifman

collation of electronic copy-text with other versions

2007-08-20

editor
Weber, Jill M.

proofred edited copy text