For several weeks, I've been planning a trip to Washington D.C. I am one of many lucky men and women to be sponsored to participate in a historical moment in the United States. The march took place January 21st, 2017 on a Saturday. Before I knew it, we had spent 40+ hours off and on the bus to Washington. We also spent several long-awaited hours preparing for the march—making posters, passing out pink pussy cat hats, and working on our chants.
There were two busses heading for Washington, one being from Dallas and the other from Houston, with well over 50 people. We were ready or at least prepping ourselves. There was a long journey ahead for those like me who have never been part of a march. Many of the older women have been activist since before I was even born. There was one particular marcher who had an amazing history with protesting, she had protested during the Vietnam War. She mentioned how she threw her peace sign in the air waving it back and forth.
This excited me. I have never met anyone who was so dedicated to a cause. With this information, I was relieved to know that many knew what they were up against. I still didn't know what to expect, though. I had imagined a few or more violent people running around the streets of D.C. throwing bottles and lighting fires, but that didn’t happen.
As we approached, we made room to carry tiny slips of paper. Each paper had a few important things we should know...like our rights. Whenever you attend a march/protest, you should always carry little slips of paper with certain rights and procedures on them. You never know who or when you're going to be questioned and arrested without cause. Knowing your first amendment rights protects you and your group of marchers from many forms of repression; your rights to free speech, participation in demonstrations (protests and marches), chanting, drumming, and so forth. As a Black/African American male it's even more necessary for me to know my rights and how to stand up for them as I engage in civic voting, demonstrations, and volunteering
News had spread that there would be no march because there were well over 500,000 people in attendance. That's just over a quarter million people more than Donald J. Trump's Inauguration. With little to no doubt, we continued as planned and marched beautifully and proudly.
To my surprise, the Women's March on Washington was by far one of the greatest moments of my life. Regardless of what the media says, regardless of the bigotry that tries to oppress us, the separatists who try to split us, I stood by the men and women of our country who had a voice and did very well at delivering it with zero violence, zero arrests, and zero fear.
To learn more about the Women's March and how to support it, you can visit its website—(https://www.womensmarch.com/) to find an event near you.