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Black Women Prove Point in Philly

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A proud African American woman stands among thousands in Philadelphia.
PHILADELPHIA — It rained, but it didn't stop them. They marched from the liberty bell tothe Philadelphia Museum of Art, united in their purpose to add a new,black perspective to the national women's right movement.

"The rain has come to shower gifts upons us because we stand today asjewels," says march founder, Phile Chionesu. "We stand as one."

You can't win the numbers game, but there's no disputing the fact thatAfrican American women were together Saturday in mind, in body and inspirit. They wanted to change the way they are treated in the UnitedStates. Now they know how.

In a mood of celebration and revival, thousands of black sisters, mothers,daughters and wives from dozens of states united for a day of spiritualuplifting.

The million women March focused on human right, abuse against blacks andthe essential roll that black women play in the lives of those aroundthem.

"You're never going to find out what's wrong with the children until youfind out what's wrong with the mother," explains Sister Souljah.

There are all sorts of signs, posters and banners to buy, but some of themost telling messages are the ones marchers brought from home. They'resimple messages: peace and love.

Stella Adams of Durham brought her 13-year-old daughter Danielle along.She wants to give her a legacy to identify with in future years. Twoyears ago, Adams' husband went to the million man march with their son.

Other women from the Triangle simply enjoy the privilege of beingtogether for mutual support and uplift. For them, seeing the enormouscrowd of African American women standing shoulder to shoulder was atransforming experience.

Phyllis Hestor of Durham says she felt a spiritual touch that broughttears to her eyes.

The theme was empowerment and how to get it. Representative Maxine Watersof California believe it will take a collective power to shape publicpolicy, fight racism, favoritism and "old boy" networkism.

"Whatever your demons are," says actress Jada Pinkett, "you need the toolsto get ride of them. Women, read!"

The speakers at the million woman march were almost as diverse as thecrowd. They were loving the marchers, praising them, even chastisingthem. The highlighted speaker was Winnie Mandela.

Organizers say over 2 million women came to the rally. Police rangersestimated 300,000 to a million people were there. Whatever the actualnumber, the million woman march made its statement: black women arecommitted to improving the way they are treated in America.

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