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March Glimpses


A taste of home is sweet, indeed, for one participant

Cleveland Walton hadn't bitten off a mouthful of raw sugar cane in years. So when he saw stalks for sale yesterday in the concession area on Constitution Ave, he bought two and started peeling and chewing as he walked, letting the sweet juice drip down his chin.

The 24-year-old student at Case Western Reserve University was raised in the Virgin Islands and was pleasantly surprised to find a touch of home.

Attendees could find a variety of products for sale. There were Million-Man-March candy bars, African-print hats and scarves, march T-shirts and candy-filled glass jars with "Million Man March" emblazoned on them.

D. Andre Brown, 36, of St. Louis hawked about 1,000 "atonement" gloves -- white cotton gloves at $3 a pop.

"Most people have T-shirts and caps -- we wanted something they can hold up -- white shows purity," said Mr. Brown, who works for EIB (Excellent in Better) Products and Advertising.

Imaginative vantage points from which to behold it all

From his perch on a statue at 1st and Pennsylvania, Jay Sterling, 35, of Northeast Baltimore had a terrific view of the crowd. Mr. Sterling held up a hand-written banner, "Baltimore's Best -- Million Man March." The crowd, he said, was much larger than he ever expected. "There's so much positive energy. No one thought we could do it, but we did it."

Robert Carpenter, a mechanical engineering major at Howard University, went to the top of the Washington Monument "so that I could actually look out over the top and get a feel for the march," he said.

Mr. Carpenter, 24, missed two classes to attend. "Class was out of the question," he said.

Illinois eighth-graders are wowed by marchers

In the second week of every October since 1977, the Rev. Roy Bauer has taken his eighth-grade class at St. Peter's School in Quincy, Ill., to Washington, D.C.

He arrived in the nation's capital yesterday with 48 students -- they visited Ford's Theatre, the Naval Museum and the American and Natural History museums. But the youngsters learned more outside, at the Million Man March.

"I've never seen anything like it," said Kyle Venvertloh, 13, the class president. "This march will definitely stand out."

'Manhood training' for Malcolm X Elementary

The students from Malcolm X Elementary School of Southeast Washington strode across The Mall in their red sweaters and ties, carrying their school banners.

They had one question for chaperon Charles Robinson: "When do we start marching?"

Mr. Robinson and others explained to them that they were a part of something greater, something larger.

"I wanted them to see responsible African-American men in action," said Principal John Pannell. "Manhood training starts at this age. We can't wait until they are 15, 16 to teach them responsibility."

Visitor from Australia is surprised and impressed

Megan Small was stunned when she stepped off the tour bus and onto The Mall.

"We would never see this many people in Australia," said the airline worker from Sydney.

"America's supposed to be the great democracy of the world, and here you see it in progress," she said.

"That's all part of what America is."

A moment to treasure after a brush with vandals

Lester Courtney nearly missed the march. His caravan of buses from St. Louis was among the ones vandalized over the weekend -- luggage doors torn off and windows smashed.

For a while he wasn't sure he would make it, but the trip was delayed only three hours, and he arrived at 11 a.m.

Mr. Courtney, 41, said the march turned out to be even more than he had expected.

This is something I want to tell my grandchildren," he said. "This is a turning point for black people in America.

"I wish white America would take this in the right spirit. This is nothing against them, this is something for us."

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