Between 300,000 and 500,000 women convened in Philadelphia on Oct. 25, 1997, to participate in the Million Woman March. Modeled on the Million Man March that took place in Washington, D.C., two years earlier, the event focused on problems plaguing African-American communities and the power of Black women to address them.
It was organized by activists Phile Chionesu and Asia Coney, who took a grassroots approach that included relying on the Internet, African-American media and word-of-mouth to build support, CNN reported.
Winnie Mandela, former wife of then-South African President Nelson Mandela, was one of the featured speakers. Citing a quote by Sojourner Truth about the ability of women to turn the world "right-side up," she said, "Of course we can. Of course we will, and of course we are doing it. We'll march into the 21st century with all our might as Black women."
California Rep. Maxine Waters, who was as outspoken back then as she is today, also delivered remarks.
"After today, we will never be the same," she said. "America, please be placed on notice. We know who we are. We know what kind of power we have. We will act on that power."
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