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Op-Ed: 15 Bleak Years Since The Million Man March

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Op-Ed: 15 Bleak Years Since The Million Man March

Opinion

Op-Ed: 15 Bleak Years Since The Million Man March

Op-Ed: 15 Bleak Years Since The Million Man March

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Jon Jeter says that in the years since the Million Man March, things have only gotten worse for African-Americans. Tim Sloan/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Tim Sloan/AFP/Getty Images

Jon Jeter says that in the years since the Million Man March, things have only gotten worse for African-Americans.

Tim Sloan/AFP/Getty Images

On Oct. 16, 1995, hundreds of thousands of African-American men converged on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., and pledged to work to change the image of black men in America.

In his article for The Root, Jon Jeter writes that in the more than 5,475 days since the march, things have only gotten worse.

But does that mean the march was a failure? Jeter tells NPR's Neal Conan it does. He says that because "black men in particular, and black people in general, and even Americans — when you talk about ordinary working people — are in much worse shape than they were in 1995."

After the march, Jeter says, there was "a real opportunity to really sort of create and or strengthen the institutions that can make real demands on government for change" — but that opportunity was squandered.

Jeter blames an overemphasis on personal responsibility, as opposed to collective responsibility, for the failure.