The crowd walked as one...a movement of men united in their message: the violence must stop. After months of organization and weeks of publicity on television, radio, and the street...the "Call to Oneness" march claimed the attention of those weary of the city's murder rate but hopeful solidarity is the answer. I attended the march as a Saint Louisan who wants to see every community thrive, an African-American who supports efforts to uplift those who share my hue, and a reporter who recognizes a watershed moment.
It was a steamy Sunday, but the heat only served to fire up the crowd. Men of every size, shape, and ilk mingled. They exchanged names, stories, and opinions...and all bore the responsibility of being a black men called to action. They chanted, "One"...along the route and their wives, mothers, daughters, and girlfriends answered with cheers. According to organizers, there will be other initiatives to address some of the crippling issues a generation of people is wrestling to defeat. But yesterday, on the north side of Saint Louis...often known for its murder rate, tens of thousands of black folk started to rewrite the story.