Million Man March Revisited: Film “Get On the Bus” as Viewed by SamHenry

Posted on September 20, 2011

When SamHenry can’t sleep at night after working late, it’s a movie on TV that either brings sleep or further awakening.  Get On the Bus was riveting and dozing was minimal.

I found it just surfing through STARZ, a channel that resurrects some very good films at times.  The film takes you on a busload of black men headed for Washington and  the Million Man March that took place  October 16, 1995.  They are from all walks of life, all ages, and of all faiths.

Almost too much is covered during the ride.  It really was an index of issues that truly existed then and now and will into the future because we are, after all, human.  As a prayer said at the end, “we are not perfect but we seek perfection.”

This is a SamHenry must-see film.  There should be many more films of this thoughtfulness and caliber of American black society, its history and culture.  But a film like this, sadly, does not reach large audiences and make big bucks.  No, the hero has to be a black man fighting the odds with a white partner or as a black superhero like Shaft.

SHAFT (1971):

GET ON THE  BUS – Trailer

GLORY – The film about a famous black regiment during the Civil War.

It is estimated that more than 180,000 civil war soldiers who fought in the Civil War were black. Some of these men were free-men while others were runaway slaves. Although Congress passed two acts which allowed black men to enlist in the Union Army to fight in the Civil War, it wasn’t until President Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation that black men could officially enroll in the military to fight in the civil war. There were close to 163 units with the Union Army which consisted of black men. Likewise, many black men also enlisted in the Union Navy. It is believed that blacks in the civil war composed of more than 10% of the Union Army.

The role of blacks in civil war is often underestimated. Black men helped to win many battles of the Civil War. The battle at Fort Pillow, Tennessee is especially important as this was not only one of the most successful Union won battles in the Civil War, it was also one of the battles were the most black civil war soldiers were utilized and in which many black soldiers perished. Blacks in the civil war devoted their lives to the pursuit of freedom and the abolition of slavery. [37th]