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The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan
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A Brief History recount of & with our Minister
The Nation of Islam under the leadership
of the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan is the catalyst for the growth and
development of Islam in America. Founded in 1930 by Master
Fard Muhammad and led to prominence from 1934 to 1975 by the Honorable
Elijah Muhammad, the Nation of Islam continues to positively impact the
quality of life in America.
Minister Louis Farrakhan, born Louis Eugene Walcott
on May 11, 1933, in Roxbury, Massachusetts was reared in a highly disciplined
and spiritual household. Raised by his mother, a native of St. Kitts, Louis
and his brother Alvin learned early the value of work, responsibility and
intellectual development. Having a strong sensitivity to the plight of black
people, his mother engaged her sons in conversations about the struggle for
freedom, justice and equality. She also exposed them to progressive material
such as the Crisis Magazine, published by the NAACP.
Recognizing her son's artistic talent, young Louis
was given a violin before his sixth birthday and began years of formal training
financed by his mother's hard work as both seamstress and housekeeper. By
age 13, he had played with the Boston College Orchestra and the Boston Civic
Symphony. The talent of young Louis was given national exposure at age 14
when he won the Ted Mack Amateur Hour. He was also one of the first blacks
to appear on the popular show.
Graduating from high school at age 16, he earned an
athletic scholarship for his prowess as a track sprinter and attended Winston-Salem
Teachers' College in North Carolina, excelling in the study of English.
During his senior year in September 1953, he married
his childhood sweetheart. Shortly thereafter, he left college to begin a family,
making a living by using his talent as a performing artist. Popularly
known as "The Charmer," he achieved fame in Boston as a vocalist,
calypso singer, dancer, and violinist. However, February 1955 marked a turning
point in the life of Louis Walcott. While headlining a show in Chicago entitled
"Calypso Follies" the young virtuoso received rave reviews. During
this engagement one of his friends from Boston invited him to attend the Nation
of Islam's Saviours' Day Convention, to be held at the newly purchased Muhammad's
Temple No. 2 at 4335 S. Greenwood Avenue.
Minister Malcolm X was informed that the
popular musician would attend the convention. While listening to the Honorable
Elijah Muhammad from his balcony seat, Louis thought to himself, "This
man can't speak," referring to Mr. Muhammad's grammar. As these thoughts
crossed the future leader's mind, the Honorable Elijah Muhammad looked up
in the balcony and said, "Don't pay no 'attention to how I say it. Pay
attention to what I say, then take it and put it into that fine language
that you know."
Although music had been
his first love, within three months after joining the Nation of Islam in 1955,
Minister Malcolm X told the New York Mosque and the new convert Louis X that
Elijah Muhammad had said that all Muslims would have to get out of show business
or get out of the Temple. Most of the musicians left Temple No. 7 but Louis
X, later renamed Louis Farrakhan, chose to dedicate his life to the Teachings
of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad.
After moving to Boston at the request of Malcolm X,
Louis X proved himself a capable, disciplined, and a well-mannered soldier
and eventually rose to the rank of Minister. He worked faithfully from 1956
as the Minister of Muhammad Temple No. 11 in Boston, Massachusetts, building
it to become one of the strongest Temples in the Nation.
In May of 1965, three months after the death of Malcolm
X, the Honorable Elijah Muhammad appointed Minister Farrakhan to Temple No.
7 in New York City. When he arrived in New York the atmosphere was very hostile
because of allegations of Muslim involvement in the assassination of Malcolm
Minister Farrakhan worked night and day in the Harlem
community and around New York restoring respect for the Nation.
The departure of the Honorable
Elijah Muhammad in 1975 and the assumption of leadership by Wallace D.
Muhammad (now known as Imam Warrithuddin Mohammed) brought drastic changes
to the Nation. After approximately 3 years of wrestling with the changes to
the teachings of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, Minister Farrakhan, after
a re-appraisal of the condition of black people and the program of the Honorable
Elijah Muhammad, decided to return to the teachings and program with a proven
ability to uplift and reform blacks.
His tremendous success is evidenced by mosques and
study groups in over 80 cities in America, Great Britain and a mission in
Ghana devoted to the teachings of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad. Minister
Farrakhan has renewed respect for the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, his teachings
and program, in rebuilding the Nation.
Literally millions of listeners have attended his lectures
and he has been welcomed in church after church, sharing pulpits with Christian
ministers from a variety of denominations showing the power of the unity of
those who believe in the One God. The father
of 9, with 23 grandchildren and 4 great grandchildren, Minister Farrakhan
still maintains a grueling work schedule.
He has addressed diverse organizations, been received
in many Muslim countries as a leading Muslim thinker and teacher, and been
welcomed throughout Africa, the Caribbean and Asia as a champion in the struggle
for freedom, justice and equality.
In 1985, Minister Farrakhan introduced the POWER concept
and in 1986 introduced a line of personal care products and a program for
black economic development. In 1979, he developed The Final Call, an internationally
circulated newspaper that follows in the line of The Muhammad Speaks.
In 1988, the resurgent Nation of Islam
repurchased its former flagship Mosque in Chicago and dedicated it as Mosque
Maryam, the National Center for Re-training and Re-education of the Black
Man and Woman of America and the World. The National Center includes a preschool
and K-12 University of Islam.
Also in 1991, Minister Farrakhan re-introduced the
Three Year Economic Program
to establish an economic base for the development of blacks through business
ventures. In 1992, Minister Farrakhan drew 60,000 people to the Atlanta Dome
for the Nation's annual Saviours' Day celebration.
In May 1993, Minister Farrakhan traveled to Libreville,
Gabon, to attend the Second African-African American Summit where he addressed
African heads of state and delegates from America. In October of 1994, Minister
Farrakhan led 2,000 blacks from America to Accra, Ghana for the Nation's first
International Savior's Day. Ghanaian President Jerry Rawlings officially opened
and closed the five-day convention.
The popular leader and
the Nation have repurchased farmland in Dawson, Georgia, and
enjoyed a banner year in 1995 with opening of the $5 million
Salaam Restaurant in Chicago and the successful Million Man
March on Washington. Minister Farrakhan continued his quest
for unity and progress by going on a World Friendship Tour
of Africa and the Middle East in early 1996. He was received
by heads of states in several countries, among them South
African President Nelson Mandela and Libyan leader Muammar
As part of the major thrust for true political empowerment
for the black community, Minister Farrakhan re-registered to vote in June
1996 and has formed a coalition of religious, civic and political organizations
to represent the voice of the disenfranchised on the political landscape.
2000 January: Min. Farrakhan writes an open letter
on behalf of the followers of the Honorable
Elijah Muhammad under his leadership stating happiness over the acceptance
of Imam Warith Deen Mohammed and his followers
to share in an Islamic Family Reunion.
February: Saviours' Day weekend celebration culminate
with the long-awaited return of the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan. The
eyes of the world, particularly the Islamic world, are on this city during
the 2" International Islamic Conference as a highlight of this Saviours'
February: Both Imam W. Deen Mohammed and Min. Farrakhan
deliver messages of unity and brotherhood during jumu'ah prayer service at
the McCormick Center.
February: Min. Farrakhan honors the family of Imam
Mohammed Siddique and his wife Fareedah before a cheering crowd of 28,000
during the closing moments of Saviours' Day at the United Center. Imam Mohammed
and a host of others also offer messages.
May: Min. Brother Minister to women at Cook County
jail on Mother's Day about the divinity and role of women.
May: A special interview is held at the National House,
in which Min. Farrakhan responds to media mischief. A 60 Minutes four-hour
interview with Min. Farrakhan is cut down to 12 minutes, and many media reports
portray Min. Farrakhan as admitting "complicity" in Malcolm X's
murder. "It's known that I had nothing to do with the assassination of
Malcolm X," Minister Farrakhan said, "and there's no statute of
limitation on murder. But I'm being treated in the media in a mischief-making
attempt ... to turn the people against me."
June: Min. Farrakhan is among six recipients
of the John Sengstacke Against All Odds Award presented during the opening
luncheon reception of the 60th annual National Newspaper Publishers Association
(NNPA) convention. Min. Ishmael Muhammad accepts on Min. Farrakhan's behalf.
The event is held at the Chicago Defender newspaper building.
June: The Muhammad University of Islam Class of 2000
is treated with a surprise greeting from Minister Farrakhan following their
July: Min. Farrakhan has a morning press conference
at the Adam Clayton Powell jr. office building in Harlem addressing members
of the Black and Latino media, as he launches a tour to promote the upcoming
Million Family March. He later delivers his first major address inside United
Nations. The special UN session
is titled "Dialogue Among Nations: Toward the Culture of Peace and the
Million Family March."
July: Min. Farrakhan appears at the National Press
Club in Washington, D.C., detailing the circumstances surrounding the call
for one million families to the National Mall for the Million Family March.
July: Killed as "Two Marches, One Agenda,"
the principle conveners of the August 26 "Redeem the Dream March"
and Oct. 16. "Million Family March." Min. Farrakhan, Rev. Al Sharpton
and Martin Luther King III stand together at the Georgian Terrace Hotel to
announce their endorsement and support of each march.
July: Min. Farrakhan is invited by Dr. Dorothy Height
to visit Lincoln Park where stands a statue of Dr. Mary McLeod.
August: This marks the first meeting of the National
Organizing Committee for the Million Family March, which more than doubles
in size by the time of the historic October 16 event.
September: This month, Min. Farrakhan announces his
three national spokespersons, Min. Abdul Alim Muhammad, Min. Ava Muhammad
and Min. Jamil Muhammad, during a Central Region Believers Meeting.
September: At the invite of the American Muslim Council
and Iranian President Mohammad Khatami, Minister Farrakhan addresses Muslim
leaders at the UN Plaza Hotel in New York, calling for a united ummah worldwide
and "for a great cultural, moral and spiritual revolution" to take
place in the United States
as it had done in Iran.
September: Min. Farrakhan addresses the Muslim American
Society's 25th Annual Islamic Convention. During his address, Min. Farrakhan
encourages the Black Muslim community to remain united to build a stronger
nation and serve as an example for all humanity. The Minister also invites
the Muslim American Society to join him at the Million Family March on Oct.
16 in Washington, D.C.
September: 100 Heads of State attend the UN Millennium
Summit in Harlem. On September 7, Min. Farrakhan enjoys a message at Harlem's
Mt. Olivet Church, where President Mugabe of Zimbabwe speaks to more than
1,200 people. At the Riverside Church, the following day, Min. Farrakhan enjoys
the words of Cuban President Fidel Castro.
October: An unprecedented number of Slack web sites
participate in a live online chat with the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan
to discuss the Million
Family March. The two-hour event is sponsored by BET.com and the NetNoir.com,
hosted by America Online and produced by InterServe Networks Inc.
October: All major outlets make available to the public
the Million Family March compilation album and video, the result of the collaborated
efforts of Minister Farrakhan and Harry Hankerson, founder of background records.
The album features an all star cast of hip hop artists from across the nation,
with talents such as the Dramatics, Snoop Dogg, Kam, Fat Joe, Mack 10, Rage, Pass Kass, Drag On from the Ruff Ryders label and
many more, who all wrote songs highlighting the Million Family March theme.
The project seeks to inspire more hip hop artists to write conscious music.
October: Min. Farrakhan performs on the violin during
the Million Family March gala in Washington, D.C.
October: The historic Million Family March is held
on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.
October: Min. Farrakhan delivers a post Million Family
March report at Salaam Restaurant to Black leadership in Chicago and the press
conference that followed where he called for massive mobilization of the people.
November: Exactly 16 days following the Million Family
March, the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan undergoes a most serious and
extensive surgery procedure to repair damaged tissue surrounding the prostate
gland with resultant scarring near the area caused by the use of radiated
seeds to treat the cancer cells.
2001 February: One day after leading a Nigerian delegation
to attend a lecture series at Chicago State University in his honor, Abdulsalami
A. Abubakar, former Nigerian head of state, pays a visit to Min. Farrakhan
at the Nation of Islam's National House. He presents Min. Farrakhan with a
gift and a personal invitation to visit Nigeria.
Winnie Mandela Salutes Min. Farrakhan During Visit To Bay
By David Muhammad - Final Call News 11-18-99
SAN FRANCISCO—The Mother of the South African revolution toured the
Bay Area recently, continuing her fight for the liberation of Black people
worldwide. Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, South African freedom fighter and the
former wife of Nelson Mandela, spoke to a group of children studying South
Africa, visited the co-founder of the Crips street organization on death row
in San Quentin State Prison, and she accepted an invitation from the Nation
of Islam to speak to the community.
Minister Christopher Muhammad of Muhammad Mosque No. 26 here read a city
proclamation declaring October 30 "Winnie Mandela Day" before introducing
her to the overflowing standing room only crowd.
"San Francisco is proud to recognize and honor Winnie Mandela,"
read the city proclamation. "Whereas, since the 1950s Winnie Mandela
has been involved in the South African liberation struggle . . . whereas Winnie
Mandela remains true to the ideas of equality and justice for all the people
of South Africa, and whereas, Winnie Mandela’s courage and leadership
abilities have triumphed over her political harassment and personal pain,
now therefore be it resolved that I, Willie L. Brown Jr., Mayor of the city
and county of San Francisco, honor Winnie Mandela for her dedication and commitment
to racial equality and do hereby proclaim October 30, 1999, as Winnie Mandela
Day in San Francisco."
Ms. Mandela accepted the proclamation thanking the mayor and the overwhelming
reception of the community. She then spoke of her and the South African people’s
love of the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan.
"My dearest brother Louis Farrakhan means more to us in South Africa
than you realize," Ms. Mandela said. "He’s not only our spiritual
leader, he is something we value as God’s gift to mankind."
Ms. Mandela said the people of South Africa were praying right along with
the people in America for the full recovery of the Minister, who is healing
from the effects of prostate cancer treatment.
"We have derived a lot of inspiration from our brother’s teachings;
he has replaced the Bible in our country," Ms. Mandela said to the cheers
of the capacity crowd. "We miss him so much that we play his cassettes
and we are healed by just listening to his voice."
Ms. Mandela said the highlight of her four-day trip to the Bay Area was her
visit to the mosque and that she was looking forward to receiving an invitation
to the Million Family March on Oct. 16, 2000.
"The love Winnie Mandela expressed for the Honorable Louis Farrakhan
and the Nation of Islam helped us to see the tremendous value of the Minister
as a source of inspiration not only in America, but for our people all over
the world," said Min. Christopher. "It shows how the Million Man
March and the World Friendship Tours have truly bonded the Nation
of Islam to the liberation struggle of oppressed people all over the world."
More people from South Africa should visit their people in America and more
Blacks should take the pilgrimage to South Africa, Ms. Mandela said.
"We are the same people, one struggle on many fronts," said Dr.
Cobi Kwasi Harris, the chair of the Black Studies Department of San Jose State
University and board member of the North Richmond Neighborhood House, the
non-profit organization that sponsored Ms. Mandela’s trip. "We
have struggled against the same beast of white supremacy together."
Ms. Mandela’s visit to the Bay Area was prompted by her interest in
a project that gives children at the North Richmond Neighborhood House a chance
to learn about the Internet and other countries. Even-tually, they will begin
online chats with children in an after-school program in Cape Flats—a
poor area of Cape Town—and with students at a Soweto high school.
Barbara Becnel, the center’s director, developed the project based
on the anti-gang curriculum that she co-wrote with San Quentin death row inmate
Stanley "Tookie" Williams. A co-founder of the Crips in Los Angeles,
Mr. Williams has spent 18 years in prison. He and Ms. Mandela met for two
hours in San Quentin before her visit to North Richmond.
Ms. Mandela, a member of South Africa’s parliament and president of
the African National Congress Women’s League, said she was inspired
by the Internet project.
"Many of these children have never even
been to San Francisco; that squashes their ability to hope
and to dream," said Ms. Becnel. "What this project
does is it opens up the world to these youngsters outside
of this geographic box."