Webcast of State of the Black Union (C-Span, 02-26-2005 -Real Media)
(FinalCall.com) – February 26, 2005 is the day that the Nation of Islam annually celebrates Saviours’ Day. This celebration commemorates the Birth of Master Fard Muhammad, Who was born on February 26, 1877 in Saudi Arabia. He came to North America to give the descendants of slaves a gift. That gift was a man, the Honorable Elijah Muhammad. The Honorable Elijah Muhammad was a man who spent 44 years of his life reaching out to all of his people who were lost from themselves in this crazy house called America.
The gift the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan received was an invitation from Tavis Smiley who hosted “The State of the Black Union 2005.” On Saturday, February 26, 2005, 30 years and one day after the departure of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, Allah (God) gave Minister Farrakhan a platform and access to the hearts and minds of millions of his people, as well as millions of those who would not consider themselves his people. I consider this a wonderful gift for the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan.
Rarely does Minister Farrakhan travel the day before he delivers his keynote address for the Nation of Islam’s annual Saviours’ Day convention. Seeking Allah’s guidance, as he always does before any major event or decision, the Minister decided to accept the invitation of our Brother, Tavis Smiley, and journeyed to Atlanta. The rest, as you may know, is history.
In September 1970, five years after the tragic assassination of Malcolm X, Minister Farrakhan was invited to come to Atlanta to speak at a conference entitled, “The Congress of African People.” Black leaders had gathered to develop a way out of the suffering of the masses. During that time, there was a lot of hostility towards the Nation of Islam over the death of Minister Malcolm. The enemies from many quarters accused the Nation of Islam of involvement in his tragic death. On that hot summer night on Saturday, September 5, 1970, from the stage of the old Morehouse gym, Minister Farrakhan reached out to his people and, with the guidance of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, he touched the hearts of Black America. All who heard that message had respect for the Nation of Islam once again.
The Honorable Elijah Muhammad instructed Minister Farrakhan on how to go after his subject that evening in Atlanta. He said, “If you say it as I have told you, you will be successful.” The Minister did as he was instructed and his speech was received overwhelmingly. This speech was broadcast repeatedly on PBS stations across America and the world. The Honorable Elijah Muhammad told Minister Farrakhan that, after this speech, it would be written of in 40 nations and for that one speech, he (Minister Farrakhan) was more valuable to him than a truck load of diamonds and gold.
In 1972, Tony Brown, who at that time was our leading Black communicator via television and radio, set up a similar forum comparable to Tavis Smiley’s “The State of the Black Union.” His forum was entitled, “Is It Too Late?” He invited the Honorable Elijah Muhammad to speak at this gathering. The Honorable Elijah Muhammad addressed this forum from his home in Chicago, with Minister Farrakhan at his side. Although initially Minister Farrakhan was scheduled to speak on behalf of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, the Honorable Elijah Muhammad decided at the last minute that he would speak. (The circumstances surrounding what happened in 1972 will take another writing.)
In 1979, Minister Farrakhan started the rebuilding process of the Nation of Islam. He was again invited to Atlanta to speak at the United Black Fund convention on July 11, 1979. His speech was entitled, “I Am an Alarm Clock.” In that speech, he gave direction to the Black movements, organizations and churches in a time of need. What was important about this time was that he also met with his budding staff to point out his vision and direction in the rebuilding work of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad.
At the State of the Black Union 2005 forum, Minister Farrakhan’s moment came once again. He was armed with the words of scripture and a deep love in his heart for the suffering of his people. Allah’s gift to Minister Farrakhan, through the invitation of Tavis Smiley, was to enter into 88 million households across America and to speak to Nigeria, the largest populated country in Africa. Nigeria’s population is estimated at over 120 million people. C-SPAN was just brought into Nigeria through Trend TV as a full-network service, i.e., all Nigerians that have a television have access to the programming of C-SPAN. The United States Information Agency makes C-SPAN available in countries and locations around the world through their satellite feed.
Finally, for all those who, for one reason or another, missed The State of the Black Union 2005, you still have an opportunity for the next two weeks to view it in its entirety. You can go to www.C-SPAN.org and see and hear Minister Farrakhan’s historically moving statements at this thought-provoking forum.