One day in the summer of 2005, I felt well enough to go to a bookstore for the purpose of finding a book that had the look and feel of the book that I thought that one day the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan and I would produce, entitled Closing The Gap. So I went to Borders bookstore. Of course, I did not know what the cover would look like nor did I know how many pages it would come to be. But I did want it to be over 400 pages and I had an idea of what the typesetting would be or how the type would look.
I wanted a sizeable book, yet not intimidating. I wanted a big book, yet physically light. I wanted a book to be close to or as “tall” as “A Torchlight For America.” I wanted the pages to be thin enough so that it would be flexible and just lay open when it would be held in one’s hands. I wanted it to feel comfortable.
I wanted it to be a book that would be easy on the reader’s eyes, and that even its physical makeup would be an aid to the reader’s ability to see and understand the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan better than before they picked up the book.
After searching the bookstore for 90 minutes, I finally saw the book I was looking for. I found it in a book entitled Paris 1919. It was not written by Mother Tynnetta Muhammad; it was written by someone else. It had the feel I wanted in the book that I envisioned for the book I had in mind, which became the book, Closing The Gap. I bought it. Over a year later, I gave Paris 1919 to the printer and informed him that I wanted Closing The Gap to be like it.
If any reader finds a typo, misspelling or any other kind of defect in Closing The Gap, I have to and do take full responsibility. This is because I headed the effort of physically producing this book. I hope there will be a second printing and such corrections will be made in the next printing.
I have already found one. It is the fact that some of the names of the people whom I thanked for helping me help Minister Farrakhan to make this book real and available to the public were left out. Due to my physical condition, there was much I could not personally do. I had to depend on others. Some mistakes were bound to happen even if I was in top shape. But even then, I would still have needed backup. And perhaps the backup would still have needed backup, as this is a big book in several respects.
Nevertheless, an unintentional mistake was made. The backup procedure failed. Nevertheless, I take full responsibility.
I believe Allah will bless us with a way to make-up, to demonstrate thankfulness to those whose names were omitted, that it was unintentional. I do have an idea and, if it be the Will of Allah, it will be materialized. By the Help of Allah, the next printing will be better than this one–in every respect!
I was fortunate that I saw Minister Ishmael Muhammad on the webcast, represent Minister Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam and everyone who has or will join the struggle of the resurrection of the dead; and the oppressed everywhere. I smiled when he spoke some words in Spanish at the end of his talk. Part of why I smiled was because I had already planned to use this column to feature words from the Brother who has accepted the task of translating Closing The Gap into Spanish.
His name is Mustafa Cajeme. Here is an excerpt from something he wrote on his life for this article and what led him to the Nation of Islam.
“I clearly remember the first time I heard the word Islam. It was in 1965 in my seventh grade history class in Goleta, California, a small town about eight miles west of Santa Barbara whose Mexican population at that time was about 10 percent (and the Gringos made sure they let us know at all times we were a so-called minority). We were being shown an old black-and-white movie, the kind on a reel, for those of you old enough to remember, about Islam in North Africa. It was documentary in nature.
“Specifically, it was about a roughly 12-year-old Muslim child named Hajee who, for one reason or another, was traveling on foot to a particular destination. During his journey, he was shown impeccable hospitality by the Muslim inhabitants of whatever town or village he might be traversing. He was offered lodging, food, friendly and sincere conversation and concern for his wellbeing as well as directions upon his leave-taking and who to look for in the next town.
“Hajee was always smiling and happy as well as those Muslims he encountered along the way. Hajee could easily have passed as a Black American. Of course, his traditional Islamic garb clearly distinguished him as someone not from these shores.
“I was impressed by the fraternal love and brotherhood shown by the Muslims. It was imprinted on my heart because it was something I had never seen in Santa Barbara or Goleta. On the contrary, the only thing I had ever seen from the so-called dominant population was the complete opposite: hate, disdain, arrogance, cruelty, crookedness and violence. I dreamed about living in a land like Hajee’s. We, Mexicans, as well as the local tribal people, the Chumash and Canalino–many of whom, during that time at least, spoke Spanish as a second language–were treated as free serfs.
“In 1967, when I was 14, a neighboring family, as Allah would have it, belonged to the NOI. Their youngest son, Conrad, was my best friend. He would speak to me about the Teachings of the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad, but I would reject them. Please understand, kind reader, that at that time I was a deaf, dumb and blind so-called Mexican. Little did I know at that time that Allah, the Merciful, was already reaching out to me.”
Min. Ishmael made many excellent points on Oct. 15. But to me, the most significant point he made, he said, was not in his notes. It was what his father told Minister Farrakhan on the Wheel with him in 1985: that the Minister “had one more thing to do and when that one more thing was done [not if] that I could come again to the Wheel and I would be permitted to see him face to face.” (Emphasis mine.)
In Message to the Blackman, on page 215, is this sentence by the Honorable Elijah Muhammad: “We will soon make a try at converting and uniting all the Originals of this Western Hemisphere.”
It’s my prayer to Allah, in the name of His servant, the Messiah, that this book that is filled with Minister Farrakhan’s wisdom from his teacher, the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, is helpful in this process.
More, next issue, Allah willing.