-Staff Writer-

MEMPHIS (FinalCall.com) – The City Council and Shelby County Board of Commissioners welcomed the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan during a leadership meeting, before a standing room only audience at the city’s Convention Center.

“Thank you for bringing the 14th anniversary of the Million Man March to Memphis,” said Councilman Joe Brown. “We know this is one great man who changed my life and changed the life of millions. We thank you for coming to Memphis.”

Commissioner Henri E. Brooks read the county’s resolution welcoming Min. Farrakhan as, “The distinguished guest of Shelby County, TN.”


Minister Farrakhan told the audience, “I accept this as a token of encouragement.”

Nearly 300 community organizers representing clergy, educators, activists, students and businessmen gathered to hear Minister Farrakhan discuss ways to improve the Black community.

“Economic development is a necessity. If we look at Africa and see the opportunities, we can establish trade. We have to develop a comprehensive plan to lift our people,” the Minister said.

Min. Farrakhan “has done more than a 1,000 sermons. He’s freed the minds of our children beyond basketball, song and track. He’s freed them and now you can rule them. They are our problem and we can solve this.”

For Rev. T. J. Johnson founder of Wake Up Youth, an anti gang organization, the meeting was awesome. “I love his quote that, ‘Learning has not taken place until behavior has changed.’ I’ve watched the Minister’s DVD at Tookie’s (Tookie Williams) funeral. I share it with the gang members I work with. This man is incredible.”

“Dr. Martin Luther King taught us to love White folks but he didn’t teach us to love Black folks. That’s why we’re here. We need to love ourselves. It costs $45,000 a year to incarcerate. It’s big business. Schools are now the pipeline to incarceration. In Memphis every day 2,000 boys are truant and 85 percent of the juveniles in lock up didn’t make it to the Ninth grade. We have to do something about this.”

Minister Farrakhan asked the audience, “Are we going to sit around as leaders and wait for a mystery god to bring us bread? … You can’t wait for a benevolent Black or White man. “

“It’s our time to lead for the good of our people. We don’t have another 100 years. The Honorable Elijah Muhammad was a faithful warner and bearer of good news. He warned a day like this was coming. We don’t believe they can furnish jobs for their unemployed and ours, too. The dollar is weak and falling. All the things he warned us about are in our face.”

He added, “What is needed now is leadership, good, wise leadership. The old way won’t work … sociologists can’t figure out the problem, psychologists are at their wits end trying to figure out the mindset of the economic downturn, young people feel abandoned.”

“As leaders we have to grow. Be humble enough to recognize if we don’t know, let God help us.”

For many in the audience, the Ministers words were a breath of fresh air.

“My spirit has been revitalized. I’ve had my own personal revival. My consciousness has been refreshed. I needed this,” said Commissioner Brooks as she presented Minister Farrakhan with the Shelby County resolution.

Elizabeth Webb traveled from South Haven, MS. to hear the Minister. “It was phenomenal. I learned so much. We think our children need various programs in their lives but as the Minister said, “What they really need is love.” They don’t feel the love of parents and grandparents around them. He told us that our children feel abandoned.”

Councilman Brown had a testimony about his experience with Minister Farrakhan. “I wouldn’t have atoned were it not for the Million Man March. Some of the people in this room were my enemies. That man changed my life. I was on that mall with all of those men.”

“Minister Farrakhan is a great man of God who gave him that gift to call those men. … So Minister Farrakhan became the envy of the preachers across the country. You know he was guided by God to do this.”

Related news:

A message to lift Memphis (FCN, 10-22-2009)

Farrakhan issues pointed warning, guidance in perilous times (FCN, 10-22-2009)