Over 1,000 Central High students heard Minister Farrakhan’s address. Photo: Askia Muhammad

(FinalCall.com) – The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan went on a whirlwind tour (Sept 23-25) of New York and Newark beginning in New Rochelle, where he once lived and concluding in Harlem on 125th Street, in front of the State Office Building, in the neighborhood where he once represented the Hon. Elijah Muhammad as Minister of the historic Mosque Number 7.

According to Student Minister of Muhammad Mosque Number 7 Abdul Hafeez Muhammad, wherever the Minister spoke the message that he delivered was “so profound” that it inspired the young and old alike. He gave particular importance to the invitation the Minister received from Ras Baraka, principal of Central High School in Newark, New Jersey.

“Ras invited him on Monday,” said Mr. Muhammad. The Minister said he couldn’t “pass up speaking to the youth.” And when he spoke Mr. Muhammad said, “They (really) responded especially when he said they are Gods (children of the most high God),” and when he said there is nothing that they “can’t” accomplish.

Young man listens intently to Min. Farrakhan. Photo: Marc D. Muhammad

“So who are you, Min Farrakhan asked the over 1,000 Central High students seated in the school auditorium. “I’m a Blood, I’m a Crip,” using the most recognized gang titles that some youth wear. “But let’s take it a little higher. You’re more than a Blood, you’re more than a Crip, you’re more than the little gang that you are a part of,” Farrakhan said.

He then requested and received audience participation in a kind of call and response. He first asked them, “Say it with me, he said. “I’m God. Then he asked them to repeat after him, “I am made in the image and likeness of God.” After that they responded to, “And there is nothing that God can’t do, and there is nothing that I can’t do if I will to do it.” After repeating the Minister’s words, pleased with the revelation they had just received, they erupted with arousing applause.

Min. Farrakhan began his lecture discussing how Black students have historically been discouraged.

“And if you remember Brother Malcolm X, Brother Malcolm when he was a young man… his teacher asked him, ‘What do you want to become when you grow up’ And Brother Malcolm said, ‘I would like to be a lawyer,’ because he was brilliant. And the teacher said, ‘Oh Malcolm, if you became a lawyer your own people wouldn’t hire you, and my people certainly wouldn’t, but you would make a wonderful carpenter.”

The Minister then revealed a similar experience he had as a young student.

Ras Baraka, principal of Central High School and his father, poet and activist Amiri Baraka, right, with Min. Farrakhan. Photo: Askia Muhammad

“Now this happened to Brother Malcolm who is 9 years older than I. I was 10-years-old in the 6th grade and my teachers saw a quality in me so she said, ‘Louis, what do you want to be when you grow up.’ I said I want to be a doctor. And she said, ‘Oh, Louis, if you became a doctor my people would never use your service and your own people would not trust your ability. But you play the violin (at the time he played the violin) beautifully.’”

He then asked, “How could this woman in Boston say that to me and in Lansing, Michigan a White teacher said that to Brother Malcolm? What does that tell you? It tells you that they watch you to see which one of you are going to be the future leaders of our suffering people. If they can take you off the course and make you a carpenter,” which he also said, “there is nothing wrong with being a carpenter.”

He said the difference is, “a carpenter can’t threaten White supremacy. A violin player–nothing wrong with you being a musician–but musicians entertain White supremacy. But lawyers, teachers and scientist, these are the ones they worry about because they can build a brand new reality.”

The youthful 79-year-old Farrakhan eventually turned to the teachers that were in the audience.

Before focusing on them he asked the cameraman to take a photo of the students in the first row. After the photo was taken, he asked the photographer to show the students the photograph. He then asked them, “Who did you look for first? They responded in unison, “Me.”

“That’s what I’m talking about,” Farrakhan exclaimed, “Because if you didn’t see yourself, you’re not interested in the picture.”

“It’s the same with education, the Minister said. “If these children don’t see themselves in what you’re teaching them, they’re not interested in what you’re teaching them,” he said receiving a standing ovation.

“So listen, you (teachers) got to stop telling them how Columbus discovered America. You’ve got to stop telling them that George Washington never told a lie. You have to stop telling them that Abraham Lincoln freed the slaves. Stop lying to the children so they will learn to love what you’re telling them,” Min. Farrakhan declared.

The chair of the school’s health and physical education department, Terrance Brogdon said, “I thought it (Min. Farrakhan’s message) had a tremendous impact on the youth. Minister Farrakhan is someone that is respected. I thought he touched the kids dearly to their heart. I was looking into the audience at some of the kids (as) they pulled out their cell phones so they could tape this historical moment.”

In addition he said, “They had small debates among themselves in the audience, and once they get back in the class room there’ll be some debate and I think some kids (are) going to look at this and really take it to heart and try to do better in their classwork and their studies … and take this message on with them to college.”

The Minister’s other stop in Newark was an outdoor event on Sept. 24 at West Side Park

During his brief remarks, Min. Farrakhan warned the audience that we are “living in the time of the demise of this world and, unfortunately, our young people are being herded like sheep into a behavior that we’ve never before seen in the history of our sojourn in America.’ He said, “Even in the darkest days of slavery, on the plantation, under a cruel master, we never did to one another what we’re doing today.”

He also showed that there is hope, and that this present crop of youth represent “the greatest generation of youth we’ve ever produced.” He said, “They’re fearless and they’re strong… He said, “They won’t, like some of their parents, bow down to the system.” He said the enemy sees the same, so floods urban neighborhoods with drugs, guns and gangster rap music.

He told the crowd that it is “our assignment” to “stop the tribalism among us because we’re more than a tribe, we are a nation.”

To give him strength he revealed that while in Medina, worshiping at the tomb of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), “I was asking Allah to give me a double portion of the spirit that He gave his prophet so that in America we could finish the work that He started in the East that will never be finished until Islam and the Quran is everywhere in the world.”

(Jehron Muhammad writes from Philadelphia and can be reached at [email protected])