and Andrea Muhammad
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (FinalCall.com) – Second only to the powerful keynote address delivered by the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan, the most memorable event of the 17th commemoration of the Million Man March and Holy Day of Atonement would, hands down, be the Family Day in the Park at Charlotte’s Reedy Creek Park.
The outing was held Saturday, October 13th at the 116 acre park offering the picture perfect landscape to a day of pleasure for both, the very young and young at heart. That day, Reedy Creek Park was transformed into peaceful haven for all to partake.
In collaboration with the Nation of Islam’s Executive Committee, the local HDOA planning committee in Charlotte went to great lengths to ensure there’d be adequate activities and amenities. The outing provided a wholesome, secure environment of face painting, gigantic bouncers, children, volleyball, football, and a dance floor made of grass to accommodate well over 100 dancers and every known hustle this side of the hereafter.
Joining in on the festivities were the Hon. Minister Louis Farrakhan, Mother Khadijah, the Farrakhan family as well as, Mothers of the Faithful, Mother Tynnetta Muhammad and Mother Evelyn Muhammad.
His appearance was welcomed with cheers and applause.
“I’m so glad to be here with you. I like seeing you so relaxed,” he told the crowd. Many got to shake his hand as he walked through the crowd. It was a great afternoon for all.
Most would liken Family Day in the Park 2012 to a family reunion of sorts. It afforded the hardworking men of the Fruit of Islam (F.O.I.) to come together and reap the harvest from their labor of going out with the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan each week to stem the tide of violence and despair in communities across America (and abroad).
Typically, large gatherings like this wouldn’t be complete without the traditional hog, smoke, alcoholic beverage and occasional brawl. Instead, none of that was to be found. “It was a great way to bring the Nation together, being able to laugh, play and eat together,” said 21-year-old Bro. Rashid. In repsonse to those who may think this kind of fun couldn’t be had in such a “Restrictive” environment, he put it best saying, “You need to know how to live a little.”
The beautiful weather was but a mere reflection of the atmosphere generated by rekindling the bonds of spiritual brotherhood and will long be recounted as a pleasurable moment in the Nation’s history.
Cherelle Thompson of Fayetteville, NC said, “This is beautiful. The weather, the vibe here and the spirit is good. I’ve always had a good reception of the Nation of Islam. They’ve always been a respectful, loving, caring beautiful people. This event just confirmed what I already knew. Everybody’s in their right mind and enjoying themselves.”
Bro. Jermaine, Danville, VA said, “I’m having a very good time. It’s my first Holy Day of Atonement. It really is indescribable”
“I believe that its very, very important that not just the youth but our Nation gets to know each other. We’re a family. I’m glad that the Minister and the Executive Council came and decided that we can bring everybody together so we can get to know our youth and our elders. Words can’t show my gratitude,” said Bro. Shakir Muhammad, Buffalo, NY.
For Valerie Muhammad from Houston, it was an afternoon to take it easy before the Minister’s speech the next day. “It felt like a family reunion. It reminded me of family reunions I’ve attended before. It was so good to see the believers together resting and relaxing. It was good to see Minister Farrakhan and Mother Khadijah there as well.”
Family Day had something for everyone. Some wanted to just sit and vegetate, there were places for that. Others enjoyed a variety of burgers, Caribbean food, tacos and the requisite bean pie. Those looking for games could choose from chess to checkers to double Dutch jump rope; Family Day in the Park was the place to be. There was even vending for those looking to shop for the Minister’s latest DVD, a new garment from Newell Apparel, jewelry or products from Muhammad’s Farms.
From the Moon Bounces, to the face painting, to the playground, to the big field to just run around, it was a child’s nirvana. Their activities took center stage with a long row of options including slides, a boxing arena and plenty of space to romp and roam. It was a safe space for parents to let their children roam the area without the fears of abduction and molestation that sometimes accompany a trip to the park.
“I really liked it and had fun,” said four-year-old Khalil Muhammad who traveled with his grandmother from Washington, D.C.
Henry Morgan was at the park for another gathering and was impressed to see so many Muslims. “I’ve never seen so many Muslims together. Looks like they had a great time. I remember the Million Man March. I took my sons with me to D.C. We haven’t had anything like it since. The Black man looked good that day. We had the whole world watching.”