[Editor’s Note: This article is reprinted from Volume 32, No. 2 and The Final Call is pleased to announce that we will continue to reprint articles written by our late and dear Mother Tynnetta Muhammad.]
“Benignant, Hearing God! These are the verses of the Qur’an and the Book that makes manifest: A guidance and good news for the believers. Who keep up prayer and pay the poor-rate, and they are sure of the Hereafter.” —Holy Qur’an, Surah 27, verses 1-3
It was a challenging experience to travel from Mexico to the Island of Bimini once again this time to be present at an unexpected event honoring the great Civil Rights leader, Martin Luther King, Jr. We were in the presence of Bahamian officials, representatives from the churches and invited guests from Jacksonville, Florida, and Atlanta, Georgia, to honor the unveiling of two special busts of Martin Luther King, Jr., rendered by the sculptor, Erik Blome.
The first unveiling was held at the pier entrance of the boats into the harbor of Bimini, located in the center square called the Craft Center. The platform and podium was beautifully decorated with many of the citizens of the island also participating. I was grateful that I was able to make this journey with great difficulty from Mexico with the intention to journey to Charlotte, North Carolina, to attend our 17th Anniversary of the Holy Day of Atonement, commemorating the Million Man March held on October 16, 1995. Also, I wish to point out October 7th corresponds to the birth date of the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad, born in Sandersville, Georgia, in 1897.
I was accompanied by three other sisters, Sister Melody Muhammad from Philadelphia, Sister Landra Muhammad from New Jersey and Sister Dr. Darnita Muhammad from Fort Lauderdale, Florida. We were honored with front row seating that was secured by our dear host and friend, Antoinette Rolle. We were unable to secure passage on the airline one day before the event without great difficulties.
We were able to get a chartered flight from Fort Lauderdale to make the event.
It was an honor for us to meet Mr. & Mrs. Martin Luther King, III, who received us with such honor and respect. As the events of the day continued with speakers from the various departments of the Bahamian government, we were entertained by the music of a very lively band of youth from the island called, The Ensemble of the Junkanoo. We also heard the beautiful voices of a choir of young people that were flown in from Jacksonville, Florida, from the Edward Waters College Concert Choir.
We met many journalists from Atlanta, Georgia, and other parts of the United States who were well informed of the great work of the Honorable Minister Farrakhan around the world. We found that there are so many people who know about the Nation of Islam’s positive work in the communities, but rarely have an opportunity to participate and socialize with us. Our outreach brings us closer and closer as a unified people who are not excluded or exclusive as we begin to tighten the ranks of our activities so that all people of all religions and all faiths can come together as One, especially in this particular moment of global crises.
On at least two occasions, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., visited the island. In 1964 he came to Bimini to find peace and tranquility in a natural environment in preparing his reception speech as recipient for the Nobel Peace Prize in Norway. In 1968 while visiting the island, he had the premonition that he was not going to live long beyond his 39th year. Upon that occasion, he was preparing his speech for the Sanitation Workers in Memphis, Tennessee. Three days later after he left Bimini with his speech, inspired in the area of the waters around Bimini called the mangroves, a beautiful nature sanctuary where he spent most of his hours meditating and glorifying God and his beautiful creation. This is where the second bust of the ceremonial tribute to Martin Luther King Jr. was placed in these very mangroves.
We also learned that it was Martin Luther King who invited Adam Clayton Powell to the island as a place of refuge. Adam Clayton Powell resided in Bimini until his death. When he died, he requested that his ashes be strewn in the bay of Bimini off the coast of the island.
Ansil Saunders, brother of Ashley Saunders, the famous Bush Doctor and keeper of the secrets of Lost Atlantis, writer of two prominent books on the history of Bimini is recognized for his discovery of the many healing herbs on the island which was studied by the University of Miami. Ansil Saunders was with Martin Luther King during those visits that he made to the island and provided the boat on which Martin Luther King spoke some of his last words. Within three days after he returned to the United States he was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee, outside of the Lorraine Motel in 1968.
“Those who believe not in the Hereafter, We make their deeds fair-seeming to them, but they blindly wander on. These are they for whom is an evil chastisement, and in the Hereafter they are the greatest losers. And thou art surely made to receive the Qur’an from the Wise, the Knowing.” —Holy Qur’an, Surah 27, verses 4-6
To be continued.