Charlene Muhammad and Cynseehr Muhammad
LOS ANGELES–When Nation of Islam Student Minister Ava Muhammad, national spokesperson of the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan, brought her passionate, exciting and mind-piercing Project Separation tour to the West Coast, she was met with a rousing, four-day reception by Black and Indigenous peoples and students at Muhammad University of Islam.
All were eager to not just hear about the process, but ready to get involved in the process.
The centerpiece of her visit was in her own words, “the mother of town hall meetings.” It was the 17th town hall in the “City of Angels” on Sept. 21. A capacity audience filled the Museum of African American Art inside Macy’s at the Black-owned Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Mall in South Central.
“We have had some good ones, but at this point and time, I have to say about Los Angeles, best town hall everrrrr,” Dr. Muhammad cheerfully emphasized in a recap on her Sept. 26 BlogTalk radio broadcast “The Elevated Places.”
A stellar panel of activists and community leaders had joined her to address the topic, “Should Blacks and Indigenous People Consider Separation?” in Los Angeles.
“Separation is not the goal. The goal is the spiritual, mental and moral resurrection of God’s people. Separation is just the process. It is a means to an end and not the end,” said Min. Ava Muhammad.
Student Minister Abdul Malik Sayyid Muhammad, Nation of Islam Western Region representative, hosted the town hall, which featured Dr. Melina Abdullah of Black Lives Matter Los Angeles; Hector Perez Pachecho, a Quechua from the Confederation of Tawantisuyu in South America and member of the intertribal Harmony Keepers which protects the indigenous ways and traditions of their people; Tino Phoenix, an Indigenous gang interventionist, and Rizza Islam, author of “A Message to the Millennials,” and social media influencer.
In her presentation, Min. Ava Muhammad quoted Minister Farrakhan’s warning: “As long as we live with White people, we will be under White people, because they have manufactured a false reality that is built on a doctrine of White superiority and Black inferiority.”
“We can’t even get an idea across until that idea is filtered through the White man’s damaged perception of reality, so by the time any plan we had comes to fruition, it is no longer the original thought. It is a grafted thought that is no longer from the Creator because it has to be made palatable to White people,” said Min. Ava Muhammad.
Separation is to purge Blacks of a self-defeating inferiority and rebellion against the will of Allah (God) that produced these destructive conditions, she continued.
She called for everyone in the meeting to start acting in accord with their nature.
“Our immune system is our obedience to Allah. The demand of Allah is to simply obey His Will,” she stated.
Reparations is land, it’s not money, she added.
Min. Abdul Malik Muhammad argued separation and reparations go hand in hand. “We’re not looking for a one-time check from this government. We want to be treated even better than how Israel is being treated … Every year since 1948, right off the top, before they even balance the budget, $6 billion of the American taxpayers’ money goes to the state of Israel, not talking about the other $30-40 billion in military aid, in airplanes, in high technology that this government gives to that nation that it had nothing to do with destroying,” he said.
Mr. Perez-Pacheco felt it was important to bring separation to the people’s consciousness. It can be achieved, just like the Indigenous people’s eradication of so-called Columbus Day in Los Angeles, he said. Native peoples now celebrate their accomplishments and are moving to get rid of Columbus Day across the state, he added.
“So this, what we’re doing here today, is very important for our descendants, for our children. It’s going to take the work and effort of each one of us and everybody outside of us to make this happen. It’s for our ancestors, for our loved ones, and it’s for those who come through us.”
Dr. Abdullah underscored the many ways Blacks have been fighting for freedom from the moment they were stolen from Africa and fighting problems inside a system built to produce devastating outcomes.
“It’s not accidental that Black children have targets on their backs. It’s not accidental that in the County of Los Angeles, 540 people have been killed by police in the last six years. It’s not accidental that our children are searched and dehumanized and decriminalized in our schools,” she said.
She answered the question of separation through the lens of her 13-year-old daughter Amara, who said of course Blacks should separate, but the question is, “Will we?”
Separation without question is imperative, and is a start but it’s not enough, said Mr. Phoenix. The enemy traps Black and Brown youth with drugs, gangs, and music, he said. He’s seen hip hop devolve from the beat boy, break dancer, to the culture, teachers, educators, revolutionaries, gangsters, gang bangers, the dope dealer, and now the dope fiend, which they can manipulate most easily.
Attendees expressed concerns about location, the process of separating, the role of reparations, and questioned where and how it would begin, and what that looks like for things like healthcare and education?
“The Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad teaches us that the educational system is first, foremost and specifically called the killing fields in this country,” said Mr. Islam. “They are now trying to scrub the word ‘slavery’ from the textbooks and call us voluntary immigrants. They are destroying the actual mentality of us and our ability to even educate our own children,” he added.
Guests at the town hall included Believers from nearby Mosque No. 8 in San Diego, Mosque No. 97 in Rialto, No. 54 in Compton, and the Antelope Valley Study Group.
The meeting was so inspiring that many stayed back, talking about how great the town hall meeting turned out. Attendees signed Separation Petitions, which are also available online at ProjectSeparation.com.
Min. Ava Muhammad’s visit to California was inspired by Betty Muhammad, student protocol directress of the Nation of Islam mosque in Rialto, Calif., which hosted a welcome reception for Min. Ava Muhammad, husband Darius and daughter Cherelle. Aminah Muhammad of Queen Aminah’s Clothing Store held a book signing in Leimert Park in Los Angeles. Min. Ava Muhammad also gave a riveting keynote address during the Sunday meeting at the Los Angeles mosque. Online views had reached over 30,000 on NationTown TV by the Sept. 22 meeting’s end. Then on Monday, Sept. 23, she visited Muhammad University of Islam in Los Angeles, the Nation of Islam’s independent school.
Briana McDaniel came to the town hall with her best friend who is a member of the Nation of Islam. “This is my first time hearing about this topic … about Dr. Ava, and I’m blown away! I didn’t know what to expect coming in. I’m very intrigued, would love to learn more, and do some research, but I thoroughly enjoyed myself,” she said.
Ekpedeme Udoh, Nigerian-born pro basketball player, said, “It was really my first time hearing her speak outside of YouTube. I really took in what she said and now it’s time for me to digest it.”
He felt the panelists commented on questions genuinely and said he may or may not sign the petition but was looking forward to more research to help him decide.
“I am delighted with the turnout today. I am delighted with the numbers, as well as the diversity of the audience,” said Min. Ava Muhammad. It was the first town hall meeting with a very substantive presence of the Native American family, she noted. “Of course, Master Fard Muhammad always expressed concern when he would inquire about the Original People, and how they were doing. And in our Student Enrollment we study that the Original People include both the 17 million of the descendants of slaves at that time and the two million Indians,” she said.
“I am even more pleased with the energy that I’m feeling right now. You’ll notice that the people didn’t rush out. They’re standing around. They’re mingling. They’re socializing, and that’s a little taste of what is called the heaven or the Hereafter, where we’re in peace and harmony among ourselves, and of course, I’m happiest of all to see young people like you, because you’re the ones born to go into the Promised Land,” she said.
Each town hall has grown and developed, but the reason she had to give L.A. and the West Coast Regional Student Laborers and Believers and Believers in the Inland Empire at Mosque No. 97 “mad props” was because they are on fire and ready to roll, she said during her radio show.
“I didn’t want it to end. It was that good,” she said. Min. Ava Muhammad was especially taken by the presence and agreement of the Indigenous brothers and sisters, she said. “It’s unbelievable! To see the Supreme Wisdom Lessons come right up off the page and into our reality, you just can’t be more blessed than that,” said Min. Muhammad.
(MUI-LA 6th grader Ishmael Muhammad contributed to this report.)