ERICTOUREM, Contributing Writer
DETROIT–An amazing three days occurred Feb. 21-23 during the Nation of Islam’s annual Saviours’ Day convention as participants were treated to the NOI Historical Exhibit and some of the movement’s 90 years of service and presence in North America.
From the coming of Allah (God) in the Person of Master Fard Muhammad, the Great Mahdi, in 1930, to the journey of His student and messenger the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad, the exhibit allowed hundreds throughout the Saviours’ Day 2020 weekend to understand their connection to a tremendous legacy and the need to preserve it.
Intertwined throughout the exhibit was the undeniable service, love and commitment of the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan.
The historical exhibit this year returned after a two-year hiatus. Its return was welcomed and included presentations, related videos and displays.
“What the early followers of the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad were able to manifest to us is a fully functioning nation,” said Carlos Muhammad, Nation of Islam student minister in Baltimore and National Archivist, in comments to The Final Call.
Six plus decades of commitment and faithful service from Minister Farrakhan also provides inspiration for continuing to build the Black nation, he added.
Building a nation is no longer foreign to us, continued Carlos Muhammad.
Co-archivist Stacy Muhammad and their team gathered artifacts, oral and written history to tell the story of a “nation within a nation.”
“The Honorable Minister Farrakhan has given us and reintroduced to us all of these tools,” said Carlos Muhammad. “We have to understand that we now have the tools. Stop waiting on the Minister to put those tools to work. We have to do like the faithful did under the Honorable Elijah Muhammad. When he gave them that blueprint and tools, I don’t have to tell you, they took off and our nation came up.”
The weekend museum included tours in the city where the Nation of Islam started in 1930, multimedia presentations and original artifacts. Some items displayed Master Fard Muhammad’s signature. Letters, publications, uniforms and pictures adorned walls, specially crafted display cases and hanging fixtures.
Visitors posed for pictures, purchased mementos and attended workshops in the exhibit space inside the TCF Convention Center.
Additional highlights included the return of a video feature and the premiere of a movie. “Say Brother,” a 1973 interview with Minister Farrakhan while serving as minister of Temple No. 7 in New York City, was shown. The Minister was interviewed by host Topper Carew. It originally aired over public broadcasting station WGBH in Boston and has been used in station fundraising drives. In the interview, the Minister fielded questions from the host and the audience.The second feature was the premiere of “The Nation Of Common Sense: A Rare Film Featuring The Honorable Elijah Muhammad & The Nation Of Islam Business Operations.” It included an interview with the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad in his home at 4847 South Woodlawn Avenue in Chicago. The home, affectionately known as the “old house,” is the space where most of his dinner table talks with laborers and guests were entertained before the construction of the National House, or “Palace,” next door in the 1970s.
Thousands of hours recorded at the dining table of this home over the years have been transcribed in books and put together audio compilations through the “Table Talks” project of Sultan Rahman, a great-grandson of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad and national imam of the Nation of Islam. The first compilation was released a few short years ago, more was presented at this year’s Saviours’ Day and was available at the historical exhibit.
Important information was shared beginning with the powerful message Master Fard Muhammad brought to residents of the Black Bottom neighborhood in Detroit, Michigan. It was said that the TCF Convention Center is located on the street where Master Fard Muhammad once lived. Detroit was the site of the first Nation of Islam temple and mosque and The Final Call to Islam, the Nation’s first newspaper.
During a panel after the movie premiere, Askia Muhammad, first Muslim editor-in-chief of Muhammad Speaks when known as Charles 67X, spoke to the audience regarding the power of being first, staking a claim in nation-building and etching your place in history.
Entrepreneur and businesswoman Wendy Muhammad purchased the “old house” of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad out of auction and has worked to restore the home as a national landmark and treasure.In October 2020, “Sajda House” is projected to open as a national landmark and NOI treasure. Plans are to present a restoration of what the home looked like when occupied by the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad and include hologram exhibits of Mr. Muhammad welcoming people as they enter. A multimedia room, 3D animation and more is in the works.
“When I tell you how Allah (God) is moving this project and the way things started coming together like puzzle pieces, the amount of enthusiasm for this project not only just us as Believers but we have converted so many people of different nationalities just with this project thus far,” she said. Wendy Muhammad walked the audience through various slides showing the home and different phases of the renovation.
“In order for the house to be recognized as an historical landmark, for it is in a historical landmark area, it has to meet several levels of compliance with landmarks of Illinois. We are about 98 percent through that process,” she said.
The first floor will be designed to reflect the time period when the Messenger lived in the home, from the mid-1950s through the 1960s. The second floor will highlight some of the Nation’s businesses and iconic entrepreneurs. “We are going to have holograms throughout the house, and we are going to use hologram technology so that there is movement. We don’t want a static house because he lives,” said Wendy Muhammad.