[Section Editor’s Note: The following article contains excerpts from a distillation of the hour-long message delivered by the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan as Part 45 of his 58-week Lecture Series, “The Time and What Must Be Done.” To view in its entirety, visit media.noi.org.]

Do you know how White folks got rich? Have you ever been to Macy’s? Gimbles? All of these big department stores, like Sanger-Harris in Atlanta? Did you ever go shopping for jewels at Kay Jewelers? You did? But you don’t even care who owns it, do you? How did they get it? Brothers and sisters, when the Jews came into America, the more “seasoned” Jews had backpacks, with lots of things in the backpack that the people in the South needed.

So they loaded the Jewish fellow up that had just come over from the old country with a “100-pound backpack.” And if you’re thinking, “Aww man, that’s a lot of weight!”: Well, if you’re in the Army, you have to carry that too, don’t you? Don’t worry about that then; because now you are “carrying something for yourself.”

Now look at this: They came with their backpacks, and they sold pots and pans and things that the people would need. They sold to the slave master and they sold to the slave who was on the plantation!


From those backpacks, they consolidated, and then started setting up stores in Alabama, in Mississippi. And in their stores, they would tell you that you couldn’t come in there; or, “You go round there (to the back).” See, they set it up for themselves at our expense, and from there they became bigger and bigger, where they controlled huge department stores. Now when you go in the department stores, Jews own most of that; but it started from cotton.

Well, we’re studying you now. Suppose we go back South and buy up the plantations? Some of them may not want to sell, but we may give them “an offer they can’t refuse.” See, if God is with you, He is going to help you! We’re not stealing, we’re buying: “Okay, how much acreage do you have? We’d like to have all of that.” From the farm is where all industry starts!

Consider what you can produce from “one bale of cotton”: 215 jeans, 249 bed sheets, 409 men’s sport shirts, 690 terry bath towels, 765 men’s dress shirts; 1,217 men’s t-shirts; 1,256 pillowcases; 2,104 boxer shorts; 2,419 men’s briefs; 3,085 diapers; 4,321 mid-calf socks; 6,436 women’s knit briefs; 21,960 women’s handkerchiefs; or, 313,600 “$100 bills.”

All that came from one bale of cotton. When the Jews sent the cotton North to their brother who had a mill that turned the cotton into cloth, that brother then sold the cloth to his brother in New York, and they made the jeans, the pillowcases; they made the sanitary napkins; they made the baby diapers—from cotton!

Now, if we could pick it for the White man, and make him rich, what’s wrong with us, now, owning huge tracts of land with cotton growing? “Well, I don’t feel like pickin’ no cotton … ” No, they’ve already made a machine, so you just buy the machine, and you won’t have to mess up your hands again.

But “the machine” doesn’t take everything out of the field! So we could take a young brother and show him how to pick it, and give him a decent wage. Clean the field, and bale the cotton! And then start an industry from cotton that gives your people what? Jobs. Jobs, just from cotton!

We must learn ‘Growing Power’ to become self-sufficient land owners. The Messenger said that “God is curtailing the land on its sides”—and this is written in the Holy Qur’an. If you look at the storms that are raging on the East Coast, the West Coast; the fires, you will see that He is pushing people toward the center of the country!

Now, the Honorable Elijah Muhammad said we should start North, and go South, buying land. Well, I like Michigan; at the top of Michigan, called “the thumb”: They are the greatest producers of the navy bean. They (the navy beans produced in the region) had a little disease recently. … And that’s good, because God promised them disease! He didn’t promise that for us.

Do we eat corn? Do we eat rye? Do we eat barley? Do we need wheat? Well, then let’s study what are the wheat-producing states! Now, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin are states that either produce corn and/or soybeans; and Wisconsin also produces dairy products. And, we have a little farm in Michigan—but, we won’t grow soybeans, because we don’t eat that. (We’ll tell you why at another time.) We grow the navy bean.

Agricultural scientists once came down from the University of Michigan, and they said, “Umm, Farrakhan, navy beans don’t grow in this kind of soil!” I said, “Well, watch and see!” We planted the navy beans; then the people from the University came again, and they couldn’t believe it! The bean was so nice … Man, you put it in the pot, and it just acts like it wants to get in your stomach!

We met a man named Will Allen: A giant Black man! He taught us how to “sweeten the land” away from the pesticides! So during one fall/winter, we planted winter wheat. Mr. Allen said, “But don’t let it ‘seed’: Cut it down just before it seeds, and turn it under.” (i.e. “cover crops”/“crop rotation”).

We had over 50 acres where we planted winter wheat; and when it got to the point where it was about to “seed,” we cut it down, turned it under; then, we planted sorghum (which produces a sweetener), and that cane grew three, four, five feet tall! But after it grew we cut it down, and turned it under. We also planted “winter rye”; and it wasn’t a week before the whole field had turned green! So by springtime, we will turn that crop under, and then plant our navy beans. We checked the “ph factor” of the land—because you have a “ph factor”! 

We are from the Earth, and if you don’t know how to care for the Earth, the Earth won’t care for you! And if you love God, and love the Earth, then the Earth will give you all the health and well-being that you need; but you must know how to care for what God has given us! And since White folks (not “all” White people, but those that were in power): Because you just messed up the Earth, with your greedy self, you’ve got to go!