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‘Farrakhan’

March 6, 2018

by Mumia Abu-Jamal

“As-salaam Aliekhum!”

The music Farrakhan chooses to play, the great classical violin concertos, are considered by classical violinists to be the most difficult music ever composed. Few can play them at all, yet he has mastered them, having not played for decades from his youth to his 70s. The snippets of recordings on YouTube suggest his genius but don’t do him justice.

He was born in 1933, ironically the same year that the great Black historian Carter G. Woodson began publication of his Negro History Bulletin.

He, of course, is Minister Louis Farrakhan but, like Oprah or Prince, one name is enough to garner recognition.

Say “Farrakhan” – and everyone knows of whom you speak.

This has especially been so since Oct. 16, 1995, the day his call for the assemblage of a million Black men was met by at least a million Black men. What other Black leader could have done this? So successful was he that the National Park Service, after initially undercounting the masses that assembled in Washington, D.C. – and being criticized for doing so – stopped counting any more demos!

If this was all that Minister Farrakhan had ever done, any history book of the 20th century would have to inscribe his name. But it is not all.

For perhaps his greatest feat came years, even decades before. I speak of the resurrection of the Nation of Islam.

After the killing of Malcolm X in 1965 and the passing of the Honorable Elijah Muhammed in 1975, the Nation experienced a dramatic transformation under Elijah Muhammad’s son, Wallace.

Wallace (later Warith) Muhammad, an Arabic scholar who studied in Egypt, brought the organization closer to traditional Islamic belief, even as he renounced many of his father’s earliest teachings. He changed the name of the group from the NOI to the American Muslim Mission, and later to the World Community of Al-Islam in the West.

In 1978, Farrakhan left Wallace to rebuild the Honorable Elijah Muhammad’s legacy, the Nation of Islam. He was not the only man to do so, but he was the most successful.

He began publication of The Final Call, the Nation’s new newspaper that featured first-class journalism, with reprints of Elijah Muhammad’s writings. It circulated throughout Black America and offered the Black perspective on political, cultural and social events.

During the Nation’s rebirth, it won the support of many Black youth who felt shunned and rejected by the drug war, the joblessness and the state repression of the Reagan era and into the ‘90s.

Say “Farrakhan” – and everyone knows of whom you speak. This has especially been so since Oct. 16, 1995, the day his call for the assemblage of a million Black men was met by at least a million Black men. What other Black leader could have done this? Perhaps his greatest feat came years, even decades before. I speak of the resurrection of the Nation of Islam.

What attracted them wasn’t so much religion as it was the idea of an independent Black Nation, of Black people deciding for themselves how to make a life in this new, colder America.

Now we see that the first historic feat became possible by the second.

For 20 years, Minister Farrakhan, along with his ministers, toiled in vineyard of the Black Nation, building, organizing, teaching and growing. That building of a mass base proved its worth on Oct. 16, 1995 – the Million Man March. That event inspired a generation of activists to go back home – and organize in their communities.

And then the Nation – the resurrected Nation – did something that the original Nation never did. It went into the broader community, and it now has Latino members, Native American members and Asian American members.

The Nation has become the life-work of Minister Farrakhan.

In his seventh decade of life, he returned to his first love: music. In April 1993, he once again took up the violin and played the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto, to rave reviews. He has since played Beethoven, Brahms and Tchaikovsky.

He is today in his eighth decade, and his work has shown his love for his mentor, the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, and for the Black Nation.

The Nation has become the life-work of Minister Farrakhan.

And for this writer, he has been both generous and kind. When I fell ill from, among other things, Hep C, he offered his finest physician. I am deeply grateful to him.

Thank you, Brother Minister!

Peace.

© Copyright 2018 Mumia Abu-Jamal. Keep updated at www.freemumia.com. His new book is “Have Black Lives Ever Mattered?” For Mumia’s commentaries, visit www.prisonradio.org. Encourage the media to publish and broadcast Mumia’s commentaries. Send our brother some love and light: Mumia Abu-Jamal, AM 8335, SCI-Mahanoy, 301 Morea Road, Frackville, PA 17932.

2 thoughts on “‘Farrakhan’

  1. Maryam

    Because I love The Honorable LOUIS FARRAKHAN. I'm in the process of being foreclosed upon. But who am I t o say I love him and not be tried!!! APADTA!

    Reply

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