'Let Us Make Man' How To Overcome The Pain of Being a Black Man in White America (Continued)By The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan | Last updated: Dec 3, 2013 - 12:21:51 AM
‘The time and what must be done’—2013 Lecture Series, part 47
[Editor’s note: The following article contains a distillation of the April 11, 1994 “Let Us Make Man (Part 4)” message delivered by the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan at Pleasant Grove Missionary Baptist Church in Houston, Texas, as part of a nationwide tour of “Men Only meetings” leading up to The Historic Million Man March in 1995. This portion of that address serves as Part 47 of his 52-week Lecture Series on “The Time and What Must Be Done,” which aired on Saturday, November 30, 2013. Click here to order this message it in its entirety on MP3, DVD and CD or call 1.866.602.1230, ext. 200. Be sure to visit NOI.org/TheTime each Saturday at 6 p.m. CST (5 p.m. MST and 7 p.m. EST) to view the ongoing series.]
In The Name of Allah, The Beneficent, The Merciful.
So What Must Be Done? Remember, in the Book of Matthew (Chapter 21, verses 1-3), the scripture teaches: “And when they drew nigh unto Jerusalem, and were come to Bethphage, unto the mount of Olives, then sent Jesus two disciples, Saying unto them, Go into the village over against you, and straightway ye shall find an ass tied, and a colt with her: loose them, and bring them unto me. And if any man say ought unto you, ye shall say, The Lord hath need of them; and straightway he will send them.” There was an ass tied, and a young colt was tied with the ass …
The scripture also teaches (Matt. 4:19) that Jesus, when he met the Disciples (Simon called Peter, and his brother Andrew), he said: “Look, I know you’re a fisherman, Peter, but I don’t need you fishing in that sea. Follow me, and I’m going to make you a fisher of men.” Because our people are in the “sea of sin,” and somebody has to go after them. But they like “the water” that they’re in: So you have to bait your hook with something the fish likes.
‘Stating our case’: Why a call to bringone million Black men to Washington
So brothers, in 1995: I would like to take a million Black men to Washington, D.C. Tell our sisters, our wives, our mothers, our grandmothers: “Sweetheart, this time, please stay at home.” “Mother”: You have always stood for us, and we’ve never stood up for our families. But we’re coming of age now, “mom”—wife, sister, auntie, baby; and we want to go to Washington, and state our case.
*Our fathers sweat, blood and tears built this country. Our fathers, and our mothers, worked from “can’t see” morning to “can’t see” night—with no pay—to build the economy of the South to fuel the economy and the industrial revolution of the North. *We fought in all America’s wars for a freedom that we have never achieved. We fought in the Revolutionary War that made America independent of England—but we don’t have any independence ourselves! We are dependent on White people to do for us what we have earned the right to do for ourselves! We fought in The Spanish-American War; we fought in The War of 1812. We fought in The Civil War, on the side of the North and the South: We died right alongside of those fighting to maintain slavery, and those who said they were trying to “maintain The Union.” But in any case, after The Union was maintained: It was back to “business as usual.” *We had congressmen and senators, and we had government representation, but The Night Riders and the “KKK” took it all away from us! They said, “We don’t want no n---as in the Congress! We don’t want no n---as in high political office!”—so they killed us, they hung us, they burned us. *And when they got in trouble, they called us again to fight in a “Jim Crow army.” Some of the older ones here that were in “World War I”: You know you fought Germany; but the German prisoners of war were treated better than the Black soldiers who fought for America against Germany! Adolph Hitler rose; “World War II”: Black men died at Pearl Harbor! Black men died in Guadalcanal, in The Solomon Islands, in The Philippines, and at Iwo Jima (“The Pacific Campaign”)! Black men died in North Africa fighting the Germans (“The North Africa Campaign”)! Black men died at Anzio Beach; at Palermo, and at Naples (“The Italian Campaign”)—to free Rome! To free Paris! To free Europe!
Damn it … We died to build America! And America has rebuilt Germany and Japan, and “The Nigga” is still suffering and dying in the streets of America!
*We tried to build Black organizations to fight for our cause! We, along with Whites, made the “NAACP,” “The Urban League,” “C.O.R.E.” (Congress of Racial Equality), “S.N.C.C.” (Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee)! *And what was the response of our government? Under J. Edgar Hoover and the Counterintelligence Program (“COINTELPRO”) of the United States government: They treated us like we were aliens—sending spies and agent provocateurs in among all our Black organizations, to discredit our Black leaders, and cause us to fight and kill one another! The government did this; using the dollars of our taxes! *Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. stood up to get us out of a segregated state … And men had to die, women had to die, just so others could drink at a fountain or go to toilet in a public place? People had to die for that simple, basic right.
Brothers: Think about the sacrifice that our fathers have made to build America! Think about what government has done to show their contempt for us! I think it’s time, now, that Black men stand. I think it’s time, now, that Black men put the gun down for the destruction of yourself and your brother!
Germany is paying reparations to the Jews for the Holocaust that the Germans put on the Jews! “All Germans” didn’t do this, but all Germans are being taxed to pay for what was done to the Jews. In 1941, when Japan struck at Pearl Harbor, Japanese Americans were rounded up and sent to concentration camps; and the government admits she was wrong. She was wrong! So they’re going to pay reparations to the Japanese.
Look at our condition, brothers: Don’t we need a “repair job”? Don’t we need somebody to repair our broken heads, our broken hearts, and our broken pocketbooks?
Brothers, before I share with you what we have to do, I want to say to you who feel that you are despised and rejected; you that are the “bottom rail”; that you are “the last,” that you and I are a “foolish people,” God said: 1.) “I will choose the foolish things of the world to confound the wise.” 2.) “I will choose the things that are not, to bring to naught the things which are.” 3.) “I will choose the despised and the rejected; and the bottom rail will go to the top, and the last shall be the first. This is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvelous in our sight.”
Whether you know it or not, Black Man, God has chosen you! Not because of your “blackness,” but He’s chosen you because you have suffered in the furnace of affliction! And now, as Reverend Jackson said, the more you burn gold: You never “burn” it; you only purify it by removing its dross. You are pure gold, Black man, chosen by God now to do a mighty work! “There is an ass tied”—somebody is not using the donkey. But God said, “Go loose him, and if anybody asks you what you’re doing, tell them ‘The Master has come. He has need of that donkey.’ ” Brothers, you are more important than you think you are.
A Lesson from scripture: ‘From one blood’ came all life
From the Holy Qur’an, which is the book of scripture of the Muslims, I would like to share the following verse from Surah 4 Al-Nisa (“The Women”), verse 1; it says: “In The Name of Allah, The Beneficent, The Merciful. O people, keep your duty to your Lord, Who created you from a single being and created its mate of the same (kind), and spread from these two many men and women. And keep your duty to Allah, by Whom you demand one of another (your rights), and (to) the ties of relationship. Surely Allah is ever a Watcher over you.”
“O people, keep your duty to your Lord”: Every man among us knows “we owe a duty to God.” And do you know how I know that you know? Because every one of us, when we get in trouble: Each one of us has been in some trouble that is so deep, that you call on who? You call on God.
Now, when you called on Him, brothers, what did you say? What did you say? Pay attention to your words, now, because when you called Him, you were real sincere; because the trouble was deep! You said, “God, if You just get me out of this, this one time”—didn’t you say it? All right … And now, look at what you said you were going to do: “God, if You get me out of this, this one time, I’ll serve You for the rest of my life.” You know you said it—and you know you lied (smile). Brothers, “when you said it,” the Holy Qur’an teaches: “And when I brought them safely to shore, lo! They set up other gods beside Me. Surely man is ungrateful” (Surah 17 Bani Isra’il (“The Children of Israel”), verse 67); you “forgot.”
Continuing with Surah 4, verse 1: “… keep your duty to your Lord, Who created you from a single being and created its mate of the same [essence]…” What does “single” mean? It means “one.” Well, is God “One”? He created you and me from Himself, and He created our mate of “the same essence”; meaning that your woman is from God, and you are from God! Which means what? That The Nature of God is your nature! So every one of you that are from God—and that’s all: You are of Divine. Your nature is “Divine.” You are The People of God!
Let’s go a little further: You are “Black.” Are you “Black” because you’re cursed? No! You are “Black” because you are the first creature that He created, and you took your color from the darkness out of which you emerged! You’re not “Black” because you’re cursed; you’re “Black” because you are The Original Human Being from whom all other human beings came! You are The First from God!
“Can you prove it, Farrakhan?” Sure! Sure, sure, sure. … When they wanted to find “the origin of man”—they didn’t go to Europe! Where did they go? They went to Africa! They found the bones of a man they called Zinjanthropist: Zinj means “Black”; Anthropus means “man.” He was 750,000 years old—and he had a “daddy”; and they went back and they dug, and they found some more skulls, and some more skulls. And they’re still unearthing skulls that never showed “the origin.” But as far back as you go: They find you. We have Caucasians [reading this]; we have Hispanic brothers [reading this]; and although we have many different hues and colors, the Bible teaches in the Book of Acts, Chapter 17, verse 26 that “from one blood God created all men.” From “one blood”—blood is the life fluid of some living organism; so “from one blood” means from the genetic strain of one life, God made all! The Holy Qur’an says Allah (God) created you from a single being, and created your mate from the same essence; and “spread from these two many men and women.” It started from “one,” and now it’s “many.”
How did you start? You started from sperm mixed with ovum; and when the sperm connected with the ovum, it produced the first cell of life. And from that one cell, now you are billions and billions and billions of cells in this one body. But you started from “one.” Can you “dig it”?
Now, the Holy Qur’an tells us the color of “the first man.” The first man is called Adam; and in The Qur’an it says in Surah 15 Al-Hijr (“The Rock”), verse 26: “Allah created him from black mud, and fashioned him into shape …” — Stop! Since my body is from the earth … if He created the first man “from black mud”: “Step up” anthropologist! “Step up” historian! “Step up” biologist! “Step up” geneticist! Talk to me: If the first man was “White,” the Yellow Man couldn’t even get here, because “two White people” cannot produce anything other than what they are!
I am not teaching “Black Supremacy,” I’m just teaching Actual Facts. White people, pay attention to what I am saying: You can’t produce us; it is a mathematical, genetic impossibility. If you were “the first,” we couldn’t have gotten here; and so, the Black man has within himself the whole range of “color”—because Black is not a “color”: It is The Essence from which all “color” comes.
To love God is to love your brother: Our duty to one another
Brothers: If God created you “from Himself,” that means every one of you is a God, and has God’s Divine Nature in you! As David The Psalmist says, “Ye are all gods, children of The Most High God.” Now let’s get the Bible and Qur’an to back this up!
In the Bible, 1 John, Chapter 4, verses 20-21, it reads: “If a man say, ‘I love God,’ and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.” Let’s stop a minute, and look deeper into what John The Apostle is saying. What do you mean “How can you love God Whom you’ve never seen, and then hate your brother?” Then there is something in your brother that is of God!
So when you hurt your brother, you’re hurting your Father! I’m a father, brothers; I’ve got 9 children, 23 grandchildren, one great-grandchild! And if I ever see my children fighting, it gives me such pain! If you are “God”—not “big God,” but a little “God,” made as the Bible teaches “in the image and the likeness of God,” then Elijah Muhammad said, “Every time I see a Black man, I’m looking at God.” So when I look at you: I don’t have to “wait” to see The Father, for I see The Father in you! And when we refer back to what Surah 4, verse 1 says, “O people, keep your duty to your Lord”—so when I see you, I have a duty by you, brother!
When I meet you, you say, “Oh Farrakhan! I’m real happy to meet you, man!”—and I always say, “It’s my honor, brother, to meet you!” And you look at me confused, saying, “What? How is he ‘honored’ to meet me?” Because when I meet you, I’m meeting a person that has never been on the Earth before, and there will never be one quite like you ever, ever again. So! When I see you, I have to treat you like I would honor God: I have to respect each human being; I have to respect you, brother … Even though you don’t know who you are, I know! And because I know, my duty is to honor and respect you!
Even these little children: They are little babies, but The Power of God is in them! And they’re going to grow up one day, hopefully, to be mighty men, so you start respecting them when they’re in the cradle! You start respecting them when you see the woman forming that child in the womb—you don’t wait till it gets here! And that’s why no man, who’s a real man, will beat a woman …
No man, who is a real man, will beat a woman! No man, who is a real man, will disrespect a woman! Because it’s through woman that we live! If you live to be the age of Methuselah, which is 969 years: You’re still going to die! So how do you “continue”? You continue through a woman. So when she tells you “I love you”: If she means it from the depth of her heart, she is saying, “I want to give life to you. I want to extend your life by my love.” So you and she enter into a “contractual arrangement” that is from Divine; and after 9 months, she suffers the pain of death to give birth to you all over again.
And so, as a man who has a child: If you “love God” and “love yourself,” when you see yourself growing again, you’ve got a chance to make that life better than you were made! So when that life comes, it’s like a potter’s clay: You can shape it! You can mold it! You can make it something!
When the Disciples said, “Master, when were you hungry and we fed you not? When were you naked and we clothed you not? When were you out-of-doors and we gave you not shelter? When were you sick and imprisoned and we ministered not unto you?” He said: “Inasmuch as you have not done this unto the least of these, my brethren, you have not done it also unto me.” So the “least” little brother in here is the brother of Christ!
Who is “Christ”? 1.) “Christ” is “man in his perfectly-developed state”; 2.) Therefore, “Christ,” fully developed, is “man in whom God dwells”—“Christ” is the expressed likeness, image, of God. Why is “Christ” so important? Because he allows men to see “The Realm of Possibility.”
Brothers, we can be more than “the prophets”—but don’t go around saying “I’m the child of God,” and never grow up to be like your Father! Jesus was the only man in scripture that had such a unique relationship to God, till he referred to God not as “Elohim” or “Yahweh” or “Allah,” he referred to Him as “his Father.” And then when the Disciples wanted to learn how to pray, they said, “Master, can you teach us how to pray?” He said: “Yeah, pray on this wise: Say not ‘my’ Father, ‘our Father’.” Now if The Father made Jesus so special, what’s wrong with you? You mean you’re not “special”; you mean The Father didn’t make anything out of you? Your elder brother Jesus is “something,” but you’re “nothing”? Muhammad is “something,” but you’re “nothing”? Moses is “something”—you’re “nothing”? False! Every one of you are as they are if you submit to The Source that they submitted to!
Jesus said, “I and my Father are one.” See, when you submit to God, brother, He actually comes into you: He travels into you through The Word—and The Word contacts the essence of your nature, which is the same as His Nature, and “turns on” The Divine Essence of you! And you start growing, spiritually, just like you grew physically!
And therefore, brothers, when you have a gun in your pocket, and you go on and shoot a Black man: That is like shooting a bit of God. When you watch the life ooze out of your brother every time you squeeze the trigger, life is oozing out of you; because love can’t find a place in you for your brother if you’re constantly raping, robbing, destroying your brother. We are one another’s “family”: We are not just family “from the same mother,” but we are family from the same God. So, you are truly my brother, and I am truly yours—so I make a pact: I Will Give My Life For You! Because my life is not more important than yours. You are greater; I am lesser. So, I must become your servant. And you must see your people like that!
When your brother is down, that is you: Help pick him up! Don’t make “different [gang affiliation] colors” make you different people; don’t say, “Well he’s got on red, man ...” or, “He’s not one of The Bloods; he’s got on blue, man—he’s not one of the brothers. He didn’t give the right sign. He ain’t one of the brothers.” When you look in his face, and you see “The Mark of The Beast”: That’s your brother—who has been destroyed, like you. And you must never ever again hurt your brother. When you and your brother have an argument: Develop the intelligence to reason with each other, and not reach in your pocket … This is why the Honorable Elijah Muhammad told us: “Throw away all guns!”
When we became Muslims, we threw all the guns away, because Elijah Muhammad knew that when we got in an argument, we would reach for our gun rather than reach for our ability to reason. And he forbad us to raise our hand to each other! I remember in The F.O.I. (The “Fruit of Islam,” The Men’s Class of The Nation of Islam): I saw a brother, and I, began (throwing boxing jabs at him, in a playful manner); and the captain of The F.O.I. saw me doing that, and said, “Brother!” I said, “Yes sir?” He said, “Do you think you can whoop us all?” And I said, “No sir.” He then said: “Well, the next time you raise your hand to your brother, you’ll have to whip us all”—and from that day, I never raised my hand to my brother. Never! Not just my brother as a “Muslim,” but also my brother “Christian”: I won’t ever raise my hand to him.
My brother Christian is safe from my tongue, from my hands. His wife is safe, because I know that his wife is sacred to him, so she is sacred to me; therefore, instead of violating his house, I will protect his house! His daughter is sacred to me … And when we become like that, love comes in: When I won’t do you wrong, you won’t do me wrong; you fall in love with me, I fall in love with you. Then “love” is greater than “the law,” because love is the highest expression of “law”!
When I say “I love you”—(and you could drop your wallet, with money all in it): Instead of stealing it, I would say “Hey brother! Brother! You dropped your wallet; here.” We are taught that if your brother has a bowl of soup, and you have none, half your bowl belongs to your brother. So if I have money, you don’t have to steal! If you have need, and I have that means, then I would say, “Here brother”—however, I don’t want you to “lay” on me! But, I’ll help you out as my brother.
What Must Be Done: The JobWe have to do for God, to be as God
I want to just show you the meaning of the story of “the donkey and the colt,” and with this amount of men (14,000-30,000) together, I’ll show you what we could do right here in Houston; and you’ll never be broke, and powerless, if you have unity.
The scripture teaches there is “an ass” tied: “Untie him.” White folks have us tied up to them, but they’re not using us! Therefore, by “The Law of Non-Use,” they have forfeited their right to hold us. Brothers, Jesus was not a “thief”; he didn’t tell his Disciples, “Go and untie him, and bring him to me.” When you have a “tie” on you that means you “belong to somebody else”; but The Master had come—and He “paid a price” to redeem them! So he said, “No! They’re not using you? And I have suffered for you? Go untie them—I’ve got need! Bring the ass to me!” (As in “donkey”—I’m not speaking “vulgar.”) Then Jesus rides into Jerusalem on the ass; or, “the donkey,” and people saying “Hosanna!”
Do you know in The History there has never been, to my knowledge, a leader who calls Black men out to a special meeting, to talk to Black men? Go check The History! Brothers, if Black Men Only meetings happen in 15 or 20 cities across the country, what do you think they are thinking? See, you are “the unlearned,” the “donkey”—and Farrakhan is who you came to hear—then that means you are “the wind beneath his wings.”
So when The Enemy listens in on this meeting, they’re going to say “That Farrakhan: He’s getting’ them Black men stirred up … He’s more dangerous than any nigga we’ve had!” The scripture teaches us that the moment “Jesus got on the donkey,” and “rode into Jerusalem,” his time was numbered! Because they, in secret counsels, said: “He has to die!” But I am telling you: They have already decided “Farrakhan’s got to go.” They have made their “plans” …
But I laugh, because God has made His Plan! Brothers, you don’t have to worry about them coming to do me harm, because I don’t believe they have a gun big enough to shoot me “from here, across the street”—if it doesn’t please God! If it pleases God that I die, then it pleases me to die. But, I don’t think so … We’ve got work to do!
So here you are, all “tied up”; and, I’m one of The Master’s Disciples: I saw you tied, and I am here tonight to loose you, saying: “Come on, Black man! We’ve got a job to do. I don’t care what work you’re doing now—you have a bigger job to do for God!”
Since you said, “Lord, if You get me out of trouble this one time, I’ll serve You,” here is the way that God wants you to serve Him!
First of all, brothers: Each of us has to decide to clean up our act. This body is the real House of God. Not the physical houses of worship that we go to, not buildings. Though they are beautiful buildings, they are not the real “House of God.” Your body is greater than a physical church/mosque/synagogue; because this is “the architecture of men, while your body is The Craftsmanship of God Himself. So! You must never violate “The House of God”—you shouldn’t eat improper food, unclean foods, clogging up your beautiful system with unclean foods.
Some of you drive good cars … and brothers, you’re not going to put cheap gas in that finely-engineered engine! You put the highest octane in it, because you don’t want it “pingin’ and goin’ on”—and then you go and sit in McDonalds, and feed this magnificent House garbage. It’s a great House, brother, but you have to take care of it! “Houses” need maintenance, but you are not maintaining that body.
[At the time of this message, the Minister was 60 years of age; about to turn 61]: Brothers, my son Mustapha Farrakhan can tell you: His father, at 60, bench presses 370 pounds, and still doesn’t know the limit of my strength! I dead lift 405 pounds—just snatch it up off the ground (smile); and squat 405 pounds! And still don’t know the limit of my power!
I’m a young “old man”; and I don’t have no “big gut”! At your own age, what do you look like? Some of you have not seen yourself, unless you get a mirror, where your gut is hanging all down over your knees … Brothers: This area of your stomach (gut) is your lifeline! You don’t have to age because you’ve been here long! There’s not one of you [reading this] who can really be considered “old”; whether you’re “70,” “80,” “90,” that is not “old”—you just got here, man! What you getting’ outta here for? Hang in there, brother! Because you have to stay here long enough to learn how to live, so you can pass on valuable lessons to your children and your grandchildren. However, due to improper foods, you’re “out of here.”
Brothers, I have fasted from three days to 40 days. … You have to learn how to cleanse your bodies, and your minds. At my age, I mean, I’m just “quick,” brother: I can wake up in the middle of the night and teach for hours, never repeating myself. And you are greater than I am! You just need to get yourself in order with God.
Now, brothers, I am just “one man”—and The Enemy to our rise finds it difficult to handle me; the whole world, together, finds it difficult to crush “one man.” Do you know why? It is as the scripture teaches: “Greater is He that is in me, than he that is in the world.” Suppose we let Him, God, get into us, and we become a united power in God? You won’t “need” a gun anymore [to fight], because you can do it with your mind.
When I was informed that 30,000 people were standing on the outside of this church, and they were trying to get screens to protect them from the downpour of rain, I went in my room and I said: “O Allah, hold back the rain. Don’t rain on the people”—and He held it up! Brothers: You have “juice,” man! You’re God’s People! You could “run this thing crazy” [i.e. “immediately begin changing your condition”], if you just “came home to God,” and came into unity with one another. You would have so much power, that you would frighten yourself. What could we do if all of us, as Black men, would unite together for the common good? I want to show you … If we took the number of men that were just inside the auditorium where I spoke (14,000), and if we could get the 15,000 that are outside, just check this out …
Pooling our financial resources: Suppose the 14,000 on the inside put $10 together? Then, “14,000 x $10” is “$140,000”: Put it in a treasury. Come back next week, contribute the same, you have $280,000—put it in a treasury! Come back the third week, put it in a treasury ($420,000); and by the fourth week, you would have had over a half a million dollars ($560,000), liquid cash. Buying property with the financial leverage gained: With the money you saved in a treasury, you then go to a bank and say: “Look here, man … You have any properties you’re foreclosing on? Show me your portfolio.” When they say, “Yeah, we’ve got this building, this apartment building”—you say, “We’ll take it.” Utilize the skills and talents of each brother: We have brothers who are carpenters, brick masons, plumbers, electricians, roofers … Everything imaginable, right among us! And, you have young people who don’t know any of these trades; so, you take these abandoned buildings, and you put the craftsman to work. And you put the young man beside him as an apprentice! Before you know it, those abandoned buildings are built back up, and now, someone is living in them, paying rent to you! You’re the owner, now.
Continue to build a treasury, with more people: After realizing the success, then you determine: “Okay, let’s keep this up! Now we have 30,000 people; so at $10 per person, that is “$300,000”—in one week. Buy farmland: Have you noticed how White folk are giving up their farms? So what you do? You go and buy you 1,000 acres. If you’re wondering, “What do I need a farm for?” “The Farm” is “The Engine of Life”! The Farm is where everything we have on comes from! Farm, brother! Our problem is that we’re allowing everybody else to feed us, and we’re not feeding ourselves and our children! And, with 1,000 acres, you can’t even see what that truly looks like from land; so you have to get up in a helicopter to fly over what you and I own, collectively! Buy proper farm equipment: Now that we have begun “farming”—and we know that not everyone can farm, however there are some good Black farmers among us; but, we’re not going to farm with a mule anymore, we get a tractor!
Set up manufacturing sites, supermarkets to sell products we produce: Then you set up a canning factory! Then you buy some more land, and instead of a beautiful church like we are accustomed to doing, build up a supermarket! Now you have your canning factory, and you have “First Baptist Peas,” “Second Baptist Corn,” “Methodist Asparagus,” and “Muslim Carrots”—all on your supermarket shelf! And then you tell all our wives: “Don’t shop anywhere else! Shop in your own supermarket!” And before you know it, the money we spend on food is right back in our circle, growing! Manufacture our own clothing: Our fathers picked cotton … But now, since we grow it: We can turn the cotton into lint, and the lint into cloth! And then all of us who have on underwear—and we haven’t made one pair: You set up a factory, put your woman in it, and say: “Come on, baby! We’re going to make underwear.” Instead of designer underwear from Calvin Klein, now you have your name on it; and then everybody in Houston is wearing “Our Own Underwear.” The underwear market is yours! The shirt market is yours! The suit market is yours! Those of us who wear “gator shoes”: The gator doesn’t belong to White folk, it was created by God. So the same way they can get alligator, we can get ’em too! The same as the cow: It gave its hide to White folk, and it will give it to you, too. Tan that hide, and make some shoes! It’s a shame: We’re paying $140/$150 for Nike “leap-arounds,” and all we have to do is learn how to do it—“do it for yourself.” And before you know it, you have a whole economic revolution started in the Black community!
And as men: We’re doing this! Then your wife is looking at you, saying: “Look at my husband! What he is doing …”—and she starts smiling at you.
Set up our own schools/control our curriculum: Then you tell your wife, “Well baby, I don’t like the way the schools are mis-educating our children. Let’s set up our own school,” then you set it up! And every one of us that is a “teacher”: Come on out of a plantation system, and begin giving your children real education! Grow as a political force: And before you know it, White folk will be looking at you, saying: “Are these those same Negroes that used to hang out in the 2nd Ward? In the 3rd Ward? In the 5th Ward? Drunk and disorderly? Now they own the 5th Ward—that’s their turf!” Then, when you own it, you become interested in the politics that governs it! Then you run for office who you want to run, who will look out for your interests; and after a while, you become a power in Texas! And then before you know it, from “The Lone Star State,” you get many other states wanting to put a star up like Texas did in their state flag!
And Black men: Before you know it, you’re working hard; and therefore you deserve “pleasure.” And your wife (your help-meet) will say: “I really want to help you, because at last, honey: You are doing something.”
‘Manhood Training’: Pledge to begin the change within ourselves, family, community
Come on, brothers! Let’s fill the churches up, with men! Let’s fill the mosques up, with men! And let us never let “religion,” and the labels, divide us ever again from one another. Never again! I want to ask two questions: 1.) Are you interested in making our own communities a more decent place to live? 2.) How many of you brothers would like to accept a Training that would cause you to be self-disciplined; and then we, in turn, take the responsibility of disciplining our community—making it safe for our women, our children and our elderly? Then I’d like to ask you, brothers, if you would take this Pledge. And when you say it, if you say it: The only thing we have is our word; and once we give our word, we must strive never to break our word.
“I, [state your name], Pledge to strive to love my brother as I love myself.”
“I, [state your name], Pledge to strive to improve myself spiritually, mentally, morally, socially, economically, and politically for the benefit of myself, my family and my people.”
Will you do that? That means from this day forward, we have to start improving. If there is some habit that you have, that you would like to get rid of, do you know how to do it? “Do It.” Once you make up your mind to do it, it’s done!
“I, [state your name], Pledge to strive to build homes, hospitals; to buy farmland, to set up businesses, to engage in international trade and commerce, for the benefit of myself, my family, and my people!”
“I, [state your name], Pledge to give of myself, my time, my talent, and whatever I can spare of my finance, to accomplish the above said.”
With those words, each of you has taken a sincere Pledge to strive to be the brother of one another; not only the brother of those in (close to you), but all of those out there that are our flesh and our blood. And then, it must go to all people! But you have to start with yourself. So let’s get busy and train ourselves to become the men, the husbands, the fathers—the brothers—that we should be.
All those brothers, who would like to get involved in this kind of Manhood Training, come on out … For the first time, Christians and Muslims will be working together, saying: “Let Us Make Man!” Isn’t that wonderful? [Note on “The Manhood Training”: These Men Only classes would occur following every Let Us Make Man tour stop. In Houston: In addition to Pleasant Grove Missionary Baptist Church as a site for Manhood Training Classes that began April 16, 1994, other churches and organizations located in different wards of the city also participated: Metropolitan C.M.E. Church (Pastor W. Edward Lockett); Anderson Memorial Church of God in Christ (Reverend Elder Prince E.W. Bryant); S.H.A.P.E. Community Center (under Director Deloyd Parker); Acres Homes Citizens Chamber of Commerce (“AHCCC,” under Chairman Roy Malonson); and South Post Oak Baptist Church (Reverend R. Elliott Wright).]
And don’t forget, next year: I will like for us to convene one million Black men in Washington, to give America the largest, most orderly, disciplined “march on Washington” in the history of this nation. And, to “fire a shot” that will be heard all the way around the world, that we have come of age—and we’re demanding what is rightly and rightfully belongs to us, as the spokespersons for our wives, our children, our moms, our women.
Brothers, when you get the opportunity, greet each other by shaking hands and embracing one another. You have to learn that there isn’t anything wrong with showing love to your brother! And there’s nothing wrong with telling your brother, “I Love You, Brother”—and mean it!
From this day forward, remember now: We’re not going to do anything to hurt our brother. And when you meet one of those ignorant brothers, who will try to force you to hurt him: Do your best not to hurt him, unless he aggresses on you; then, you are forced to “fight with those who fight with you.” But if you don’t let your ego get the best of you, you can avoid 95 percent of most hostile action.
Thank you brothers! May Allah bless you! As-Salaam Alaikum! I LOVE YOU!