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'Is what you are studying contributing to the rise of your people?'

By Ashahed M. Muhammad -Asst. Editor- | Last updated: Apr 20, 2012 - 5:23:16 PM

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Minister Farrakhan's Black College Tour

Students and Faculty members gather around Min. Farrakhan for a photo after his address April 10 at Alabama A&M University. Photos: Erick Muhammad

HUNTSVILLE, Ala.­ ( - Thousands of students at Alabama A&M University welcomed the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan during the first stop of a scheduled tour reaching students from several historically Black colleges and universities throughout the “Cotton South.”

The line to enter the T.M. Elmore Gymnasium snaked around the block, and once inside, they listened as the Minister explained how the time demands Black people take responsibility for their own neighborhoods and communities or suffer the consequences.

He encouraged students April 10 to look carefully at what they are studying and consider whether it is contributing to the rise of their people. Students should be serious in pursuit of knowledge to become masters with the ability to solve problems affecting the world, he said.

The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan
“True education is an education that cultivates and develops the human being,” Minister Farrakhan told the nearly 3,000 in attendance. “When you are truly educated, you are cultivated from within. Then when it comes out, and the world sees the gift that God has given you, then you become the glory of God.”

According to organizers, students also viewed the Minister’s message via internet webcast at several other campuses in the state, Stillman College in nearby Tuscaloosa, Miles College in Birmingham and Alabama State University in Montgomery.

Facilitated by Nation of Islam Study Group student minister Phillip Muhammad and sponsored by A& M’s Poetry Club, and the A&M Democrats, and the Delta Gamma Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc., the event was a success, however, it was not without controversy.

Before Minister Farrakhan had even spoken one word, pastors, a rabbi and other various special interest groups were reportedly angered by the decision by the student organizers to have him speak on the campus. They also voiced their displeasure to A&M University President Dr. Andrew Hugine.

Over two weeks earlier, a group of interfaith leaders discussed the possibility of having a panel discussion following the Minister’s appearance, however, at Final Call press time, none of the primary organizers of the April 10 event have been contacted.

“Thank you for not giving in to the fear-mongering,” Min. Farrakhan told the student organizers.


The Minister said working for better race relations is a laudable goal, but the calls for such are dripping with hypocrisy. He posed a question to the students in attendance, citing how the campus had been gripped by crime, assaults and burglaries.

“Did anybody come to help you out of this self-hatred that causes us to inflict harm on one another?” the Minister asked. “How can you make better relations outside before you make better relations inside? How are you so clear on loving others, while you neglect to teach your people to love themselves?”

He then pointed out how in his first visit to Huntsville those referring to him as “divisive” in the media were wrong.

“If there are problems here, you can’t say that I created them. If there’s racism here, you can’t say that I brought it. If there is injustice here you can’t say that Farrakhan did it. So why would you all gather together to say ‘he shouldn’t be here?’ ” the Minister asked.

It reminded him of the “old days” when slaveholding families did not like “outsiders” coming in to disturb their plantations with talk that might upset the existing “slave mentality.”

Responsibility of the student

“He who gives you the diameter of your knowledge prescribes the circumference of your activity,” Mr. Farrakhan told the students.

Audience at Alabama A&M University listens to message from Nation of Islam minister.

Greater education should increase the sphere of activity and level of activity, he said. Despite the many degreed members of the Black community, schools are really training individuals to fit into a system, maintaining dependence on Whites.

“You are enslaved by what you call education,” he added.

The Minister told the students not to betray the ancestors by spending time in college partying. Many grandparents sacrificed so that children could go to college, he said.

Min. Farrakhan chided many of the college women for dressing in a way to excite passion, and attract men to their looks, instead of having men respect them for their minds. He urged the young women to make sure the males in their lives proved themselves worthy of their time, and urged against engaging in sexual activity or becoming pregnant before graduating or marriage.

“Your womb is the workshop of God. Every prayer that we utter is answered through the womb of a woman,” said the Minister also demanding that men end the use of the “B-word” to refer to Black women.

“No woman should ever be classified under the B-word! When you put a woman in the category of a dog, you have put yourself in that same category because without her, we would never have been. So sisters, guard the vaginal tract. The vaginal tract of the female is the doorway to the laboratory of God.”

Continuing to emphasize the point, he told the female students, “That’s what you should be doing sisters—guarding the entry to God’s workshop,” he said. “Stand guard over the channel that leads to the chamber of God.”

He ended his message using the example of the Jewish people as a model that clearly illustrates an effective route to success for members of the Black community.

In the Babylonian Talmud, Jewish people are instructed, “a Jew is not a real man unless he owns property, real estate, land, has money and saves to invest,” said Min. Farrakhan. They pool their resources, and Black people should do the same, not direct misplaced anger at Jewish people, he added.

“I want you to know—members of the Jewish community—I do not dislike you for your success. I admire you for your success, but I want to see success for our people, not taking away from the success of others, unless your success is built on our failure,” he said.

Students respond

Twenty-three-year-old Teri Span of the school’s Poetry Club, had the honor of introducing Minister Farrakhan. She told The Final Call that hearing him for herself was a life-changing experience and described it as “breathtaking.”

“Everything he said I felt like we all needed to hear,” said Ms. Span, the junior sociology major. “Honestly, this man is a force to be reckoned with. It was such an inspiration to me and I feel so honored that I actually got the chance to introduce him as well as to be in his presence. It was so moving and encouraging and I am glad A&M was able to be blessed with his presence.”

“Minister Farrakhan had the right to come here just like any other speaker would and nobody has the right to try to stop us from listening to him, the message that he gave wasn’t anything like what they were trying to present to us,” said Kenneth Gunn, a 21-year-old political science.

“The critics were wrong,” said Laura Bates, a 22-year-old graduating senior majoring in political science with a philosophy minor, also a member of the A&M Democrats.

The program’s emcee, Kevin Ferguson, president the Delta Gamma chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., is a 22-year-old electrical engineering major.

“I definitely agreed with his message,” said Mr. Ferguson. “I will definitely take some of the things he said and try to mold and cultivate those younger men and women to let them know that education is the way to go.”

Related news:

Farrakhan issues challenge to HBCU students and faculty at historic Nashville, Tenn. church (FCN, 04-20-2012)