National News

Farrakhan shares life's lessons on the struggle for freedom with students

By Ashahed M. Muhammad -Asst. Editor- | Last updated: Oct 17, 2012 - 12:01:58 AM

What's your opinion on this article?


Minister Louis Farrakhan
The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan told student leaders at Johnson C. Smith University here October 12 that although life is a struggle, each human being walking the planet has already beaten the odds and has what it takes to survive and thrive in pursuit of true freedom.

“I’ve always believed that you’ve got to stand up for something in life, and if there’s nothing worthy for you to stand up for, then you should never have come to birth,” said Minister Farrakhan.

He used the journey of life beginning with hundreds of millions of sperm cells, to describe the beginning of struggle for the human being.

“The odds that you would be sitting here were 100 million, 200 million, 300 million to one, and you made it! So that means you were the strongest of that group of sperm,” said Min. Farrakhan.

Then God allowed the father’s single sperm cell to survive the hostile environment of the vaginal tract, then after fighting gravity by swimming upstream, it successfully unites with the mother’s egg and after the appointed term, comes forth from the mother’s womb, he said.

Minister Farrakhan told students the type of education they receive is key to building a future.
Photos: Lens of Ansar

“How dare you, sit around talking about what you can’t do. There’s no such thing in your language as ‘I can’t do’ when you did it all even before you got here to qualify to be here because life is a struggle and we are all fit to win the race of life,” he said.

Given his focus on speaking to Black America’s best and brightest, it was no surprise that his first event once touching down in the “Queen City” Charlotte involved a discussion with student leaders at the prominent HBCU.

JCSU is a private, co-ed, four-year liberal arts institution with 97 full-time faculty teaching 1,600 students. Sixty percent of the students are female, while 40 percent are male. The school was founded by the Rev. S.C. Alexander and the Rev. W. L. Miller who, according to the university’s website “saw the need to establish an institution in this section of the South.” Following an April 7, 1867 meeting in a Charlotte Presbyterian church, the formal inauguration of the institution’s charter was initiated for what was originally called, The Freedmen’s College of North Carolina.

“I feel very blessed to be able to talk to you because you represent the struggle of our people,” said the Minister. “You are here because there were those before you, who paid a price that we could stand and sit where we are and we must never ever betray the suffering of our people because they suffered that one day, we would really be free,” he said.

Freedom is not just being able to go downtown and shop, or to stay at a fine hotel or get a job in corporate America, said the Minister.

“Your people suffered that we could be free, independent building a future for ourselves. The critical component in building a future is the type and quality of education that we receive. All kinds of schemes are being hatched to deprive Black youth of the education and to literally close the historically Black colleges and universities,” said Min. Farrakhan.

As the Minister rode past Kokomo’s campus coffeehouse many students, as they enjoyed the sunny weather between classes, waved and took out their smartphones and iPads to take pictures of him as he smiled and waved.

Students at Johnson C. Smith University with Min. Farrakhan. Photo: Marc D. Muhammad

Upon arriving on campus, he was warmly welcomed by the university’s president Dr. Ronald L. Carter. During his remarks, the Minister also told the students gathered at the James B. Duke Memorial Library their campus holds a very special place in his career as a minister in the Nation of Islam.

“It’s a great honor to be here at Johnson C. Smith once again. I think the last time I was here was about 50 years ago. Malcolm X was supposed to speak, and he couldn’t make it, so he asked if I would stand in for him, and this was my first college engagement. It was at Johnson C. Smith,” said Minister Farrakhan.

Students respond

When offered the opportunity to ask the Minister a question, Lerato C. Motaung, a political science major from South Africa, with a focus on international relations, sought guidance regarding the “special relationship” between the United States and Israel. She described the Minister’s words as “fantastic, emotive and inspirational.”

“A lot of times in our present time, it is hard to sometimes figure out what you do stand for, and I think he evoked that conversation within me, to begin to think about what it is that I would want to die for, that I would not be afraid to stand up for, to be committed to and die for,” said Ms. Motaung.

“I thought it was very enlightening, I learned a lot of things that I did not know and it was good to get a different perspective on everything going on,” said 21-year-old criminal justice major Natalie Morrison. “I’m very glad I came for this once in a lifetime experience.”

Originally from Oakland, California, Aaron S. Beitia, a 20-year-old with an interest in visual and performing arts, was familiar with Minister Farrakhan, however, this was the first time he had ever heard him in person.

“It was a lot of power in the room and I definitely would like to see more of that on campus. A lot of knowledge and wisdom was being blessed upon us, and I feel that if that was able to be dispersed amongst the students on campus that we would be able to come together in unity to be able to embark on not only a better journey, but a successful journey together,” said Mr. Beitia. “It inspired me and made me think I wanted to do more not only for myself but my community and seeing him speak in front of me gave me that push, that motivation to do better,” he added.

Joyce Lutu, a 21-year-old senior English major and Spanish minor, also serves as the student government vice-president of Academic Affairs. She said she was very glad to hear the Minister’s timely and relevant words.

“I thought to have someone talk so strongly about social, economic and political issues that we’re facing today is very interesting to see and I liked getting his perspective on it,” said Ms. Lutu. “A lot of people are confused in the United States, and all students should watch him speak about it. Black people don’t see themselves as united which is a point he touched on and I think if more people did, a lot of the issues that we’re still facing today would be solved,” she added.