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18th stop on Project Separation Tour hits Coldwater, Miss.

By Donna Muhammad -Contributing Writer- | Last updated: Nov 14, 2019 - 10:06:52 AM

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Town Hall panelists from left: Student Minster Andre Muhammad, Holly Springs MS; Crystal Giles, Black Liberation Movement; Student Minister Ava Muhammad, National Spokesperson for the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan; Patrick Alexander, Black Liberation Movement; and Town Hall Moderator Student Minister Anthony Muhammad, Muhammad Mosque No. 55. Photos: Zuri Muhammad

COLDWATER, Miss.—Despite a deluge of constant rain, close to 200 people filed into the People’s Choice Center in Coldwater, Mississippi, for the Project Separation Tour Town Hall, “Should Blacks Consider Separation?” The tone of the night’s meeting was established during a prelude presentation streamed across a projector screen featuring images and videos of numerous incidents of police brutality against Black people; brief clips of the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad and the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan speaking on the need for Black people to separate from their open enemy; along with a brief excerpt on the residual effects of slavery.

The video presentation was produced by Student Minister James Muhammad of the Southaven, Miss., Nation of Islam Study Group and co-host of the event. 

The gathering was also co-hosted by the Holly Springs, Miss., NOI Study Groups in conjunction with the Black Liberation Movement and moderated by Student Minister Anthony Muhammad, Mid-South representative of Min. Farrakhan. Student Minister Dr. Ava Muhammad, national spokesperson for Min. Farrakhan, called the town hall meeting the best one ever in her subsequent address the following day in Holly Springs at the Sunday mosque meeting. “Because it was in a Black town, with a Black mayor and a Black police chief!” she exclaimed.

Participants came from as far as Oakland, Calif; Chicago; New Orleans; Little Rock, Ark.; Greenville, Miss.; Columbus, Miss.; Clarksdale, Miss. and Memphis. Also present at the Oct. 26 town hall were Coldwater Police Chief Andre Todd, who provided Student Min. Ava Muhammad with a police escort in and out of the town. Other attendees included Jonestown, Miss. Mayor Kenneth Lester; Dr. Lavern Murphy, president of New Life Movement Ministries and 40-year-friend of Min. Farrakhan; Columbus, Miss. Chapter of the Black Panther Party; Louis Ali of Hot Black Coffee Party and Separation or Death Podcast; Shabaka Afrika, president of the Crittendon County, Arkansas NAACP and more.

Student Min. Ava Muhammad established the purpose for the gathering by reminding the audience of Min. Farrakhan’s November 2017 press conference at the Watergate Hotel in Washington, D.C., which he characterized as “a final call to Black people and a final warning to the United States government and the American people.” During that press conference the Muslim leader informed President Donald Trump that Black people are willing to take eight states. Student Min. Ava Muhammad also shared portions of the Minister’s critical message delivered during his 2017 Holy Day of Atonement address in Newark, New Jersey, titled, “Separation or Death.”

Student Min. Ava Muhammad, an attorney, author and radio host also highlighted Point Number Four of the Muslim Program on the back page of every issue of The Final Call newspaper.

Student Minister Anthony Muhammad, Mosque No. 55, and Brother Louis Ali of Northgate Land Development in New Orleans and Hot Black Coffee Party, along with youth from Mr. Ali’s training program. The youth are also land developers and operate heavy machinery.
“Number Four of that program is a separate state or territory of our own due to the failure of the United States government to meet the request of numbers one, two and three for freedom, justice and equality,” she explained. “Many of us know about number four, but a lot of us perhaps don’t realize in number five that the Honorable Elijah Muhammad states he wants every Black man and woman in America to choose whether he or she wishes to have a state or territory of their own or whether or not we wish to stay with the children of our slavemasters,” Student Min. Ava Muhammad added. 

In response to a question on how, through coalition building, Black people take these states, panelist Patrick Alexander, chief organizer and facilitator of the Black Liberation Movement in Coldwater, encouraged the audience to take a critical look of the demographics of Mississippi. “There is a lot of projection that things that can be done on the national level, but I am of the understanding of how can we move nationally if we can’t move demographically?” said Mr. Alexander.

“We have to begin to start working with working models that are small enough, manageable enough for us to be able to see that they work,” he said. “We really need to take a critical look at the setup of the demographics of Mississippi and these states that our forefathers and others have already deemed states that Black people should be taking control of. Notice I did say ‘taking’ control of,” said Mr. Alexander.

“We have predominately Black townships throughout this state and other states, but I’m specifically talking about what I know, which is Mississippi, which is that Mississippi is the Blackest state per capita in the U.S. Jackson, Miss. is the second Blackest city in America. So if we’re talking about liberation, if we’re talking about separation, one of the main focal points we should be looking at is Mississippi and we got Black townships all over here,” he added.

Mississippi has a Black population of 37 percent and Jackson, Miss.—second only to Detroit—has a 79 percent Black population. Mississippi is dotted with majority Black townships throughout its fertilely rich countryside. Approximately 75 percent of the little over 1,600 residents in the 2.4 square miles of, Coldwater are Black. 

Student Minister Andre Muhammad of Holly Springs painted a picture for the audience on the dangers of continuing to live under White supremacy.  “We are like a baby that’s been in the womb that’s overdue and if you don’t deliver both are going to die. At some point, that burden has to be laid down; that umbilical cord has to be cut or toxemia will set it. We see the toxic environment that we see that we are in politically, socially and economically,” he said. 

Audience member signs the petition to vote on separation at the close of the Town Hall Meeting
Kareem Muhammad of Greenville, Miss., shared with the audience a narrative of the impact of White supremacy on the economics and movement of Black people in the South. 

Panelist and co-host Crystal Giles, Secretary of Information and Education for the Black Liberation Movement, referred to works by Dr. Neely Fuller in which he expressed that “if we don’t understand racism and White supremacy, what it is and how it works, everything else that we think we know will only confuse us.” 

Continuing to draw from that work, Ms. Giles explained how she learned that there were nine areas of battle Black people must understand: education, economics, entertainment, labor, law, politics, religion, sex and war. “As we began to study and work in our communities, we added on another one—health, because we understand that our health and well-being is being attacked as well, so what we’re doing  at the Black Liberation Movement is we’re wanting to take control of those areas of battle—what we call life, because they all work simultaneously to keep us under the foot of racism and White supremacy,” said Ms. Giles. 

Student Min. Ava Muhammad explained how separation is a natural process, as can be found in the book of Genesis in the Bible, where God immediately separated night and day. “Had we not separated from our mother, it would have killed us as well as her and so, even in natural relationships, in order for each to be able to manifest his or her identity, we have to have an individual existence,” she said.

“Now when it comes to Black people in America we don’t have a single creative or intellectual thought that leaves our mind and comes into existence without being tainted. It’s tainted because every plan, every idea that we have has to undergo a process that requires the consent of White people’s damaged perception of reality and it has to be made palatable to the children of our slavemasters before we can express it. What is meant by separation is our ability to think, plan and act independently. That’s what it means,” she added.

Student Minister Ava, invited the audience examine the Mormons in how they took over the state of Utah. “I want you take a look, after tonight, at the Mormons, who were persecuted in the Northeastern United States because of their particular belief system and they kept moving across the continent, being killed and persecuted, and finally they found themselves in the state of Utah,” she pointed out.

“Now they didn’t buy it, they just took it. They moved in and they populated it. Now, every Mormon doesn’t live in Utah; you and I can fly in and out of Salt Lake. However, when you go into Utah—you don’t have to be a Mormon to go there—but when you go into Utah you will find yourself having to adapt, if you stay there, to the way of life of a Mormon,” Student Min. Ava Muhammad continued.

“We as Black people have a right and a duty to our ancestors to return to our original selves and we are entitled to have some of this continent, which we made the richest and most powerful on the earth. So, yes, the whole earth is ours. We are not going anywhere until we get some of this and spend time in it together so that we can return to our original selves before we go out and become a global force again.” 

Bridge Muhammad of Memphis, Tenn., members of the New Black Panther Party Columbus, MS Chapter and Raja Ma’at of Clarksdale, MS react to panelist responses.

At the close of the meeting, almost every attendee signed the Separation petition, with the goal of establishing a referendum to advance a vote for separation. 

Timothy, who attended from Memphis, stated that he signed the petition because he wanted separation, “I see us in a different state, I see us making it happen.” 

Raja Ma’at, 45, of Clarksdale, Miss. signed the petition because she believes it is necessary for our liberation as a people, “our minds and our economics are our battlefield,” she said.

Thirteen-year-old Elisha Muhammad of Memphis, Tenn. shared how it was important for her, as a young person, to sign the petition and be involved in something so significant. 

Marco Talley, 26, of the New Black Panther Party in Tupelo, Miss. traveled over two hours from West Point, Miss. to be at the town hall meeting, expressed how critical separation was in order to have a strong structure in the Black community, one that does not exist now. “By separating it will give us the leverage of independence that we need to show our oppressors that we never needed you in the first place; we never needed your religion, we never needed your land, we never needed your pagan holidays, we were good just the way we were,” he said. 

Keyshawne, 21, came from Little Rock, Ark., an almost three-hour drive. His goal is to continue spreading the word about separation in Little Rock and learning to work the land and provide for Black people’s needs. 

“Too long we’ve been asleep and too long we’re still allowing ourselves to get caught up in everything that is not real. Everything that is going on now is unrealistic and we’re causing ourselves to find that everything that they created—which is the Caucasian—to be something worth living for, when it’s only something that’s temporary. We should be trying to live for ourselves,” he said. 

An electronic petition, along with videos of previous town hall meetings are available online at (Ilyasah Muhammad, age 16, contributed to this report.)