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An ‘amazing message’ delivered in Detroit

By Starla Muhammad and Katrina Muhammad | Last updated: Oct 17, 2018 - 9:21:02 AM

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Detroit's Chene Amphitheater was recently renamed Aretha Franklin Amphitheater and was the location of a major Oct. 14 address by the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan during the 23rd anniversary of the Million Man March and Holy Day of Atonement.

DETROIT—For the thousands of people that braved the slight chill in the air on a fall afternoon in Aretha Franklin Amphitheater on Oct. 14, many were warmed by the heart and spirit of a man who has worked tirelessly for decades to uplift Black and oppressed people in America and the world—the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan.

Prior to the Minister arriving and taking the stage, several speakers welcomed the Nation of Islam back to the city of its founding and also reflected on the continued significance of the 1995 Million Man March and Holy Day of Atonement convened in Washington, D.C. Rev. Dr. Willie Wilson, of Christ Universal Temple in D.C. explained why 23 years ago in 1995 two million Black men atoned. He very eloquently explained why Black people have to get attuned to God and his word and fall in love with the word like a musician falls in love with his instrument and music.


He charged the audience to “take personal inventory of your own personal life and try to get in tune so that you can be at one with God.” This is a challenge that we all should try at once.

Min. Farrakhan delivered a nearly three-hour keynote address. Bundled up in sweaters, coats and other apparel, men, women and children paid close attention to the guidance and warning the Muslim leader imparted. Topics Min. Farrakhan’s address included critical happening all over the world including the misuse of women, the importance of the city of Detroit for Black people, the continued onslaught of weather-related disasters plaguing America, a controversial meeting between President Donald Trump and rapper Kanye West and much more. 

To have the Minister and the Nation back here at Aretha Franklin Amphitheater this year, although it’s a little chilly outside, it’s still warm inside … and the Minister always knows what to say, right in the great city of Detroit. We are happy to have everyone here with us today. I am happy to be here, and I will continue to be supportive as the Minister has supported me on my mission … and I love the Nation,” said Detroit City Council President Brenda Jones at the conclusion of the program.

Kimberly Harrington, owner of Phlebotomy Express Training Center in Detroit also enjoyed the message. She told The Final Call she is  the first Black woman to open a health care trade school in the city.

What I got today was what I get from the Minister all the time and that’s real time talk. That’s what the community needs. That’s what the people of hopelessness needs. We can’t talk at them, we have to talk to them,” said the Detroit native. She opened Phlebotomy Express two years ago after working for AT & T for 30 years. It is a trade school that teaches students 17 and older how to draw blood in order to work in the health care field. To date, over 300 students have matriculated through her program.

“I was so proud of the message delivered by the Minister to the world, a great message of respect for women and a great message for people to stand and a warning about the environment,” said Rev. Dr. JoAnn Watson.

“I was moved by his uplifting of all women. I appreciated his honoring Aretha Franklin who was my friend. He lifted up women and talked about the importance of women, and that women should never be the subject of abuse or mistreatment,” she continued. Rev. Watson explained how moved she became when Min. Farrakhan shared how tears came to his eyes as he watched the testimony of Dr. Christine Blasey-Ford before the U.S. Senate. Ms. Blasey-Ford alleges newly-confirmed Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her years ago when they were high school age.

“I appreciated his wisdom and warning to all the women listening and watching to maintain themselves to a high caliber, and don’t settle, and don’t lower themselves to anything less than sacred. When he called women sacred was magnificent. He moved the crowd and you could feel it,” said Rev. Watson.

“My 19-year-old grandchild is a graduate of environmental justice and she loved it also. Her applause was just as loud as me, to see the multi-generational impact of his message was special to see.”

Sixteen-year-old Asia X Theus called it “an amazing message.”  “Today, you see a lot of women who will deal with physical abuse is the main thing that I got out of it,” said Ms. Theus, who became a registered member of the Nation of Islam on October 7, birth date of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad.

“That was very powerful.  That part was the main thing for me, because I feel like when you deal with something like that, you feel so alone in the world, like there’s nobody by your side and you start to doubt your belief in God, even going through that.  It’s like, if God loves me, then why would I have to go through this, but they need to realize that he’s letting you go through this, because he has something greater for you to accomplish,” the newly-registered Muslim said.

Arthello Malik Muhammad of Detroit agreed. “Our men need to respect women more than they do. I liked when he spoke about the various great people throughout the ages, especially our people,” he said. 

 “The most impactful statement I heard from the Minister is when he said, most Black men lack the knowledge to handle an intelligent woman and the directions that they go, had me thinking about what do I need to study more of so that when Allah blesses me to have someone in my life that I can handle that style of woman,” said Khalil Muhammad, also of Detroit. 

“He talked about how the new generation is coming through the woman, and that was very profound to me. The significance of the Million Man March, 23rd anniversary here in Detroit is that Detroit will rise again like a phoenix from the ashes,” added Khalil Muhammad. (Charlene Muhammad contributed to this report.)