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90,000 Expressions Of Love For The Motor City

By Richard B. Muhammad and Katrina Muhammad | Last updated: Sep 7, 2018 - 12:30:42 PM

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DETROIT—Aretha Franklin lay in state at Charles H. Wright African American Museum for a public viewing that drew thousands of people who came to pay tribute to the Queen of Soul. They received a special gift: Nation of Islam Minister Louis Farrakhan was giving away 90,000 free copies of The Final Call newspaper adorned with a beautiful picture of Detroit’s favorite diva.

The men and women of the Nation, the Fruit of Islam and the MGT, happily distributed the gifts with smiles, high spirits and heartfelt excitement and pride. Their love and energy were reciprocated from  Detroiters and others who came to pay honor to the late Ms. Franklin, who died from pancreatic cancer at age 76 on Aug. 16.  They were grateful and touched by the gesture.

Led by Final Call general manager Fontaine Muhammad and Don Enoch of the E-Team, which provides security and assistance to the Minister, the mighty soldiers of Detroit No. 1 and Min. Troy Muhammad and newly-named student FOI Capt. Sharrieff Muhammad and Muslims from cities in the Central Region had the city buzzing. The newspaper was a reprint of Final Call coverage immediately after Ms. Franklin’s passing.  Inside was a personal statement from the Minister about his love for Ms. Franklin, her divine gift of song and ability to feel the pain of others, her role in the Black struggle and her 1972 visit to Muhammad Mosque No. 7 in New York. The police had attacked the mosque and tensions were very high. Ms. Franklin, unannounced, came to the mosque to stand with and support the Muslims. Her courage and commitment to the Black struggle for freedom, equity and justice was inspiring, the Minister said. She was also a great help to Dr. Martin Luther King and supported the civil rights movement and Black organizations.

The papers were all distributed between Aug. 28 and Sept. 1. While waiting in long lines in the hot sun to pay respect and get a last view of the Queen of Soul at the Charles H. Wright African American Museum, again at the public viewing at Aretha Franklin’s father’s onetime church, New Bethel Baptist Church, and outside of Greater Grace Temple funeral services, The Final Call was offered and accepted. And from there free newspapers were given out across the city.

“We are eternally grateful to the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan for his deep love, supreme wisdom and for his heartfelt act of kindness to honor our very own Queen of Soul by providing 90,000 Final Call newspapers as a gift of love to our brothers and sisters in Detroit. We thank Allah for our successful efforts and we can bear witness to the positive effect that this gift of love had on our people at the Charles Wright Museum. We watched our brothers’ and sisters’ moods improve, they became more energetic, happier, seemed to feel calmer, less depressed and thankful to Min. Farrakhan for thinking of them. Thanks to the FOI and all of the beautiful MGT that supported this historic effort,” said Student MGT Captain Missy Muhammad of the mosque in Detroit.

“We met and gifted people from Brazil, Germany, Ghana, Dubai, Japan, and all over the United States of America from every race of people and they were so grateful of this beautiful Gift of Love from our dear beloved Minister Louis Farrakhan. They wanted to tell him thank you, so I took video coverage of some of the people and many pictures. We were out there with the gift of love and they wanted to know who we are, where we came from, and spoke on how beautiful we were. We said we are a reflection of you. We love them and told them that they are welcome  to come visit us any time,” added Tara Muhammad of Muhammad Mosque No 1.

Rev. Mark Thompson from Washington, D.C., where he hosts a Sirius XM radio show came to Detroit for the events honoring Ms. Franklin. In discussing The Final Call newspaper giveaway, he stated, “That’s consistent with the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan. I’m not surprised. I’m glad to see the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan here. Where else would he be? This is a family reunion.” Look for more coverage of this incredible story next week.