Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Nation or Plantation, the Choice is Yours

by William P. Muhammad

Accompanying the 2008 presidential elections, and the campaign which made Barack Obama the first Black President of the United States, the term ‘post-racial society’ soon became an oft repeated mantra from both the liberal left and conservative right. An idea seemingly embraced by both sides of the political aisle, think tanks, policy-makers and corporate controlled media soon declared the end of America’s race based Civil Rights Era and the beginning of a new day under the monikers ‘Hope’ and ‘Change,’ as heralded by the election of a Black man into the Whitehouse. 
Lee Atwater
John Erlichman
These, like the many other socially engineered initiatives before them, sought to graft in a top-down approach to America’s centuries long debate over what was euphemistically known as the Negro problem. Spanning many decades, indeed centuries since the arrival of the first enslaved Africans to the shores of North America, the government and society of the United States, whose laws codified white supremacy from its inception, later evolving into unspoken rules, code phrases and dog whistles, as orchestrated by the likes of the late John Erlichman, President Nixon’s former domestic policy advisor (who admitted the administration’s war on drugs was actually a war on Blacks), and the late Lee Atwater, a Republican proponent of the Southern Strategy and advisor to both Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush (who refined the practice of marginalizing the Black community as the quality of public education declined and jobs left urban communities for foreign labor markets), sought to maintain white supremacy through the guise of law and order.
Making it abundantly clear that America’s national policy intends to maintain the racial hierarchy, with whites at the top and in charge at all costs, politically speaking, Black Americans are given the choice between the lesser of two evils every four years. In a system that permits few in the Black community to advance, in order to sell the “illusion of inclusion,” substantive and collective change will come only when a critical mass begins to think outside the box of seeking legitimacy through white recognition and approval.
However, regardless of party affiliation, whether in the form of Democrat policies which led to the mass incarceration of young Black men, after President Bill Clinton signed the 1994 Crime Bill into law, or from the Republican policies of privatization and deregulation, which placed state functions into the hands of corporations that valued profit margins over people, the Black community’s state of continued dependency continues to hamper our future as a free, justified and equal community when compared to other ethnic groups and nationalities living in the United States.
Appearing no different than the fundamental differences between the early 20th century aspirations of Booker T. Washington’s advocacy for a Black economic infrastructure, and W.E.B. DuBois’ drive for social and political inclusion, the fantasy of 21st century post-racialism, in the waning months of the Obama administration, is essentially a repackaged form of non-economic liberalism. To borrow from the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan: “they integrate the bedroom, but not the boardroom.”  Therefore, within American society, there is little Black representation wielding real influence over the nodes of power from editorial boards (that move public opinion), to the broadcast and publishing industries (that propagate ideas), to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics), the disciplines that build and maintain societies, to domestic or foreign policy making (that governs free trade and wealth creation), or in the many other institutions guiding the onward march of civilization in a technological Information Age.
Control the narrative, control your destiny
The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan
While it has almost become common knowledge among Black Americans that as consumers we contribute more than $1.1 trillion dollars to the global economy every year, this fact has been more than abundantly clear, well documented and well understood by merchants, economists and the financial establishment itself as they have all quietly benefited from our culture of consumption and spending. Our collective failure to compete as the producer of our own goods and services has created in its wake a mockery of our non-productivity by those profiting from our ignorance of business and enterprise. In fact, the merchant class and financial elite have understood the domestic and international implications of this reality far better than the Black community has understood it, and as such, they have done everything to control access to the golden goose that lays the golden eggs, for the sake of maintaining their power and control.
An awakened, disciplined, organized and producing Black community could, almost overnight, harness hundreds of billions of dollars for recirculation into itself, which would not only translate into a dignified community of movers and shakers, but also into a community where the substance of economic power would dictate the agendas of local and state government, subsequently changing the balance of power not only nationally, but also internationally as trade and commerce would redefine and realign global relationships.
According to the demographers, within the next 25 to 30 years, today’s elementary school student will be a man or woman of middle age, and as such, he or she will live in an America with a white minority and Black and Brown majority. In light of this fact, and to avoid the post-Apartheid model of South Africa, where an aging white minority continues to control the technology, the military and the economy of the so-called new South Africa, Black Americans must act quickly to avoid this fate and immediately decide to change a culture and tradition rooted in the legacy of slavery, fear and dependency.
Our failure to overcome the many distractions, traps and pitfalls of today’s society will deprive our children of a life of security and upward mobility by adulthood. Furthermore, there should be no question that much of dysfunction we see in contemporary American culture is designed to slow or prevent the likelihood of Black and Brown people from inheriting the inevitable reins of power. Therefore, we must recognize the intentional dismantling of public education as an opportunity to design our own curriculum and to open our own schools, even if it is at home or in the basement of a mosque or a church. We must recognize inner city food deserts as opportunities to buy vacant lots and to grow our own fruits and vegetables, and we must recognize the closing of factories as opportunities to pool our resources and to open our own businesses in order to provide goods and services for ourselves, our families and our people. Although the choices are not hard to make, time will eventually force on us a critical decision. It’s either nation or plantation and the choice is yours.

Monday, May 9, 2016

On Leadership, Satisfaction and Dissatisfaction

by William P. Muhammad

The article below is taken from page 103 of the book: “The Harvest is Ripe: A Guide to Study Group development," by William P. Muhammad, first published in 1999. Orders may be acquired by contacting the author via e-mail.

            The 66th Sura of the Holy Qur’an, Al-Tahrim (The Prohibition), unfolds on two levels (in two sections), as most Islamic scholars will agree. While it initially addresses the domestic life of the Holy Prophet Muhammad ibn Abdullah (PBUH) and a temporary breech of confidence between himself and two of his wives, it also sheds light upon the definition of “duty” between leaders and followers. For example, the dynamics of a Muslim’s marriage and his married life is not unlike the dynamics between responsible leaders and followers.
            It is through the Teachings of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad that we can address the “science” of Sura 66, while at the same time observing its relevance in the world, as the Judeo-Christian West antagonizes the world of Islam from behind the fa├žade of peace.
            In the Honorable Elijah Muhammad’s book: The Fall of America, in chapter 23 titled, “The Dissatisfied,” we come face to face with ideas on leadership, satisfaction, dissatisfaction and change, and how these states-of-being lead to either positive or negative change: belief or disbelief, obedience or betrayal and virtue versus hypocrisy. For instance, the Honorable Elijah Muhammad writes:

No one is satisfied though they may be righteous. They are not satisfied because they are living among unrighteousness. So the whole entire world of the wicked and the righteous is upset due to dissatisfaction. The dissatisfied are gaining everyday more and more among the people whom they hope to bring into the same condition that they are in. And today nothing is made more clear to the chief maker of dissatisfaction, (The Fall of America, page 101).

          This means the disbelievers suffer from the presence of the righteous and the righteous suffer from the presence of the unrighteous, whether it is in our homes, our communities or on our planet in general. Through a war of attrition, the enemies of Islam (disbelievers and hypocrites) expend their energy to exploit weaknesses among the believers in order to foment division (to undermine a united front), to create negative connotations in controversy (to cloud true issues and actual facts), to promote envy and jealousy (which destroys from within) and ultimately, to kill the messengers of truth in the hour of confusion (although Allah promises us they will not be successful). Also, this is why the Honorable Elijah Muhammad said: “The devil never sleeps.

Courtesy The Final Call Newspaper
           Daily, we are bombarded with the filth of Satan’s world (scantily clad men and women parading themselves in public, drunkenness, lewd dancing, gambling, the consumption of swine flesh, filthy jokes, homosexuality, fornication and adultery – there is hardly any end to it) as we are instructed through universities, weak religious leaders and the American popular culture that to obey Allah (God) makes you less acceptable in society, but to submit to the ways of the unbelievers makes you more acceptable.
            It is through a thorough comprehension of these opposing forces that an examination of Sura 66 will make sense.
            Dissatisfaction, so teaches the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, is the agent of change – either a change for the better or a change for the worse. If you are attempting to be “right” (on the salat-ul-mustakeem) in a world that is against righteousness and the doing of righteousness (through shariat), then the full force of the enemy and his system will be brought to bear against you (which is why the servants, prophets, and messengers of Allah have been beaten, killed, slandered and imprisoned all throughout history).
            Furthermore, those who are weak in faith (in both their Iman and their Deen), those who are “faking and fronting” Islam (for ulterior motives) and those who lack knowledge (because of ignorance) will not be able to withstand the audacious, deliberate and scientific opposition that is crafted, formulated and wielded by the enemies of Allah (God). It is through this reality that “dissatisfaction” in a weak believer causes a shift toward disobedience to the Will of Allah (God) and His apostle; therefore, it allows chaos, confusion and hell into the Ummah (or Nation of Islam – which is a world-wide reality).
            Although we will not delve into the details behind the temporary separation between the Prophet (PBUH) and two of his wives, A’isha and Hafsah, the greater principle that we must examine is how the connect (bond) between leaders and followers is interrupted by their individual or collective states of satisfaction and dissatisfaction (which leads either to obedience and submission to Allah or to mischief-making and hypocrisy) and perhaps, ultimately, the possibility of estrangement from the Mercy of Allah, (see Sura 66:3-7).
            Looking at the example of dissatisfaction between the wives (followers) of Noah and Lot versus the wife (subjects) of Pharaoh and the daughter (subjects) of Amran – Mary, the mother of Jesus – we must ask ourselves:

1)      Why did Noah’s wife rebel against her husband when he was instructed by Allah to build the Ark?

2)      Why did Lot’s wife look back on Sodom and Gomorrah?

3)      Why did the wife of Pharaoh reject the ways of her husband when he saw himself as a God besides Allah?

4)      What made Mary’s womb worthy of Allah’s Blessing?

The behaviors of disbelievers and hypocrites are rooted in either their satisfaction in the temporary rewards of this life (dunya) or through the temporary rewards of turning against the truth and turning against those who reject “this world” (see James 4:4) for the promise of the “Hereafter” (here on this earth after the reign of Satan has been destroyed – see Sura 18:31).

The above statement will perplex the disbelievers and the hypocrites because their hearts have been sealed – through the seeking of rewards, validations and honors from Satan’s system (instead of seeking the path of Allah).

            According to the Christians’ Bible, Lot was warned by the angels (people of high intellect and wisdom) that Allah was displeased with the abominable behavior of the people of Sodom and Gomorrah (men going to men with lust in their hearts as they should for women) and that they were commissioned by God to destroy these cities. As the story continues, Lot flees the city with his family under the instructions “don’t look back,” and none looked back at its destruction except for Lot’s wife – and according to the Bible, she turned into a pillar of salt.
            What does this mean? The Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad instructs us through the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan “not to get spooky” when we read the scriptures and worship Allah (God). Doing so only mystifies the truth, which reduces your ability to reason and it hinders your ability to understand the true nature of God, which is the true nature of yourself.
            For instance, if we examine the purpose of salt, as a preservative (there were no refrigerators 4,000 years ago), this is how “animal flesh” was kept in its desired state for eventual consumption. A pillar of salt, therefore, could signify the preserving of a hidden lifestyle or mindset (that is opposed to Allah’s Will) and as such, it allowed mischief and deviant behavior to creep into the new society built by those who rejected the ways of the Sodomites. The wife (meaning the followers) of Lot allowed dissatisfaction (with Allah’s way) to wear down, redefine and ultimately change the system of Prophet Lot (PBUH) and his people over time.
            While the Holy Qur’an’s version of Noah and his wife differs somewhat from the Biblical account, the fact remains that the people of Noah were mockers of his “God given mission” (which was ironically for their own benefit). Also, the Holy Qur’an tells us how the ark was made of only crude planks and nails, but it nevertheless saved the lives of those who saw its value and heeded Noah’s “final call.” Again, in these stories, we are looking at the relationship between satisfaction with “this world” and dissatisfaction with Allah’s promise of “the world” of the hereafter.
Now, what about satisfaction with the way of Allah (God) and His straight path?  This is where we must now examine the wife of Pharaoh and the mother of Jesus (Isa).

            Imagine being the citizen of a nation that has no equal or rival on the earth – and all must bow at its feet. Pharaoh’s wife, from her privileged position, as an Egyptian, really had no incentive for rejecting the ways of Egypt, as the privileged wife (follower/subject) of a leader who saw himself as a God beside God (think on that).  Why would she reject a life of ease and comfort? Would it be easy to agree that she was (they were) satisfied with the material wealth and riches of the most powerful nation on earth? Does inordinate materialism and relative ease not distract the people of the Western world today?
            In this case, “dissatisfaction” was positive on her part, and this led her to reject the ways of the arrogant, haughty, proud and boastful Pharaoh (who Allah drowned in the Red Sea) according to both Bible and Qur’an – as he chased down the Nation Of Israel (NOI) for the purpose of preventing it from inheriting the “Promised Land”).
            According to the Qur’an, Pharaoh became a believer as he was drowning and that was enough for Allah to spare his body (but not his life) and for it to serve as a sign and as an example for the generations, leaders and nations that would follow.
            How many civilizations, peoples and powers followed in Pharaoh’s footsteps? How many follow “the modern Pharaoh” in today’s most powerful nation? How many will fail to learn this valuable lesson and subsequently subject themselves to the hellfire of bloodshed, war, death and destruction, if not the chastisement of Allah?
            Finally, Sura 66:12 tells us how Mary guarded her chastity, which is the primary duty of a believer. The Honorable Elijah Muhammad teaches us through the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan that the female has two wombs and that the male has only one. The mind is the womb from which new possibilities come forth, and the state of a woman’s mental a spiritual womb determines the state and product of her physical womb.
            If we are quick to criticize the behavior of promiscuous women, because of the social and spiritual ramifications of fornication and adultery, then what does this say of men who offer their minds and attention to impure thoughts, ideas and activities?
            What unbalanced and confused offspring will his MIND create? When he lies down (mentally) and offers his mind to that which Allah (God) is displeased with, then what is the difference between these women and men? What type of world will such men produce? Will they establish heaven on earth (as the Khalifa) or will they establish more hell on the earth (as rebellious devils)? Will they make straight in the desert a highway for their Lord, or will they continue the crooked and serpent-like path of the mischief-makers and deceivers?

           Islam cannot progress among the believers until and unless we guard our prayers and become the quintessential example of civilized men and women: “enjoining that which is good and forbidding that which is evil.” It is only then that Allah (the Most High) will reward us with success and grant us the final victory that he promises to the faithful.
Surely We have revealed the Book to thee with truth that thou mayest judge between people by means of what Allah has taught thee. And be not one pleading the cause of the dishonest, and ask the forgiveness of Allah. Surely Allah is ever Forgiving, Merciful. And contend not on behalf of those who act unfaithfully to their souls. Surely Allah loves not him who is treacherous, sinful.
They seek to hide from men and they cannot hide from Allah, and He is with them when they counsel by night on matters which please him not. And Allah ever encompasses what they do.
Behold! You are they who may contend on their behalf in this world’s life, but who will contend with Allah on their behalf on the Resurrection day, or who will have charge over their affairs? And whoever does evil or wrongs his soul, then asks forgiveness of Allah, will find Allah forgiving, Merciful. And whoever commits a sin, commits it only against himself. And Allah is ever Knowing, Wise.
And whoever commits a fault or a sin, then accuses of it one of the innocent, he indeed takes upon himself the burden of a great calumny and a manifest sin. 
Holy Qur’an 4: 105-112).

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

From The Final Call Newspaper

Rebuilding The 'HoodBy Richard B. Muhammad, Eric Ture Muhammad and Kenetta Muhammad -The Final Call- | Last updated: Apr 12, 2016 - 11:30:33 AM

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(L-R) A child wears 10,000 Fearless onesie. | Volunteer puts paint brush to work. | Photo: Rashaad Muhammad | Clearing brush and landscaping is part of beautification efforts. Photo: Erick Muhammad Abdul Sharrieff Muhammad and Rev. Timothy McDonald are making a difference in The Bluff. Photo via Facebook

ATLANTA—“God is in The Bluff,” a long ignored part of a city once called the New Mecca for Blacks, but it’s no spook or spirit, it’s live men, women and even children on a mission to resurrect this neighborhood known for drugs, violence and poverty.

The phrase was coined by Abdul Sharrieff Muhammad, head of the local Nation of Islam mosque and its Southeast Region, who works in tandem with Reverend Timothy McDonald. A fruitful Muslim-Christian relationship is making the community a decent place to live—following a directive from Nation of Islam Minister Louis Farrakhan from the movement’s headquarters in Chicago and in major addresses in Detroit and Chicago earlier this year.

Speaking at a special meeting webcast from Mosque Maryam in Chicago, Student Minister Sharrieff Muhammad passionately shared the work of the 10,000 Fearless Men & Women in his city, which is credited with bringing more change in months than in 50 years.

“The thing we have to do is obey the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan,” said the former Nation of Islam Supreme Captain pushing the rebirth of The Bluff. The Minister called for 10,000 Fearless to restore Black communities last year during and in the run-up to the successful Justice Or Else! 20th anniversary gathering of the Million Man March in Washington, D.C., last October.

Blacks are suffering regardless of their religious affiliation, observed Rev. McDonald, who spoke April 5 at the same special meeting in Chicago.
Patrol vehicles and transportation vans used by the 10,000 Fearless working to make a Black community a decent place to live. Photo via Facebook

Min. Farrakhan shared his joy at the work underway in Atlanta and called for it to spread across the country. Brother Sharrieff Muhammad was given a command and found a way to produce the desired results, said Min. Farrakhan.
“I would like to see the example of Brother Sharrieff and Rev. McDonald duplicated, triplicated, quadruplicated, quintuplicated all over this nation,” said Min. Farrakhan during April 5 Mosque Maryam meeting. Photo: Haroon Rajaee
The details about the assignment were not given but the commitment to do the work was there, he continued. You are more equipped to do things than you think, the Minister told Muslim members watching via the internet. Faith is required to do great work and Jesus admonished his disciples to have greater faith, Min. Farrakhan added.

When you are doing something others will come to help—even Caucasians eager to avoid God’s chastisement will assist, but you have to do something, he said.

Don’t be afraid to stand up in my name, Min. Farrakhan continued. Brother Sharrieff Muhammad was not afraid and is having success and God did not come for us to be unsuccessful, he said.

In March over 160 volunteers from 30 organizations worked beautifying The Bluff using paint and other supplies and equipment donated by Home Depot of Southwest Atlanta. The work is based out of the 10,000 Fearless Headquarters of the South, a home purchased in The Bluff. The English Avenue Community, commonly known as “The Bluff,” has the highest crime rate in Georgia.                     
Abdul Sharrieff Muhammad, Ishmael Muhammad and Rev. Timothy McDonald at special meeting in Chicago. Photo: Rashaad Muhammad

In 2005, Student Minister Abdul Sharrieff Muhammad established People United For Change Inc., which partners with 10,000 Fearless Men & Women to bring free resources to the community at the headquarters housed at 801 Joseph E. Boone Blvd., in Atlanta.

People United For Change Inc., Home Depot, 10,000 Fearless, Muhammad Mosque No. 15, the Atlanta LOC for Justice or Else! and Sankofa United Church of Christ, under the leadership of Reverend Derrick Rice, united to create “Making Our Community a Decent Place to Live”  Day March 18 in The Bluff.

But the movement started by simply following the instructions of Minister Farrakhan: People United for Change and the 10,000 Fearless Men & Women of the South moved into the community together and started to help fix up houses. They started beautifying the neighborhood by painting houses, improving landscaping and even fixing siding on homes. Karriemah Muhammad went to hardware and paint stores asking for donations. A visit to Home Depot in Southwest Atlanta led to store manager Jeff Stallings joining the effort.

Student Minister Sharrieff shared how he told those offering to help that there would be no strings attached to any donation or assistance. They are not used to Black men standing up like men, he said.
As the environment improved, there was a decision to hide dilapidated homes behind a wall with a mural, he recalled. City officials fought the wall but eventually tore down the blighted structures. When city employees asked who gave permission for the wall and the mural, Student Minister said he responded: “God did!” Then he asked city officials: Who gave permission for neighborhood neglect to run rampant?

While providing free food and clothing, it became clear some in need or even homeless were military veterans, said Student Minister Sharrieff Muhammad. The group’s Ambassador for Veterans Affairs, Michael Duncan, did intake and discovered vets were having problems getting services, he said. Refusing to take no for an answer, or be given the runaround, led to a meeting with Veterans Administration officials and connections to ease the suffering of those who served this country, said the Nation of Islam student minister. He was joined in the meeting by Mr. Duncan.

The headquarters for the 10000 Fearless of the South and the base for revitalizing a suffering Atlanta neighborhood. Photo: Erick Muhammad

In that meeting, Min. Sharrieff Muhammad added, Veterans Administration officials were told flat out that “Farrakhan’s man in Atlanta” was who they were dealing with. It resulted in promises to streamline veterans and promises for a follow-up meeting if the sit down didn’t yield results.

“I worked in this community 32 years ago,” said Mr. Duncan. He often felt alone, opposed by housing officials and felt indirect threats from police. He is a disabled vet, but after Barry Muhammad invited him to join the 10,000 Fearless, he found allies. “Now, it feels good to be in an environment where you are not the only one trying to do the work. I know this is God’s work. I believe that when you allow your hands, your mouth and your strength to be a tool for his purpose, he will lead you, he’ll take over,” he said.                     
A youngster gets coaching as he helps out. Photo: Erick Muhammad

His evaluation of veterans logs their vital needs, branches of the service and their benefits denials. Many were in the VA database but were mistreated, ignored or turned away before Mr. Duncan started literally walking individual veterans through the bureacracy. It was traumatizing for these men and women being rejected after serving their country, he explained.

“At the time that I served it was during the U.S. invasion of Grenada. And if they were sending you there, you could not say you weren’t going. They’d put you in jail. Under their rules during a time of war, they could hang you for treason,” Mr. Duncan shared. “You have men who were subjected to that kind of treatment, who have rights who are entitled. So we are walking people back through this system and we are demanding access on their behalf to get them what they deserve.”

The Bluff restoration effort has included fixing roofs, putting up new fences, picking up trash, landscaping and creating a peace garden. Health screenings, food giveaways, conflict resolution and training to join the 10,000 Fearless are held at the 24-hour center. The headquarters also provides counseling, youth programs, culinary arts and other training. An “Occupy the Corner” initiative involving several groups trains to patrol The Bluff. The training suite is named after a longtime Nation of Islam pioneer, Minister Abdul Rahman Muhammad.

An April health fair, led by the Mosque No. 15 Ministry of Health and Human Services and Alternative Health Practitioners, was held at the 10,000 Fearless headquarters. The focus was health education and alternatives to traditional medicine. Passersby and residents waded through sidewalk tables and displays, had their blood pressure taken and were engaged in conversations about health. Louis Muhammad, Saabirah Muhammad and others are responsible for community outreach.                     
Muslim woman lends hand to inspiring effort. Photo via Facebook

Lavania Morris, 63, was born and raised in the Bluff. For 15 years, she has needed dentures. “The impact of 10,000 Fearless on me and in the community is a godsend. Let the church say amen,” she exclaimed.  “It’s a nice program they have done wonderful work and a miracle for me,” as she proudly, showed off a toothless smile. “Sometimes, I help here with the food and clothing and whatever, and it feels good to work on our community first and make it proud and beautiful. Brother Sharrieff is so loving and kind. Brother Farrakhan taught him well,” she said.

“He (Brother Sharrieff) sent a man to make a mold for my mouth and he made me teeth and they are being given to me at no cost,” she added. “The sisters, Kenetta and Alicia Muhammad, have fitted me with outfits. I have always been dreaming on showing my culture. But the impact the brothers and sisters have had on me and this neighborhood has been so loving, so strong and I thank God.”

Chicago native Haroun Shahid Wakil lives in Atlanta and works with 10,000 Fearless through The Street Groomers, a collective of former so-called gang members working on freedom for U.S. political prisoners and those forced to live in exile. Mr. Wakeel frequents The Bluff headquarters. He assists with community patrols and educates residents about political prisoners. “It’s a bunch of guys that come from the streets—the GDs, the Stones, the Vice Lords—that decided to come together over common issues. Right now we are trying to get Imam Malik and Larry Hoover out, they both are political prisoners. But the work of the 10,000 Fearless, the fixing up and cleaning up is very positive,” he said.

Gerald Rose of the Atlanta-based New Order National Human Rights Organization stopped by for an impromptu meeting with Student Minister Sharrieff Muhammad and to lend support for the rebuilding work. “This is my first time over here, but I heard of the efforts toward saving this community. So I physically wanted to come over here and thank Minister Sharrieff and offer my support. I have known him for quite a while,” he recalled. “I come to congratulate him and to meet with him over how we can continue our work together.”

Reginald Ward, a 58-year-old Bluff resident, took a break from distributing food and clothes in front of the 10,000 Fearless headquarters. He lives on the streets and sleeps in nearby woods. When it rains, he rests on the front steps of a nearby church. He sat along a sidewalk, eating a bell pepper and watching people pick through donated clothes. He had just laid out the clothes for display.

“I have stroke on the brain, an enlarged heart, and emphysema. Smoking has destroyed both of my lungs. I have an enlarged prostate and vein damage in my legs. They are in constant pain. The doctors have to perform ultrasound just to get a pulse from my feet,” he told The Final Call.

“But God is my deliverer,” he said. “This has been a destroyed community. I see them working for us and I do what I can to help. I read the Holy Qur’an and the Bible and I find them both saying the same things. Our people need each other. It’s about choice. These people have done a lot” in a few months, he said.

“They are teaching us that God is real and without him, we don’t have anything. And we haven’t had anything for a long time, until the 10,000 has come. So, I spend a lot of time on the corners where the brothers be and I tried to teach them and show them what I know and tell them to help ourselves here. I thank God. He is real,” Mr. Ward said.

Joy Muhammad, 11, is youth ambassador for the Atlanta Local Organizing Committee and goes after young people in The Bluff. “The Joshua Generation is the forefront of the Nation and we are going into the community and will hear and obey the instructions of the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan. The goal is to go into the community with our modest clothing, and we will talk to the young girls and do community events together,” she said.

The success in The Bluff is an example of what can happen when egos are checked at the door, said Rev. McDonald, pastor of First Iconium Baptist Church and chair of the Atlanta Local Organizing Committee of the Justice Or Else! movement. In 1995, Rev. McDonald served as Atlanta LOC head for the Million Man March.

Future plans call for technology centers and bringing in Black businesses to keep money circulating in the community, he said.

 “Islam is a religion of peace and it has been demonized by the likes of Donald Trump and others who play on the xenophobic paranoia of our White brothers and sisters,” said Rev. Anthony Motley, pastor of Lindsey Street Baptist Church for 35 years. “We welcome the Nation of Islam into the English Avenue community. The Nation of Islam has an excellent track record for taking Black males and ministering to them and giving them a sense of hope and discipline and dignity and introducing them to God through the Muslim faith, and we applaud that.”