Hon. Louis Farrakhan Inspires Students to Realize their Greatness
By Auburn Mann
As early as 9 a.m. on Oct. 26, Nation of Islam (NOI) members had already begun to secure the premises of the Martin Luther King Jr. Arts Center for a campus visit that evening by the Hon. Louis Farrakhan.
Farrakhan’s presence at Bowie State University was a part of the Student Government Association’s “I Am” lecture series that has featured Nikki Giovanni and Hill Harper. The series is designed to send uplifting messages to the Bowie State community.
Mr. Bowie State University, Devin Denzel Davidson, who introduced Minister Farrakhan, was not shy in expressing his appreciation for the NOI leader’s visit. “It was a great experience, not only for me, but for the institution as a whole. For the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan to grace us with his presence means a lot.”
Under the newly installed pink, purple, and sky blue lighting, Minister Farrakhan, 79, spoke on a number of issues prevalent in black America. Thematically signaling the transition between each phase of his speech by shouting “I Am”, Farrakhan used this platform to instill a message of self-reliance. “I am represents the present tense of the verb to be. I am a nice series of lectures, as all off it relates to I, and I am the change that I’ve been looking for, don’t look for somebody else. As brother Michael Jackson once sang, ‘I’m looking at the man in the mirror’. He didn’t say I see someone else in the mirror.”
Farrakhan talked about such heated social and political issues such as the current state of healthcare, the economy, the 2012 presidential election and their relationship to the seemingly timeless tribulations of the black community. For a few moments, Farrakhan touched on religion as well: “I’m going to go back and forth between the Quran, the Bible and empirical knowledge. It’s all wonderful.”
The theme of the lecture series, “I Am,” seemed more apparent than ever as Farrakhan attempted to tie different ideas together. “I am biology,” asserted Farrakhan, speaking on all the physiological aspects of human existence. “So if you are biology how come you don’t want to master yourself?” he stated in an attempt to refute the common aversive relationship between the Biology as an academic subject and students.
Struggle was not exempt from the minister’s presentation. “Life is not meant to be easy.” In fact, he said, human beings are prepackaged to endure adversity. “The fetal environment is hostile. The odds are 100 million to 1 of your particular sperm making it and fertilizing the egg. God is so wise he made us run a race even before you get here so you can run the race of life.”
Since God created humanity to face opposition, Farrakhan asserted, the struggle and the willingness to face this opposition can bring out what is within. “We are microcosms and the universe is the macrocosm and when you can become a self master there is nothing in this universe you can’t master.”
“Not only am I biology, but I’m anthropology,” Farrakhan stated, after going through the discussion of humanity’s African and Negroid origins. He also identified humanity with mathematics, likening it to the rate of the human pulse and the strategy of sports such as basketball, as well as history. “I am history. We are history,” he stated. “For those of you who don’t like history, you are the very thing you don’t like.” However, he warned, “History is cyclical. Make sure your actions aren’t relegating me to the past actions of a free slave where you are present, but your absent in the present, and you’re not affecting present day realities.”
Farrakhan then shifted to his take on the “state of black America.” Naturally, the center of this area of the speech was on, at that time, the rapidly approaching election. “Nothing can beat the happiness we had four years ago when we put our brother in office.” He compared it to ascending to a “CEO position at a white-owned corporate body called the United States of America, without a majority stock hold.” He commented on the high level of overt resentment and opposition President Obama and has received from conservatives.
Farrakhan continued on a rhetorical path to society’s declining moral behavior in general, and in the black community in particular. The minister talked about the prevalence of homosexuality, unhealthy lifestyles and obesity, and sexually explicit content in entertainment. Even the classic faults in Westernized education did not escape Farrakhan’s withering criticism, calling the public school system, “lying in the name of education.” Farrakhan advised those in the audience not to fall for many of the falsehoods presented about black ancestry. “Don’t let them tell you they found your forebears in the jungle, swinging from limbs with bones in their noses,” he said. “The truth is, you have got more bones in your nose and mouth now than you ever had in Africa.”
According to the minister, between 1865 and 1910, African Americans had acquired 60 million acres of land. Today, that number has decreased to a mere 4 million. “A lack of land equals a lack of wealth,” Farrakhan asserted. “I am an architect for a brand new world. I’m a farmer. I’m a scientist of a brand new world.” He pleaded to the students that when it’s time for their graduation, that they shoulder those same responsibilities in order to “build a new reality.”
In fact, he went as far as to say that due to epidemic level issues of intercommunity violence, sexual promiscuity and the significant discrepancy between the education levels of black men and black women, “these days have presented something worse than the darkest days of slavery. We are socially engaged in behavioral conduct that makes you unfit to be recognized in any civilized society.”
Illustrating a solemn point, “The fact of the matter is we are still singing, `We Shall Overcome,’” said Farrakhan. Then through quoting Romans 12:2 in call-and-response fashion, he stated how this situation could be rectified: “Paul said, ‘Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by,’ what?”
“The renewing of your mind,” the audience collectively replied.