Last Wednesday evening, I was in attendance at Mosque #22 in Wilkinsburg as a participant in a lesson plan titled “Message To The Black Man” which was authored by the Hon. Elijah Muhammad. As I read, I was reminded of the many similarities between the Christian churches and the Nation of Islam and many other Black leaders such as Marcus Garvey, etc.
A number of present day ministers have accused the Nation of Islam of being racist, separatist, Black Nationalist, Black Supremacy, etc., but if they were more cognizant of the history of the Black church of my youth they would have had great difficulty being able to recognize one from the other.
If you recall those Christian ministers of all denominations during those years, Methodist, Baptist, Pentecostal, Presbyterian, etc., were the forerunners of that which the Nation of Islam teaches.
The Black churches built Black schools and colleges, taught us that we were somebody, no better but just as good, and encouraged us to be the best.
The Black church instilled in us a sense of responsibility for self and family. There was a great focus on being a businessperson, being self-employed. They helped us to understand the importance of our history and reminded us that our heritage did not originate from slavery, but from a continent where we were kings and queens, and put a special emphasis on the established fact that we were the originators of medicine, mathematics and builders of the great pyramids. Yes, it was long before the ‘60s that the Black church made us understand that we were BLACK AND PROUD.
In the same period of time across this country there were powerful credible voices of Black men and women, people who were honored, respected, listened to and we responded, but today the voices are silent. YES, WE HAVE GROWN SILENT, WHY? Is it the fear of having our 501C3 MONEY CUT?
Aesop stated that if we are to be free and become what we ought to be, we must cease going through life with our hands outstretched and our palms facing upward.
I was engaged in a conversation with four college-educated Black men and they were discussing why “they” won’t help us acquire a Radio station. My response was who is “they” and why should they help us with a radio Station? It makes more sense to me that you form a corporation and sell stock, particularly to those of us who recognize the overwhelming importance of the Black communities having a Radio voice presence.
Once upon a time we had a strong sense of Black Pride and if we are to regain control it is imperative that we must go back to that which worked yesterday.
Kingsley Association still needs your financial support.
(Louis “Hop” Kendrick is a weekly contributor to the Forum Page.)