Friday, November 18, 2011

Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan Talked Agriculture at Prairie View A&M University

The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan, leader of the Nation of Islam addressed a capacity audience in a special program on November 9 at Prairie View A&M University. The event, sponsored by the Office of Cultural Series in the Division of Student Affairs, drew more than 5,000 patrons in two venues.

Minister Farrakhan in his opening statement expressed thanks to the Prairie View Family for having him on the campus. “It’s been twenty-three years ago that I was on this campus and I am glad that you invited me back. You see for the pa twenty years there was a ploy to keep speakers like me from talking to college students. But tonight you showed America that education is not only from the text boos,” Farrakhan stated.

The decision to invite Minister Farrakhan to campus was based on request from several students and faculty. According to the S.P.I.T. (Students Participating In Transcending Knowledge) Coordinator Isis McCraw, the university is a place for intellectual discussions and the program is designed to raise consciousness and inquisitiveness, such as presented by Minister Farrakhan.

Farrakhan spoke of the need for the Prairie View A&M University students and the community to focus on growing its own food and taking care of their health. “It’s a doggone shame that you have some 1,500 acres at your hands and you are not making use of the land. God is not pleased with that picture,” Farrakhan scolded.

In previous years Prairie View A&M University produced most of the vegetables and poultry it used in the cafeteria. In the past twenty-five years the university shifted its emphasis on produce and focused on cattle and goats as a mainstay for its programs.

Minister Farrakhan’s presentation was not the fiery brand he’s noted for but his message was just as prudent and in-your-face as ever. At one point the minister asked for a show of hands of the students studying agriculture, which turned out to be minimal. He said he was not mad at the small showing because he understood. ‘Black folks have an aversion to farming as a result of what the ancestors endured on the plantations during slavery and reconstruction. “I understand your feelings but remember God gave you this earth to be fruitful and multiply, and he’s not making any more land,” he emphasized to a thunderous applause. He even suggested that students majoring in social work and sociology ought to change to agriculture.

The minister also schooled the students on respect for women, each other and the elders. “You are in an educational institution with all the learned men and women, so stop acting up and do your work, graduate and become a productive citizen,” he concluded.

According to reports and statistics, Minister Farrakhan’s leadership is the catalyst for the growth and development of Islam in America. Founded in 1930 by Master Fard Muhammad and led to prominence from 1934 to 1975 by the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, the Nation of Islam continues to positively impact the quality of life in America.

Minister Louis Farrakhan, born on May 11, 1933 in Bronx, N.Y., was reared in a highly disciplined and spiritual household in Roxbury, Massachusetts. Raised by his mother, a native of St. Kitts, Louis and his brother Alvan learned early the value of work, responsibility and intellectual development. He became a member of the Nation in 1955 after attending the Islam’s Saviors’ Day convention led by the Honorable Elijah Muhammad. He’s been the leader of the nation since 1979.

At 78 years of age, Minister Farrakhan still maintains a grueling work schedule. He has been welcomed in a countless number of churches, sharing pulpits with Christian ministers from a variety of denominations, which has demonstrated the power of the unity of those who believe in the One God. He has addressed diverse organizations, been received in many Muslim countries as a leading Muslim thinker and teacher, and been welcomed throughout Africa, the Caribbean and Asia as a champion in the struggle for freedom, justice and equality.

This visit to the campus marked Mr. Farrakhan’s second appearance at Prairie View A&M University. In 1986 more than four thousand students, community leaders and others packed the Baby Dome as it was called then to hear the fiery speaker deliver his charge for Black Empowerment.

Minister Farrakhan has had many successes with the Nation of Islam including the creation of The Final Call, an internationally circulated newspaper, similar The Muhammad Speaks. He is most remembered for creating and hosting the 1995 Million Man March on Washington, D.C., which drew nearly two million men. Minister Farrakhan was inspired to call the March out of his concern over the negative image of Black men perpetuated by the media and movies. The March enshrined October 16 as a Holy Day of Atonement, Reconciliation and Responsibility.

In January 2007, the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan underwent a major 14-hour pelvic exenteration. In just a few weeks, and as a testament to the healing power of God, Minister Farrakhan stood on stage at Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan on February 25, 2007 to deliver the first of several speeches that year with the theme "One Nation Under God."

The minister concluded his message and then visited the overflow crowd in the Memorial Student Center Auditorium to personally express his thanks for their participation.

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