The Honorable Louis Farrakhan of the Nation of Islam was presented with a plaque on Tuesday for his tremendous leadership within the African-American community.
The Howard University Student Association and the Student Council of the John H. Johnson School of Communications were responsible for the event that took place in Cramton Auditorium and was attended by over 650 students.
Minister Farrakhan rallied for student participation in his upcoming Millions More Movement. The monumental effort is scheduled to begin on Friday, October 14 with a day of absence from school or work, a gathering on the National Mall on Saturday, and on the final day, Sunday, a call to worship.
Farrakhan took the opportunity to stress the impotance of education, one of 10 focal points for the Movement, and knowing one’s history. His mission is that the Movement "will develop a new, independent educational paradigm for our people.We must have a knowledge of self, our history, and the best education in civilized society. We will build a skills bank, the talent of which will be used in the development of our people.”
He went on to say that, "If you don’t know what you did, then you are unsure of what you are capable of doing. There is a disconnect among the young people today from the pain and suffering that your grandparents knew. "
The he asked "What happens in a racist society that always wants to keep the children of the slaves in disciplines that do not challenge white supremacy?”
Repeating a story from "The Biography of Malcolm X" and one about himself, Farrakhan pointed out in each case teachers asked the young boys what they wanted to be?" A lawyer and doctor were the responses. The teachers discouraged them from those aspirations, emphasizing that blacks would never trust their skills and whites would never hire them, and guided them toward becoming a carpenter instead.
“You are more than singers, dancers, and athletes,” said Farrakhan, “The world is not run by entertainers and athletes. The world is run by those proficient in mathematics, science, and engineering.”
He cautioned students not to be frivolous during this important time but to seek out their purpose in life. “Some people will tell you that you are getting an education to get a good job so you can drive a nice car, buy a big house,” he said, "but that’s the material side.”
“You get an education because it is only knowledge that separates man from beast. There is a scheme to destroy the ambition of young Black men and women leadership," he said.
The Minister spoke briefly on society’s emphasis on sex..He told the women that the more clothing they removed, the harder it was for men to handle it. He said that a civilization is measured by its women, not its men and that their essential to the future of the race.
Lastly, Farrakhan encouraged the Christian and Muslim communities to go over to the D.C. Armory and offer their homes to the familes that are now staying there because of Hurricane Katrina.