Yes..It is the legendary Jim Kelly from "Enter The Dragon"

Ashahed M. Muhammad with the legendary Jim Kelly from the classic movie "Enter the Dragon" after the State of the Black World II in New Orleans, Louisiana on November 23rd 2008.
(Photo by Ansar Muhammad)


Minister Louis Farrakhan, Jeremiah A. Wright and Pres. Elect Barack H. Obama will forever be linked.

Rev. Jeremiah Wright and The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan embrace as Haki Mahdubuti looks on at the Legacy Awards ceremony.
(Photo: Rashid Muhammad)
At the Legacy Awards ceremony held last night by the Institute of the Black World at the State of the Black World II Conference, among those honored were The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan and Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright.

To see both men sitting on the stage together was gratifying and for many of those in attendance, probably surreal. You heard so much about both men during the election cycle as the right wing media tried to use both men to hurt the presidential campaign of Barack H. Obama.

Minister Farrakhan has been demonized by the controlled media for nearly three decades, and Jeremiah Wright got a serious dose of the media's manipulation during this presidential campaign.

These three men will forever be linked when this particular period in the history of Black people is told to future generations. As you know, Pres. Elect Obama had to denounce and reject and repudiate them both but despite that, they are standing strong.

After graciously thanking many of those joining him on the stage, Rev. Wright turned to Minister Farrakhan and delivered special words of thanks and appreciation on behalf of Black people.

“One of many things that the media got angry about back in April is that I would not let them tell me who my friends were, and because the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan is a friend of mine,” said Rev. Wright adding that during the controversy, the Fruit of Islam provided security for him others Nation of Islam members, specifically Jamil Muhammad and Akbar Muhammad stood in support of him.
“And while they were using me as the whipping boy, they were waiting on him (Farrakhan) to say anything. Anything. He held his peace in order that Barack might be our president. My brother, we owe a debt of gratitude that we can never repay.”

The two men then stood, embraced as the crowd of about 400 cheered wildly. Rev. Wright went further into his thoughts and feelings about the presidential election and Barack H. Obama's historic victory in an exclusive interview that I conducted with him shortly after the awards ceremony.

Others present and receiving awards were revolutionary poet Sonia Sanchez, publisher and author Susan Taylor, Haki Mahdubuti, Dr. Maulauna Karenga, activist Willie "Mukasa" Ricks and Dr. Adelaide Sanford.


SOBWC II: The Role of Blacks in the Diaspora in rebuilding and fortifying Africa

The Pan African Policy Forum I: The Role of the Diaspora was an excellent forum with plenty of valuable information shared. Yes, it did start 45 minutes late, but why focus on the negative? (smile)

Moderated by award winning actor and outspoken activist Danny Glover, the forum discussed the role of displaced Africans in helping to build Africa.

This is not a difficult concept to understand. A portion of my forthcoming book "The Black Principle: Prepare to Rule" deals with the fact that Blacks in America can do for Africa exactly what Jews in the United States do for Israel. We can act as a social, economic and political support system that strengthens the diplomatic position of Africa on the world stage.

We can establish powerful and effective lobbying groups that look out for the best interests of our people at home and abroad. Every other group interested in self determination does it and we can too! In fact, it is an imperative. We must do it.

During the forum, Ambassador Dudley Thompson defined the term Diaspora as people of African descent who are not living in Africa and said that all Black people—especially in America—should refocus their thinking on their origins. “Think of yourself as a non-residential African who happens to be livings somewhere else,” said the 92-year old pan-African scholar pointing out that Africa's financial situation keeps it powerless and still victimized by neo-colonialism. “If you are broke, you cannot be free whether you are a man or a country and that even applies to large (African) countries under the control of multi-national corporations,” he added.

If you have ever been to a town hall meeting involving Black people, you know that it can turn into an emotional gripe session and once leaving, nothing new has come about. This forum had the potential to devolve into that until Amb. Thompson hit the crowd hard and said "We need to stop agonizing and start organizing."

Dr. Ron Daniels said, "You can have unity without uniformity." This is undeniably true. As long as the same worldview and objective is shared unity can be achieved. This is what is commonly referred to as "operational unity." White people and other ethnic groups practice it regularly. Black people do not. The time is now for this to change.

Taking in information at the forum were the legendary Dr. Conrad Worrill, our great scholar warrior Dr. Leonard Jeffries and his wife Dr. Rosalind Jeffries Elder Willie "Mukasa" Ricks, radio talk show host Mark Thompson (a.k.a. Matsimela Mapfumo)

In addition to Ghana that has offered dual citizenship to Blacks in the Diaspora, a panelist mentioned that if you obtain a DNA test and it shows that your roots are in Sierra Leone, they will grant you a passport and declare you a citizen of that African nation. Want to know more?


The State of the Black World II is off to a great start!

The State of The Black World II Conference in New Orleans began with a Town Hall Meeting held at the Ernest Morial Convention Center on Thursday evening.

As I rode into the city, passing the New Orleans Superdome on my way to my hotel downtown, it was moving to actually see the place where so many of our people suffered during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005. I remembered seeing the vivid images of mothers asking for food and water for their small babies, elderly with a terrified look of panic, and others with an empty and dazed look on their faces.

The scenes at the Superdome reminded me of what we sometimes see on the faces of mothers and their children in parts of Africa affected by drought or famine, or perhaps in India after the tsunami.

The people are gone, the images, tragic memories and problems still remain.

The great irony is that it appears as if the downtown area- like most urban downtown areas appears to be built up with hotels and businesses, and the French Quarter is still a constant party, however, a majority of those displaced by Katrina are still in other areas, primarily Atlanta, GA and Houston, TX, because they are still unable to return to their old neighborhoods because the homes have not been rebuilt and the services in many areas are still uninhabitable some three years later.

Why couldn't some of the wealthy Black businessmen and women across the country unite and rebuild affordable housing for those displaced by Katrina?

Several hundred attended the town hall meeting and heard comments from Marc Morial who served as New Orleans mayor from 1994-2002, president of Bennett College, Dr. Julianne Malveaux, and political scientists Dr. Ron Walters, pan-Africanist activist Mtangulizi Sanyika was also on the panel. The discussion was moderated by radio hosts Bev Smith and Mark Thompson.

I will be bringing you the latest on the "Pan African Policy Forum" taking place later today featuring award winning actor Danny Glover as well as main session tonight dealing with "The Future of the Black Freedom Movement: A New Generation of Leadership."

Spotted at the conference: Rev. Jeremiah Wright, African affairs commentator and radio talk show host Akbar Muhammad, the Nation of Islam's Jamil Muhammad and hip-hop journalist Davy-D.
(I know you are wondering, Rev. Wright was not making media comments, however, he received a tremendous amount of love and greetings. He appeared in good spirits, and was gracious enough for a few photos. The above photo was taken by The Final Call's very own Jesse Muhammad.)

Any questions or comments, let me know.


The State of the Black World II Conference in New Orleans, LA Nov. 19-23

Sponsored by the Institute of the Black World and themed "Return to the Source: Restoring Family, Rebuilding Community, Renewing the Struggle" the State of the Black World II Conference will be held in New Orleans, LA Nov.19-23.

Speakers confirmed by SOBW II organizers include Bev Smith, syndicated talk show host on the American Urban Radio Networks; Rev. Al Sharpton, president of the National Action Network; Dr. Julianne Malveaux, president of Bennett College; Marc Morial, president/CEO of the National Urban League; Rev. Jesse L. Jackson, president of the National Rainbow/PUSH Coalition; Rep. John Conyers, Jr., dean of the Congressional Black Caucus and chair of the House Judiciary Committee; Dr. Elsie Scott, president/CEO of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation; Dr. Maulana Karenga, creator of Kwanzaa and professor of Africana Studies and chairman of Black Studies at California State University at Long Beach; Dr. Ronald Walters, professor of government and politics at the University of Maryland; Charles Ogletree, Harvard Law professor; and Danny Glover, actor and humanitarian.

The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan is slated to deliver the keynote address closing out the conference on Sunday, Nov.23 at The Morial Convention Center: 900 Convention Blvd. New Orleans, LA.

For information on workshop schedules and accomodations visit http://www.ibw21.org/


Obama resigns from Senate, meets w/ vanquished Republican rival McCain on Mon. Nov.17

President-elect Barack H. Obama at a press conference on the campaign trail.
Photo: Leila Khaled

Below is a statement from President-elect Barack Obama announcing his resignation from Senate:

"It has been one of the highest honors and privileges of my life to have served the people of Illinois in the United States Senate. In a state that represents the crossroads of a nation, I have met so many men and women who've taken different journeys, but hold common hopes for their children's future.
It is these Illinois families and their stories that will stay with me as I leave the United States Senate and begin the hard task of fulfilling the simple hopes and common dreams of all Americans as our nation's next President," said President-elect Barack Obama.

Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich will appoint Obama’s replacement. Names circulating and said to be under consideration are Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., Rep. Luis Gutierrez, Tammy Duckworth, head of the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs and Emil Jones, retiring president of the Illinois state Senate and Barack Obama’s mentor.

Obama's Senate Office remains open for a period of time, not to exceed 60 days after his resignation. According to his presidential transition office, many loose administrative ends and some archiving will take place during that time.


Details of Riz Khan's interview with Farrakhan on Al-Jazeera today, Nov. 13

Today, Nov. 13, Riz Khan speaks to one of the most influential voices in black America, Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan.

Watch the show live at 2030 GMT, with repeats at 0030 GMT and 0530 GMT.
Live @ 3:30pm Eastern 2:30pm Central 1:00pm Mountain 12:30 Pacific

Re-runs 4 hour later and 9 hours later

You can watch Al-Jazeera live over the Internet by using the LiveStation Internet TV Player.

The player is available for download @ http://www.finalcall.com/absolutenl/t.aspx?n=200&l=298

Install the LiveStation player and you will be set.


Farrakhan congratulates President-elect Barack Obama

CHICAGO—After nine months of silence regarding the historic presidential campaign of Sen. Barack Obama, the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan spoke the words that many have been waiting to hear him say.

“Congratulations are absolutely in order for President-elect Barack Obama,” said Min. Farrakhan as the crowd erupted in cheers and applause during his opening remarks on Nov.9 at Mosque Maryam, the international headquarters of the Nation of Islam.

Addressing a national and international media contingent and thousands viewing live via webcast, Min. Farrakhan answered many questions and ended a great deal of speculation surrounding his views on President-elect Barack Obama’s political ascendancy and the future of America.

“What happened (on Nov. 4) has energized the entire world of man and mankind in a way that has never been seen before in the history of political elections in the United States of America or anywhere else in those nations that are committed to the principles of democracy.”

Min. Farrakhan forbade all of his ministers from commenting on the presidential election after several statements during his February 2008 Saviours’ Day keynote address titled “The Gods at War” were deliberately taken out of context by some media outlets and other right wing political operatives in an attempt to cause mischief in hopes of sabotaging Mr. Obama’s presidential aspirations.

Dressed in dazzling bejeweled crimson and gold robes, Min. Farrakhan said he felt and saw the “oneness of spirit” that he has neither seen nor felt since the Million Man March in 1995 while watching the 250,000 people at Grant Park in Chicago celebrating this momentous occasion in the history of America on Election Day.
For a limited time, the free webcast can be viewed here http://www.noi.org/webcast/ and full coverage will be available in this week's editon of The Final Call.
(Photo - Kenneth Muhammad, The Final Call)


Farrakhan Speaks on Nov. 9th 2008. Subject: "America's New Beginning; President-Elect Barack Obama"

"America's New Beginning; President-Elect Barack Obama"

The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan will deliver a major international address live from the national headquarters of the Nation of Islam, Mosque Maryam in Chicago, IL., on November 9th at 10AM Central Time.
The title of his address is: "America's New Beginning; President-Elect Barack Obama."
Minister Farrakhan's address will be his first public comments since the historic election of President-Elect Barack Obama and will be carried live via webcast at: http://noi.org/webcast/.


The American Electorate Again Rejects the Presidential Candidate with More Military Credentials

I think it is important to note that the American electorate continues to vote against the presidential candidate with the most military service and record of accomplishments.

In 1996, Republican presidential candidate Bob Dole (U.S. Army 1942-1948 receiving Two Bronze Stars, and Two Purple Hearts) lost to Democrat Bill Clinton.

In 2000, Democratic presidential candidate Al Gore (U.S. Army 1969-1971 during the Vietnam War) was defeated by Republican George W. Bush.

In 2004, Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry (U.S. Navy 1968-1972 during the Vietnam War receiving a Silver Star, a Bronze Star and Three Purple Hearts) was defeated by Republican George W. Bush.

In 2008, Republican presidential candidate John McCain (U.S. Navy - Aviation Division 1958-1981) was defeated by Democrat Barack H. Obama.

Reflections on Mr. Barack H. Obama's Historic and Successful 2008 Presidential Campaign

Congratulations to Mr. Barack H. Obama
The 44th President of the United States of America*

(Photo: Ashahed M. Muhammad)

*As a point of clarity, when he takes the Oath of Office on Jan. 20, 2009, Mr. Obama will become the 44th President of the United States of America. Technically, GWB (Guns, War and Bloodshed a.k.a George W. Bush) remains President of the United States until that date.

One of my personal historic moments from the Obama campaign.

Here are some photos I took of President-elect Barack H. Obama on July 15, 2007. He spoke at the Vernon Park Church of God on the South Side of Chicago and afterwards, held a press conference.

At the time, he was trailing Sen. Hillary Clinton in the polls. For the most part, many (including the mainstream media) had bought into the "inevitability" narrative advanced by the Clinton campaign.

The reality of the matter was that his campaign had just begun to pick up steam. In fact, the Obama campaign had just announced a couple of weeks earlier on July 1 that his campaign raised $33 million during the second quarter of 2007, compared to $27 million for Clinton.

Sen. Obama was circumspect and pragmatic in his approach to many of the politically nuanced issues emerging as the main topics of the presidential election for both Democrats and Republicans. As the members of the press asked him questions, he was composed and clearly articulated his views.

(Photo: Ashahed M. Muhammad)

Concerning the War on Iraq he said:

"There are no good options in Iraq at this point. There are bad options and worse options. I think the worst option would be to perpetuate our current military occupation there having our troops on the ground. They have become a magnet for terrorist activity, they are fanning the flames of anti-American sentiment and they are taking pressure off the Iraqi factions to come together and arrive at a peaceful accord."

Now, with an overwhelming landslide victory in the Electoral College, a healthy majority of the popular vote, a Democratic majority in the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate, he should have the opportunity to make his vision a reality.

Here is a link to the article I filed after Obama's July 15th speech and press conference: http://www.finalcall.com/artman/publish/article_3789.shtml