Moving Black Youth Forward with Deric Muhammad's Project Forward Initiative

(Source: Houston Forward Times) When President Barack Obama uttered those words at the launch of his new initiative, "My Brother’s Keeper," he did so with the intent of helping ensure boys and young men of color in the United States have the opportunity to reach their full potential. That of course, includes African American young boys.
Prior to this exciting new initiative by President Obama, another powerful initiative had already been functioning and has been making tangible differences in the lives of young Black males all across the Greater Houston area. That initiative is called Project Forward.
Founded by Deric Muhammad, Project Forward is a program, with a mission to unify Black men and boys by pumping life into existing organizations and creating a platform for new and budding young leadership in the African American community across the Greater Houston area.
According to Deric Muhammad, Project Forward is focused on empowering the African American community by embracing virtues within the community such as; Each One-Teach One, Respect for Life, Supporting Black Businesses, Circulating the Black Dollar, Embracing Education and Organizing for Justice. It is the "one-on-one" mentoring of young Black boys that is a critical component to the initiative.
One of the major aspects of Project Forward is the Little League Off-Road Team. The Little League Off-Road Team, which is headed up by Bruce Jackson, has become an exciting new way to mentor young Black males and provide them with an alternative to the streets.
"I had never thought about incorporating this component into Project Forward, until Bruce brought the idea to us and had so much passion about what he was doing," said Muhammad. "I had never seen a dirt racetrack in the back of a grown man’s home, so when I saw it for the first time, I was blown away. Taking active young boys on a race track to play with sophisticated off-road vehicles and teaching them to repair it when it breaks down is a skill they will never lose."
Jackson, 37, is an entrepreneur and made sure that when he built his new house in the neighborhood he moved to, that it would have to have a custom-built dirt race track in the backyard, because he wanted the kids in the neighborhood to have something to do and stay out of trouble. Jackson always had a passion to reach young kids by giving them the opportunity to race cars, because it is what kept him out of trouble as he was dealing with some serious personal and family issues. [READ MORE]


[Audio Replay] Discussing The Teachings 2.0 Twitter Book and The #FarrakhanTwitterArmy on Muhammad On The Move Blog Talk Show

On April 12, I was a guest on Muhammad On The Move Blog Talk Radio Show with hosts Troy Muhammad & Sultan Rae Al-Khaliq Shabazz. We discussed the birth of the increasingly popular book, "The Teachings 2.0: The Twitter Sayings of The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan." We also dialogued on the impact of the #FarrakhanTwitterArmy, social media and more. 

Also, you can join the #FarrakhanTwitterArmy every Saturday at 6pm CST as we Re-watch, Tweet and Discuss "The Time and What Must Be Done" series by Minister Farrakhan. 

Photos: The family of Alfred Wright, New Black Panther Party lead national rally for justice in Jasper

On Monday, April 7th, the family of Alfred Wright, the New Black Panther Party and a host of other supporting organizations, hosted a National Rally for Justice for Alfred Wright. The rally took place at the Texas Rangers office in Jasper, Texas. This was the second rally of its kind since Wright’s untimely death in November. Wright disappeared on November 7th and was later found by his father, Rev. Douglas Wright and an independent search team in an area previously searched by local authorities. The first rally took place in February in Hemphill, in Sabine County, Texas, where the crime occurred and the first links of a cover up in the investigation of the crime surfaced. All photos by Gloria Rubac.


Minister Louis Farrakhan weighs in on missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370

During his weekly Facebook #FarrakhanFridays question and answer chat on April 11, 2014, The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan responded to a question from one of his fans regarding the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370.

"There is no evidence yet that the plane is in the depth of the Indian Ocean. It could be, but there may be another explanation that those knowledgeable ones, that have satellite knowledge of things, are afraid to say what they see, or what they know," Min. Farrakhan posted.

Click here to read his full response and see how people responded: Minister Farrakhan weighs in on Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370



A Message in The Music: New Orleans forum unites Hip-Hop artists to discuss its power and influence

(Hip-Hop Artist Sess 4-5, Student Minister Willie Muhammad and Radio Personality Wild Wayne stand in unity at the recent A Message in The Music discussion on April 7, 2014. Photo: Video screenshot)

New Orleans, La. - Muhammad Mosque No. 46 partnered with members of the local Hip-Hop community to host an event focusing on the power of the Hip-Hop artists on the youth of today.

"During Saviours' Day, while watching the documentary about the Honorable Louis Farrakhan's life, I was thinking about what I can do when I returned to my city to further the work. When the footage showing the Minister interacting with the Hip-Hop artists showed, it triggered something in my mind. The idea was very clear," stated Student Minister Willie Muhammad of Muhammad Mosque No. 46. "Once home I reached out to one of the stalwarts of the local Hip-Hop community here in New Orleans, Wild Wayne, brother was immediately receptive."

Wild Wayne and Hip-Hop artist Sess 4-5 host two monthly Industry Influence, one in New Orleans and another in Mississippi. Industry Influence provides a platform for upcoming and established artists to showcase their talent and provide artists with opportunities to learn the business side of the industry via panel discussions and guests speakers. Together, Wayne and Sess have held a total of 77. In addition to hosting Industry Influence, Wayne also is a radio personality on the most popular radio station in the Crescent City.

On Sunday, Wild Wayne has a show that is dedicated to playing the music of local artists. A portion of that Sunday night show is geared to playing music that contains political and social commentary. The segment of the show is called A Message in the Music. It was under that theme that the gathering which took place on April 7th was held.

New Orleans Radio Personality Wild Wayne

“I thought the "Message In The Music" session was a great start. Many positive seeds were laid but they must be continuously watered. I really appreciated the spoken words by Bro Peteh, the music selection by Governor Reiss and words of Min. Willie Muhammad,” stated Wild Wayne.

The gathering began with a powerful performance from Governor Reiss, an up and coming New Orleans artist, who performed his hit, "Gun Violence". After his touching performance, popular hometown poet Brother Peteh Haroon Muhammad performed his soul stirring poem, "Born & Raised on New Orleans Water."

After their performances, Student Minister Willie Muhammad came up to give his thought provoking talk about how Hip-Hop artists are the leaders of this current generation of young people.

Nation of Islam Student Minister Willie Muhammad

"There are brothers in our mosque who have done what many rappers are rapping about. I have heard these brothers talk about how hearing the words of the Honorable Louis Farrakhan moved them to flush a kilo of cocaine down the toilet, put down the gun and leave criminal lifestyles. So when I heard the Honorable Louis Farrakhan say that one effective rap song is worth more than a thousand of his lectures, that statement seriously caught my attention. For a man whom God is using to transform the lives of many to say that about your music: What does that say about your power?," asked the young Student Minister.

He went on to share with those in attendance what the Honorable Louis Farrakhan says about their power and influence. One of those in attendance was Hip-Hop artist and producer Chase N. Cashe. Brother Cashe, who is a New Orleans native, produced a track on Drake's Grammy award winning sophomore album Take Care.

“It was a beautiful and revealing sight to see Hip-Hop brothers and sisters standing and enjoying the positive exchange alongside men and woman dressed in suits and garments. I enjoyed the message that was delivered as well,” stated Cashe, who became aware of the meeting via Twitter.
New Orleans Hip-Hop Artist and Producer Chase N. Cashe

After Brother Muhammad's talk, attendees were given the opportunity to speak. Chase spoke about the need to not blame rappers. Local artists Busy B spoke about the power of rap and Mike Ellis Speaks, who owns a record label and drove from Mississippi, spoke about how he was inspired by the Honorable Louis Farrakhan from his years as a 19 year old.

Members of the M.G.T. & F.O.I. of Muhammad Mosque No. 46 were present. The F.O.I. distributed, in addition to The Final Call newspaper, folders which contained a lecture by the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan to Hip-Hop artists along with articles talking about the exploitation of Hip-Hop music.

"The goal of the gathering was to inform the artists about their power and the position of leadership their power has placed them in. From the responses I received immediately after and even up to now has me to believe that the efforts of Wayne, Sess and myself were successful," stated Brother Muhammad.

New Orleans Hip-Hop artist Sess 4-5

"This was a great effort and I believe we achieved the purpose of the night. After the first five minutes I was able to see the great potential of the sessions. We must continue to unite so we can feed the people,” stated Sess 4-5, who is also the owner of the only Black-owned record store in New Orleans.

 To view highlights of the Message in the Music event click below:

Tragedy at Fort Hood: Will violence increase as more war weary veterans return?

(FinalCall.com) - The mental and emotional toll of combat from America’s wars in Afghanistan and Iraq on military service personnel is once again center stage after the latest shooting by an Army specialist on a U.S. military base. Army Specialist Ivan Lopez, 34, has been identified as the gunman in the April 2 shooting that left four dead and 16 wounded, including the shooter in Fort Hood, Texas. Investigators are blaming unstable mental health as a fundamental cause of the shooting.

But Spc. Ivan Lopez’ actions have spun America into yet another national debate on gun violence when the dialogue belongs on quality mental health treatment in the military, argue activists.
Veterans’ advocates and activists say the incessant refusal by some politicians and corporate media to acknowledge the untreated mental illness soldiers experience during and after war combat feeds the violent fall-out caused by wars undergirded by America’s foreign policy.

An Army truck driver from Puerto Rico, Spc. Lopez was undergoing treatment for depression and anxiety while being evaluated for post-traumatic stress disorder, base officials said.

Mr. Lopez walked into a base building around 4 p.m., April 2 and began firing a .45-caliber semi-automatic pistol. He then got into a vehicle and continued shooting before entering another building on the Army post. He eventually was confronted by military police in a parking lot, Lt. Gen. Mark Milley, senior officer at the nation’s largest Army base, said.

As he came within 20 feet of a police officer, Mr. Lopez put his hands up but then reached under his jacket and pulled out his gun. The officer drew her own weapon, and the suspect put his gun to his head and pulled the trigger a final time, Lt. Gen. Milley said.

“When it happened, I thought this was again the ghosts of the Iraq War showing themselves and I look at this in terms of the beginning of more of the problems we’ll see emerging since the Iraq War ended,” said Michael Prysner, an Iraq War veteran with the ANSWER (Act Now to End War and Racism) Coalition.  He advocates for better health treatment for veterans. [Read More]


Photos: The Teachings 2.0 Book and Social Media Seminar Tour Successfully Kicks Off In Phoenix

(All Photos courtesy of Hannibal Muhammad Photography)

by Brother Jesse Muhammad

The response has been overwhelmingly positive toward the release of the book "The Teachings 2.0: The Twitter Sayings of The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan." Please read the review posted by Ashahed M. Muhammad on his blog.

In an effort to further spread the book, conduct social media seminars and share my experiences working with Minister Farrakhan and the Farrakhan Twitter Army, I have embarked upon a national tour. It was inspired by the love, dedication and work ethic of Minister Farrakhan, who is the hardest working human being I have ever witnessed in my life. He said "Let's get this work in," so, I just can't sit around on my hands!

The Teaching 2.0 Book and Social Media Tour kicked off on March 28-30th in Phoenix, Arizona. With the backing and assistance of the local student laborers, Brother Hannibal Muhammad served as lead host of the tour stop. On Friday, March 28, I accompanied local Student Minister Charles Muhammad and other members of the mosque to a Black and Latino Race Relation Symposium at Arizona State University. It featured famous actor Edward James Olmos and scholar/activist Lasana Hotep.

On Saturday, March 29, the social media seminar and book presentation was held at George Gervin Prep Academy thanks to Sis. Dorrana Muhammad, who works at the school. We had a wonderful audience. The first portion involved me presenting about the evolution of social media, the impact of Minister Farrakhan's presence on social media and the on-going impact, development and expansion of The Farrakhan Twitter Army. I then taught the fundamentals of Twitter. Then Brother Hannibal spoke on how to use Facebook and Instagram properly and the keys to social media branding. All of this was taught according to what I call The Farrakhan Social Media Playbook. Many may not like to include Minister Farrakhan and The Farrakhan Twitter Army in the "Black Twitter" discussion, but there is no denying that he has guided us to have a historic impact within the last year.

The second portion of the program involved me speaking about the making of The Teachings 2.0 book and some of my countless blessed personal experiences working with Minister Farrakhan the past few years. As I shared my testimonies regarding his work ethic, character, loving heart, etc, many shed tears and thanked me for being so open in being a witness bearer of him. At the conclusion, people bought copies of the book and I humbly autographed copies for those who requested. I was presented with a gift from Bro. Hannibal and Sis. Traci Cushmeer.

On Sunday, March 29, Student Min. Charles Muhammad afforded me the blessed and humbling opportunity to get on The Witness Stand and deliver the keynote address. For about an hour I spoke on “The Time And What Must Be Done: Are You A Witness or A Weed (Tare)?” Again, as I shared my personal experiences of being in Minister Farrakhan's presence and working with him, tears starting falling from the eyes of audience members. The feedback from everyone was so inspiring to me to keep on getting on the witness stand, to become an even stronger witness of what I have seen being a servant of Minister Farrakhan.

At the conclusion of the Sunday meeting, the mosque hosted another book signing for those who were unable to attend on Saturday. And we sold out of all of the copies I had left! The spirit was extremely high. This definitely was not a vacation! Phoenix was indeed a beautiful kick off to the tour. I thank Allah for you for allowing me this blessed opportunity to serve.

Next Stop: Charlotte, North Carolina on April 19. To keep up with the tour visit http://brotherjesse.com/tour.html.