On Thursday, April 22, I accompanied my older sibling Brother Deric Muhammad during a visit to Forest Brook Middle School located in Northeast Houston.
This was a homecoming for the both of us.
Originally this campus was Forest Brook Senior High School--a place where Bro. Deric used to wreck havoc on teachers and administrators. He eventually graduated in the late 80's and nearly ten years later I graduated from the same school. But we did not have the same type of grades. (smile)
The district is considered one of the worse in the state of Texas and the expectations of anyone doing something great out of the neighborhood gets slimmer and slimmer. But we beat the odds just like others. This campus went through a lot of turmoil after being hit by a severe hurricane years ago, so the district has been juggling what to do with the facility. The facility is now a combination of students from Kirby Middle School and Oak Village Middle School along with courses offered on the third floor from Houston Community College.
On this particular day, Bro. Deric was invited to be a keynote speaker for the 7th Grade Honors Day Program. As I sat in the back and took photos, I smiled because I remember this same speaker having to go to night school during his senior year so he could get a cap and gown. This is the same speaker who was known for starting fights at the former Club Gucci's just a few blocks away at Homestead and Parker Rd.
Neither those students nor the teachers fully knew what they were looking at but of course I did--a resurrected man. My big brother.
He mounted the podium and started off his talk by reading a motivational poem he wrote for the students. (Note: He was once a rapper who went by the stage name Xodus)
Then he took the microphone and began to walk the stage to get closer to the young audience. In only 15 minutes he reached the minds of the students more effectively than many who may speak for two hours.
"How many of you like Lil Wayne? How many of you like Nicki Minaj? How many of you all like Barack Obama?” asked Bro. Deric, as all hands went up in the air.
"Well, I want you to be so great that Lil Wayne will want to meet you one day. Be so great that Nicki Minaj will want to meet you. Be so great that Barack Obama will want to meet you. But you have to think big!" said Bro. Deric.
It was done. Short and effective.
I am proud of my brother.
P.S: Whenever a member of the Nation of Islam is invited to speak at a school, people tend to be on pins and needles because they fear the backlash from those who call us a hate group. Thank you Forest Brook Middle School for not being afraid. We don't teach hate, we teach truth. But look at what a recent MSNBC report out of Little Rock is saying about our brilliant Student Minister Nuri Muhammad in this article More Investigation into LRSD's Hall High. We won't stop no matter what the media says about us. We love our people.
(So if you're unafraid, please invite Brother Deric to speak at your school by sending an email to email@example.com)