One Reason Why I Cannot Say Black Leadership is DEAD

(The following op-ed is by Student Minister Willie Muhammad of Muhammad Mosque No. 46 in New Orleans, Louisiana)

From what I know of Kevin Powell, from following his career over the years I believe he is a genuine brother who really has a concern for the Black community. However, I disagree with his opinion expressed in his article titled, “Is Black Leadership DEAD?” in the October issue of Ebony.

I am not of those who believe that Black leadership is dead and one of the major reasons why I do not feel this way is because of the leadership of the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan. For over 50 years the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan has given his all even at the expense of his family and health to better the condition of Black people here in America and those around the world.

Over the years the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan has put forward national agendas with solutions addressing many of the ills that Black America is currently still suffering from despite there being a Black president in the Oval Office. It was the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan who traveled all throughout America drawing attention to the plight of Black males and this senseless gun violence that is claiming the lives of young men today. How many has he helped to prevent from being part of those statistics? The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan has also made several attempts to unite Black leaders and organizations; encouraging them to come together in a collective manner to help chart a future for our people.

At the Historic Million Man March the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan proposed the development of an economic fund, part of which would be used to help free up Black organizations from others who use their philanthropy as a means to control these organizations, which has been one of the greatest hindrances to Black leadership. In nearly every lecture the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan delivers he proposes visionary ideas that Black leadership can come together and create national and local agendas out of. I have witnessed the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan throw his support (physically and financially) and influence behind the agendas and movements of others. This shows he is not moved by a desire to be in the limelight, but rather a deep love to see our people in a better condition. It’s a shame that some in America over look his leadership, when world leaders outside of America see the value in the leadership of the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan. I can go on an on, but the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan’s history and leadership speaks for itself.

What needs to be placed in the dead category is the envy, jealousy, pride, cowardice and arrogance that exists among Black leadership and Black organizations that hinders a unified effort. Which has also hindered them from walking with the Minister. What also needs to be placed in the dead category is this arrogance amongst the younger generation of potential leaders. This arrogance is what prevents them from seeking the counsel of those elders who have been fighting this battle before many of us were even born. As a people we have a romanticism with leaders who are no longer here. Yet, we fail to support those who are in our midst right now in a meaningful way.

As a people we are really sick. We criticize, critique and find fault in those on the front line before we offer to them our expertise, skills, knowledge and support free of doubt and suspicion. I searched the internet looking for articles where members of other ethnic groups have declared that their leadership is dead and I could not find one, but when it comes to us, we find numerous articles written mainly by us expressing these sentiments. When are we as a people going to stop tearing down our own leadership? When will we as a people acknowledge that we have failed to fully commit ourselves to any agendas that have been put before us by Black leaders of the past and the present? As a result we have added to our own suffering today. As a people we have had leaders who if they were born in other societies and during other time periods, they would have been regarded as prophets and written in the history books next to some of the great freedom fighters.

The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan is here and is continuing the fight that many in the past stood for. Lets not overlook this valuable human being in our midst who is a leader and much more.


  1. While I think it is great to point out the wonderful things that Minister Farrakhan has/is doing I think his greatest mark of being a TRUE leader is that he has duplicated himself. And that's the difference. Most of our so-called black leaders stop at themselves and you don't see them producing an army of leaders. Leaders don't make followers, they produce leaders.

    And i must say that Brother Jesse is a great example of what Minister Farrakhan has/is/can/will produce with our young men and women. i'm not a Muslim but I'm a fan of Brother Jesse...thus I applaud Farrakhan

    As for the rest of these jokers...they are DEAD

  2. Great piece by Willie Muhammad. I don't think Kevin Powell was trying to diss Farrakhan but I don't agree with placing Farrakhan and Jesse Jackson in the same category.....and I think we all can agree on that.

  3. Hands down, who has a track record like Minister Farrakhan? Not just Black, but White, hispanic, etc....he tops them all.

    And oh yeah, I'm not a Muslim either--just a REALIST! Farrakhan represents truth and yes he has duplicated himself!!

  4. I agree with his points but let's be honest you don't see too many of Farrakhan's students out front in the public. What happened to the visibility? I see Bro. Nuri, Bro. Jesse, Deric Muhammad of Houston, Jasiri X, and a few others. Where's everybody else at? I'm sure Farrakhan has produced alot more but we don't see them or hear from them much.

    So even when you're not dead, you can be perceived as such when you're not visible....come out and show that Farrakhan's leadership model is not dead.

  5. I agree with @Lisa 's comment.

    If the NOI has "the answer" and "the leader" then we would see them more out there. We barely see them on the block with the Final Call, never see most of them on National TV and very few use modern technology like Brother Jesse to engage the new generation who know nothing about The Million Man March or Farrakhan's entire track record....where's the "fruits of his labor" at?

  6. I cosign on Lisa's comment....

  7. I must say that negro & colored people leadership IS DEAD.... Black leadership is what's coming into existence.... I must make that distinction because The Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad started the process of creating Black leaders and well we know what America has produced. So please let's not put the two in the same boat because it would be a lot easier to squeeze a camel through the eye of a needle than to compare The Leadership of The Nation Of Islam to negro leadership....... Enough said....

  8. I understand the point that Ms. Lisa Washington is making in regards to being visable but true leadership is not accurately judged if we use the enemy's rubic to judge from. Ms. Washington named several people that she considered to be doing something that are students of Minister Farrakhan. Oftentimes what is overlooked is the countless number of everyday people that are living discipline, moral and godly lives because of the guidance of Minister Farrakhan. Because of the MILLION MAN MARCH how many men have become leaders of their families? How many woman have been deterred from whore houses because of those who may have spread a word they heard from the Minister. I personally know a number of people who use to terrorize the community and now they help heal it. The point I am trying to make is that lets not get fooled by the OKIE DOKE! Just because you don't see brothers and sisters on television making the news, is not a good barometer on whether or not Minister Farrakhan produces leaders. Leaders are those that often go overlooked because they just simply do their duty, which does not come with cameras or fanfare. There is far to much good that comes from the works of a man of God to fully grasp with the naked eye!

  9. G.M. you said it very well.

    Let me add: I study my lessons, I raise my children, I love my black wife (21 yrs Jan 3rd, 2011), I say my prayers, I continue to develop myself in order to aid my people through these crazy times...all because of the leadership of Minister Farrakhan.

  10. Greetings Everyone,

    Thank you all for the comments. For any kind words shared by anyone I say All Praise is Due to Allah for the divine leadership of the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan. Whatever impact we are blessed to make it is because of him.

    I am thankful for those who paved the way for a young soldier like myself that I may have this blessed opportunity to be a small witness of this man we follow.

    As the church says, "This little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine"

  11. @G.M.

    I disagree with your comment in part.

    I didn't say that Farrakhan is NOT producing leaders. The problem is those he has produced aren't visible enough. Sure I applaud discipline and right doing behind closed doors but Minister Farrakhan is a VISIBLE man so those who follow him and their great works should be visible as well. Now I don't travel the country, so I don't claim to see/know all but I do know that there is an overall lack of presence of the NOI in the streets compared to the 90's. You can't deny that.

    Also, as for the people I mentioned, I don't consider them "media hounds" or "attention hungry persons", I believe that they just have done a good job of getting out there in the community doing the work and thus it has position them to be seen. It doesn;t make them better but it does create buzz for the message you're bringing. The light isn't meant to be under the bushel basket, its meant to be seen.

    Matter of fact, a lot of the great works being done by other members of the NOI I read on Brother Jesse Blog. I even found out about the Peace Keepers with Bro. Willie of New Orleans on this page...Alot of it is not even in The Final Call paper, on the Final Call website or even the NOI.org page. Maybe that should change

    Lastly, you mention the Million Man March's impact but please remember we have an ENTIRE GENERATION that knows nothing about the MMM. They were babies. What do have right now to point them too? Who within their age bracket can they see visibly as an example? It's a technology generation....

    Again, I never said Farrakhan is not producing because that's not the case....it's more so that his "fruits" need to get more out there.

    thank you all for whatever good you are doing.

  12. I hear u sister Lisa!! Come on FOI!!! The sister is saying we've done something, we just need to do MORE!!! Thank u Bro. Jesse for this article because we need to know whats also in the trenches:).

  13. BRO. MELVIN MUHAMMADDecember 1, 2010 at 12:33 PM

    PEACE, I think sister Lisa has the right string but the wrong yoyo,and cant`t see the forest for the trees."WE ARE STUDENTS",The HON.MIN.FARRAKHAN has many students,some in the N.O.I.,and more out side N.O.I.many many out side .PEACE, YOUR BROTHER & SERVANT MELVIN MUHAMMAD

  14. @Lisa Washington,
    Thank You kindly for your response to my comment. I understand where you are coming from. You are correct in saying that we should become more visable. I believe those under the leadership of Minister Farrakhan can and must do more to share this life giving teachings. But I also understand that in almost every city in America there are those that are doing great work in the community. And many of those will go unnoticed by many onlookers because they may not be getting the light shined on them. When the sun is out its hard to notice the stars but it does not mean that they don't continue to shine. But I do agree with your point its very well taken. The question that comes to mind is 'if a tree falls in the forest and nobody is around is there any sound.'


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