by Brother Jesse Muhammad
Now, you all know I could not let Nelson Mandela Day pass by without mentioning his historic meeting with The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan in 1996. During that time I was in the 11th grade at Forest Brook High School, however, I read about that meeting in The Final Call newspaper.
Askia Muhammad, Senior Editor of The Final Call, was apart of Minister Farrakhan's delegation during that trip and in a recent column for the Washington Informer, he writes:
I remember when Nation of Islam leader, Minister Louis Farrakhan visited Madiba during his World Friendship Tour. Minister Farrakhan was another one of those leaders whom South Africa’s Whites wanted their president to shun. Just the opposite is what happened. In 1996, after the historic Million Man March, President Mandela received Minister Farrakhan and his entourage at his private residence in the Houghton District of Johannesburg, where he received only his most distinguished state visitors. Despite unrelenting pressure on President Mandela to distance himself from his guest, he told reporters following his hourlong meeting with Minister Farrakhan: “There was no issue that arose, on which there was a disagreement. He has explained his position. His views are identical with the principles that I put forward."
In Part 24 of his 52-week series, which aired online on June 22, Minister Farrakhan shared these words about Mandela:
"Nelson Mandela was looked upon by the regime in South Africa as a “terrorist.” Today we look at Nelson Mandela as a universal hero; a man of stellar character. A man who served 27 years in prison for a crime that he did not do—he just was standing up for the liberation of his people. When I was in Zimbabwe, when it used to be called “Rhodesia” when Joshua Nkomo and Robert Mugabe were fighting for the liberation of their people, I read the papers written by Europeans, who had usurped their land! And these Europeans called the fighters for liberation “terrorists.”
Long live Nelson Mandela!