A meeting between The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan and Rapper Rick Ross: "Wise words from a great mind"

On November 27, rapper Rick Ross posted this photo on his Instagram page. He was received by the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan and posted the caption, "Wise words from a Great mind. Minister Farrakhan blessed me w/ peaceful words today."

The photo was posted on Minister Farrakhan's official Facebook fan page and sparked lots of favorable and unfavorable comments. Some even went as far as calling Minister Farrakhan a sellout out for receiving Rick Ross.

To those who are attacking Minister Farrakhan for this: The Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad said to those who criticized him, "You Do Not Have My Mission."....let's stop being surface dwellers, making childish baseless comments that will never bear any fruit. At the end of the day, it's on Rick Ross to do what he will with whatever jewels he received from Minister Farrakhan. We're all responsible for what we know...And this is NOT the first time Minister Farrakhan has counseled music artists. Where have you all been the last 57 years? Farrakhan is on his job with the knowledge, wisdom and understanding he has. The question is: Are We On Our Job?


Black Farmers, Students and Agriculture Professionals Called to Attend Black Agriculture Survival Expo (B.A.S.E.)

(Blogger's Note: In light of us presently pushing the Economic Blueprint, I was happy to receive this information in my inbox from Shahida Muhammad. Had to share!)

Black farmers, students and agriculture professionals from all over are called to attend the Black Agriculture Survival Expo (B.A.S.E.) taking place in Newnan, Georgia from Friday, December 6 to Saturday, December 7. Presented by ABSEEDS of Learning along with industry partner Hit on the Head, the expo’s theme is “Declare Your Independence”.

“You should be there because you want to survive the next government shutdown and you want to eat!” says primary expo coordinator Chaava Muhammad. “You want to save money on energy. You want to prepare a future for yourself and make a job!”

The two-day expo will take place on 103 beautiful acres in Newnan, Georgia just 45 minutes from Metro Atlanta. Participants will have opportunities to showcase their products, connect directly with growers and manufacturers, and network with agriculture professionals.

“We are targeting those in the black community who are already concerned with self sufficiency and living off the grid,” says Chaava Muhammad. “A community interested in eating fresh and living fresh from the seed to their tables. We are targeting black people who are unemployed and will look at agribusiness as another source for career and income. We’re also targeting manufacturers who want to introduce, share and market their products and cutting edge knowledge in agriculture; in addition to agriculture programs at Black universities and colleges.”
The topics for the Black Agriculture Survival Expo center on agriculture as a survival tool and agribusiness. On Friday students are invited to a career development and networking day from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Currently 53% of college graduates are unemployed. Agriculture is one of the only industries hiring steadily. During the daylong event students can meet farmers, learn about healthy survival food on a student budget and explore internships and mentorships. Saturday features hands-on, interactive workshops on composting, hoop house vermin composting, aquaponics, alternative solar and generator energy, food sources, bee keeping, poultry, fish farming, husbandry - ( i.e. cows, dairy and beef, goats), marketing and land usage. The goal is to propel self-sufficiency.
For registration and vending information visit: www.blackagriculturesurvivalexpo.wordpress.com. Supporters can help sponsor students by donating to the expo gofundme page here: http://www.gofundme.com/54xjfw.
Agriculture is a critical industry for the well-being of any nation. The focus on the Black community is rooted in the community’s tendency to be consumers rather than producers. Intertwined with the Honorable Louis Farrakhan’s ongoing message on the importance of land and agribusiness, the Black Agriculture Survival Expo hopes to plant seeds self-determination and unity.

At a Glance:
What: Black Agriculture Survival Expo (B.A.S.E.)
Date: December 6-7, 2013
Location: Newnan, GA


'Let Us Make Man': How To Overcome The Pain of Being a Black Man in White America

Part 46 of the series, "The Time and What Must Be Done" by the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan. Released November 23, 2013. This episode is and edited version of the Minister's address April 11, 1994 at Pleasant Grove Baptist Church in Houston, Texas., titled "Let Us Make Man."

In this message, Minister Farrakhan stated, "As a Black man in White America, we are in pain, brothers!  We live with constant pain.  Nobody knows our pain but God, and us.  Brothers, as long as you, as a man, lay down at night and dream about your greatness—but you are never able to manifest how great you are—then the pain of being non-productive makes you seek pleasure that keeps you non-productive! Study our condition:  Each one of you is in pain. When you wake up in the morning, and you look in the mirror, and you know deep down inside you are as great as any man of greatness that you’ve heard about, read about, or seen in real life:  You know you are as great as any one of them. Possibly greater! But there’s no avenue of opportunity to allow you to demonstrate your individual greatness; then this breeds frustration, it breeds bitterness, it breeds envy and jealousy."

Click above to watch the full episode or visit @ http://www.noi.org/thetime/

Holiday Madness: The Lies and Hypocrisy Behind Thanksgiving and Black Friday

(Source: FinalCall.com) The Holiday season, also known as the shopping season, is rolling around once again. On the surface, Thanksgiving seems to be a pretty good holiday. Black Friday is just ridiculous nonsense.

What better day than a day to give thanks to God for everything in your life? We should do that every day. Thanksgiving is a special day because the wickedly wise want to suck the economic lifeblood out of the poor and drain them of every single dime.

Thanksgiving is a day of giving thanks and praise, showing gratitude, but it hides a horrific secret behind gloriousness. When the Europeans came to America, the Native Americans welcomed them. The Europeans started to multiply and began stealing land. When the Native Americans declared war, the Europeans had the advantage, guns. Later Europeans gave Native Americans blankets as gifts. Little did the natives know that these blankets were weapons in disguise and carrying the deadly smallpox disease.

Thousands of Native Americans died and thousands more died from the diseases Europeans brought to America. At the glorious first Thanksgiving feast, there were very few Native Americans present. The wickedly wise use love for family and giving thanks to God as a cover for evil done on and after that day. The natives were the reason the Europeans survived, but the Europeans turned around and deceived the Native Americans. Are we giving thanks for the thousands of Indians that suffered at the hands of pilgrims? We go from giving thanks to celebrating an all-out killing spree?

Black Friday is not an official holiday, but a lot of workers have the day off. Whether or not it is a holiday, it is a savage day. The Devil in all races comes out and people are shown for their true colors. This is probably the most brutal annual day in America. On Black Friday, the freaks come out at night and stay out until the next day! All hell breaks loose as people fight to get to sales promoted by companies and businesses like Wal-Mart, Macy’s, Sears, and a whole list of others. [Read More]


The troubling episode involving Oriana Farrel: Black women suffer from police abuse and misconduct much too often

Source (FinalCall.comm) Oriana Farrell, 39, was pulled over for speeding but the encounter almost turned deadly on a highway near Taos, New Mexico. A state trooper broke her rear window with a baton. Another trooper fired as the panicked Memphis mother drove away from him. Her five children, ages 6 to 18, were in the van.

Police dash cameras recorded the encounter that caused shock and anger when made public. White mothers and their children are not handled so brutally for minor traffic violations, advocates and analysts told The Final Call.

“A uniformed officer can shoot three bullets at my van and be considered to be ‘doing his job’, but my doing what I can to get my own children away from such a terrifying individual has been termed ‘child abuse’ and ‘endangerment,’ according to New Mexico law,” said Ms. Farrell.

Her sentiments were contained in a piece published by The Taos News and shortly after her arrest. “As a single, African-American mother of five in this country, things are tough enough I should not have to endure harassment at the hands of someone who has been hired to protect the citizens of this land over an alleged ‘speeding offense.’ No one should,” she said.

“I don’t think many of these people who perpetuate these wrongs against us even see us as victims. They see us with suspicion just as for years they’ve done with Black men,” Dr. E. Faye Williams of the National Congress of Black Women said.

“We have heard about the war on women for years and I agree there is a war, but think of how much greater that war is on Black women,” she added. [Read More]


The “Smart’n Up” Experience! Why Every Black Male in Houston Should Attend the 2013 Black Male Summit

By: Deric Muhammad 

For the past three years I have partnered with Lone Star College North Harris to put on a Black Male Summit. We themed the summit “Smart’n Up,” because if Black males made more intelligent decisions we could fulfill our destiny and purpose in life. I believe that mental poverty is the worst form of poverty. I also believe that education takes place inside of the classroom, as well as outside of the classroom. Our objective is the get Black men and boys to THINK! THINK! THINK!...and to give them tools that they can use to overcome the inevitable obstacles they will face in society.

The importance of our Summit hit me like a ton of bricks a few months ago. At the bank one morning I bumped into a local entrepreneur who attended the summit two years earlier. He told me he’d been trying to reach me to thank me. He informed me that he’d met a young brother at the summit who impressed him so much that he hired him to work or his computer company. He went on to say that the young man turned out to be his VERY BEST EMPLOYEE and had started a career with his company. This touched me very deeply, for I had no idea this beautiful thing had taken place. Great things happen when Black men come together for the right reasons.

This young brother came to the summit looking to be inspired by a word and ended up finding a job. Not only did he find a job, he learned a new trade in the process. His life was changed by this experience. The business owner came to the summit looking to give back to the community; not knowing that he would find an intricate piece to his business puzzle to help move his company forward. This is just one example of how the direction of your life can change in one day. All you have to do is be in the right place at the right time with the right people creating the right energy. This is the kind of energy we create at the Smart’n Up Summit.

Recently 19 young people were shot and 2 more were killed at a house party in Cypress. Some say it was a gang initiation. Earlier this year, 17 year old Joshua Broussard was stabbed to death at Spring High School. Every time we turn on the news we see another senseless killing. It’s not getting better; it is getting worse. And more often than not when a suspect is presented to us we see a young, Black male. According to the FBI 28 Black males went to jail for bank robbery in the city of Houston during the month of September. There is no argument that a crisis exists among Black males in Houston and in America, in general. However, too much is being SAID about it and not enough is being DONE.

By attending the Black male summit YOU create the opportunity to become “a doer.” Just as the aforementioned young man made a connection and landed a job, you can come to the summit and make a “community connection.” Everybody wants to make a difference in their community. Attending this year’s Black male summit is your opportunity.

Suggested ages for attendees are middle school, high school and young adult; however, no one is turned away. We invite professionals and other Black males of all ages to come out and be a “mentor for a day.” Young people need to see more positive Black male images. And, yes, women are free to attend. We especially encourage single moms to bring their sons. Everything is FREE.

Our summit starts at 10am with a powerful opening session. This year we will open up talking about the Redirecting “The Spirit of Competition” in Black Males. Our workshops are so dynamic that we have labeled them “FireWorkShops.” We deal with real, relatable issues that affect us every day; those issues that are not taught in traditional school settings. We do not sugarcoat! We address the challenges of being a Black male in society and hand out tools for overcoming those challenges all day long. Not a moment of time at the summit is wasted. We have a great time, but we are in "impact mode" from the time we start until the time we finish.

Every Black male in Houston should attend this year's " Smart'n Up" Summit because no matter who you are we all have a role to play in lighting the pathway for our youth to make something of themselves. Whether we like it or not, THEY are the future. If the best we can do is complain abou them then we, ourselves, have become part of the problem. Join us in this journey to change our reality. See you November 23rd.

Register TODAY at www.BlackMaleSummit2013.eventbrite.com


Jasiri X releases Strange Fruit (Class of 2013) in memory of Renisha McBride, Jonathan Ferrell and Kendrick Johnson

Jasiri X does it again. This time his bars are dedicated to the memories of Renisha McBride, Jonathan Ferrell and Kendrick Johnson. Strange Fruit (Class of 2013) was produced by Religion and directed by Haute Muslim 

Free Download at http://jasirix.bandcamp.com/
Follow Jasiri X at https://twitter.com/jasiri_x


Renisha McBride video released by Dream Hampton; White murderer Theodore Wafer charged with second-degree murder

(Source: U.S. News) The parents of an unarmed woman who was shot to death on a suburban Detroit porch spoke publicly for the first time Friday since the teen's death 13 days ago, thanking the county prosecutor for filing charges against a homeowner in the case. "I hope he spends the rest of his life in jail," Walter Simmons, father of 19-year-old Renisha McBride, said, referring to the man charged as the "monster that killed my daughter."

McBride was killed on Nov. 2 in Dearborn Heights, Mich., when she went to 54-year-old Theodore Paul Wafer's porch seeking help after a car crash, according to authorities. Wafer was arraigned on three charges — the most serious of which was murder in the second degree — on Friday afternoon, hours after the Wayne County prosecutor said in a press conference that he "did not act in lawful self-defense" and that he would be turning himself in to face justice. [Read More]

Related articles:
Remembering Renisha: Another tragic death

It's Not Over! Kendrick Johnson's parents, loved ones refuse to give up fight for justice

by Starla Muhammad

(Source: FinalCall.com) - A funny young man who sang in the shower, dreamed of playing college football and liked teasing his older sister. That is who Kendrick “K.J.” Johnson was to his family and those that knew him, said parents Kenneth and Jackie Johnson, in an exclusive telephone interview with The Final Call.

In sharing what made him so special, the couple said those memories are at the root of their efforts to seek justice in his death. “Kendrick was a nice young man. I’m not saying that just because he’s my son. We never even had any problems with Kendrick. We never had to make him do things like you have to stay on most young kids and push them and just make them do the right thing,” said Mr. Johnson in a Nov. 8 interview. Kendrick was determined to “be somebody,” he added. According to Mrs. Johnson, Kendrick had a good sense of humor. She was interviewed the same day as her husband.

“He would do little stuff just to aggravate my daughter. He’d come in from football practice or something and just go jump on her back and just make her so mad and just bust out laughing and run, have her chasing him, all kinds of little crazy stuff,” Mrs. Johnson shared.

The body of the Johnson’s youngest son was found inside upright gym mats Jan. 11 in the gymnasium at Lowndes High School in Valdosta, Ga., where he was a student. Local law enforcement ruled the death accidental, a claim Mr. and Mrs. Johnson, their attorneys Chevene B. King and Benjamin Crump and others vehemently dispute. They argue Kendrick, 17, was murdered and there has been a cover up about what really happened to him. [Read More]

Minister Farrakhan on Business Is Warfare: What is Required for Black America's Economic Independence?

Part 45 of the series, "The Time and What Must Be Done" by the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan. Released November 16, 2013. This episode continues with the edited version of the Minister's address October 16, 2011 at Mosque Maryam, titled "Atonement, Reconciliation and Responsibility, Part 2."

In this part, Minister Farrakhan said: "I see about 400, 500 acres in Michigan that I think we can own. There’s land in Georgia, in Alabama, in Louisiana. It will be easy to do if we follow Elijah Muhammad’s Economic Program. He said 40 years ago that: “If 5 million workers put up 5 cents a day, 25 cents a week, 1 dollar a month, ‘5 million x 52’ would give you $260 million in a National Treasure in one year.” So now, just look at what 16 million of us can do today with “5 cents a day, 35 cents a week, $1.40 a month, $18.20 a year”! Do you know at the end of one year you would have multiple millions of dollars in our National Treasure? And it’s painless!"

And imagine if, on our land that we purchase, we grew cotton, and had some cattle, and produced leather; and had some sheep, and produced wool? My point is: America got out of the business. You buy suits now: They come in from Taiwan, from China, from India, from Brazil, right? Who makes the shoes? When you get a nice pair of shoes, they’re made from outside. Imagine if we had hundreds of thousands of acres where you’re raising your cattle, you take their hides, you design shoes and we buy from ourselves? We make the clothes, and we buy from ourselves! After a while, in all-Black towns you’ll find in your own clothing store that we have made the garment, and we have produced the shoes! Because the same animal that gave its hide to the White man will give it to us. That is how you produce jobs.

If you are going to beg the White man, you are not going to have a job. But if we are going to go to work, then we will produce jobs."

Click and watch the full replay above!


It’s Hard Not To Judge A Book By Its Cover

by Brother Jesse Muhammad
I will be the first to admit that when it comes to people like Dennis Rodman, it is hard not to “judge a book by its cover.”
Don’t get me wrong, Rodman is one of the best who has ever played the game of basketball and arguably the greatest rebounders of all-time. 
He has more rings than most legends of the past and his sacrificing hustle on the court kept me glued to the TV. I admired his overall game. He was all business on the court.
However, Rodman’s flamboyant foolery off the court attracted more attention. Whether it was posing nude, wearing a wedding dress, rocking piercings and tattoos all over his body, dyeing his hair like a package of Skittles, chasing down Madonna, reported bouts with drugs, or constant trouble with the law, this man stayed in the media for all the wrong reasons.
Rodman was inducted into the NBA Hall of Fame and his emotional acceptance speech is one to be studied.  He came out on stage again dressed in bizarre fashion but for that brief moment I believe everyone looked pass his outer shell.
What you see here is more, just, an illusion that I love to just be–an individual that just loves to be colorful,” said Rodman. “I never had a father. My father left me when I was five years old. He has 47 kids in the Philippines and I’m the oldest one. He wrote a book about me in Chicago. He made a lot of money but he never came and said hello to me. But that didn’t stop me from persevering.”
He further stated, “I haven’t been a great father. I haven’t been a great husband…I can’t lie about that. I have one regret—I wish I was a better father.
He went on in the speech to talk about his troubled relationship with his mother and his own personal selfishness. “I haven’t been a great son to you at all,” he said to his mother.
I remember reading his book “Bad As I Wanna Be.” It was an interesting and brutally honest read with a lot of substance. I gained more insight into why Rodman is the way he has been based upon things that happened to him in his past that he has never healed from. His acceptance speech added more.
What is my point? We’re all in that same boat in some form or fashion.
We may not dye our hair or wear piercings to mask our pain but some of us use religion, food, psychological defense mechanisms, TV, shopping, alcohol, the applause of crowds, hanging out and other things, hoping they will give us an emotional escape. However, what was done to us is still there deep within and its controlling how we react to things going on right now.
There are things in our lives that have been done to us, even from the time we were babies in our mother’s womb. Were you close to being aborted? Did your father abandon your mother when she was pregnant with you? Did a teacher say certain negative words to you that have become subconscious commands in your mind? Did you get cursed at a lot growing up? Were you molested? Raped? Do you mimic the ugly abusive behavior of someone in your family tree? The list is endless and we all need healing.
Rodman taught me that if you don’t judge a book by its cover you may gain understanding of what isbeing covered up by the cover.
I too grew up fatherless and I was blessed to find my deceased biological father’s family last year. In cultivating my relationship with my uncles it hasn’t been easy. Completing my book about the experience and sharing my experience with others has been a form of healing.
Just a month ago, I did something and one of my uncles said “Yep, you definitely Joe’s son. That’s how Joe would do us.” It gave me some insight into why I do certain things stemming from my childhood.
Am I excusing evil, wickedness, foolishness or the bad decisions we make in our lives? No because we all have to accept responsibility. However, don’t be so quick to judge. You just might learn something from an unlikely source.
Thank you Rodman.
(You’re welcome to follow Brother Jesse Muhammad on Twitter @BrotherJesse)


Photos: Annual Houston SleepOut Saturday continues to raise awareness regarding homelessness

by Brother Jesse Muhammad

This year National Hunger & Homelessness Awareness week kicks off November 16- 24, 2013. On Nov. 9, we supported the Houston Sleep Out Saturday spearheaded by my college classmate Noah Rattler. The SleepOut is where the general public sleeps outside to experience homelessness for one night (7pm-7am) to raise donations and awareness.

According to the National Coalition for the Homeless, each year 3.5 million Americans experience homelessness and on any given night, over 700,000 people are homeless. Studies indicate that children make up 23% of those experiencing homelessness while 40% of homeless men have served in the armed forces. Every night in America an estimated 100,000 veterans are homeless in the streets or housed in relief centers. Today is Veterans Day, but is this how America’s veterans should be living after sacrificing their lives?

In 2007, Noah Rattler left Houston on a 1800 Mile walk from Houston, TX to Los Angeles, CA in order to raise awareness for homelessness in the United States. Along the way, he stopped at homeless service providers and shelters in order to learn more about how each city and town dealt with homelessness in their own way. It was on one of these stops in Wichita Falls, TX, where he was introduced to the “One Night Without a Home” concept. After completing his journey, Noah teamed up with Chris Brown of then Council Member Ronald Green's office to bring the concept to Houston in order to continue the campaign, and called it the Houston SleepOut. Noah's journey was 134 days total!

This year it was held at St. Thomas University. People of all races came out. We heard stories from people who have experienced being homeless as well as people are presently homeless. And of course we enjoyed hearing Noah share details from his journey to L.A.

Yes, we all know that sleeping outside for one night will never give people a true picture of what it feels like to be homeless every day or will it completely eradicate the issue. The reality of it is the fact that we had the luxury of getting back in our vehicles and going back to our families and fine homes the next day.

However, doing SOMETHING is always better than just talking about the problems and doing NOTHING! I applaud Noah for his passion!
What can we do more of? Raising funds to give to those groups that are consistently helping the homeless and hungry is helpful. Providing jobs is helpful. Volunteering at shelters and food banks during and after the holiday season is helpful. Spreading awareness in newspapers, on radio shows, or on your Facebook and Twitter page is helpful. 
Every one can play a role. Will you? I am.

(You're welcome to follow Brother Jesse Muhammad on Twitter, "LIKE" his Facebook page, or visit his award-winning site Brother Jesse Blog)


19-yr old Renisha McBride SHOT IN THE HEAD knocking on a door seeking help after car accident in Michigan

I guess it's safe to say that Black people can't even ask for help in America without getting killed! First Jonathan Ferrell & now Renisha McBride. Crazy.

According to DetroitNews.com, "The family of a Detroit woman shot to death after she is believed to have sought help at a Dearborn Heights home is calling for answers in the incident. The family of Renisha McBride, 19, said she went for help after a car accident around 2:30 a.m. Saturday. She died of a gunshot wound to the head after knocking on the door of a home on the 16000 block of Outer Drive near Warren in Dearborn Heights, near where the accident occurred. Her cellphone battery had died, her family said."

Read More @ http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20131105/METRO01/311050098#ixzz2jy9x2y7c


Why I back Christina Sanders in her run for Houston City Council District D: “We need a leader who will deliver the best.”

By Brother Jesse Muhammad

I confess: I am not a fan of America’s way of politics. And I am even more sickened when aspects of the same style of politics, or some call politricks, that we condemn creeps its way into our community organizations.

However, since the tender age of five my stern grandmother, Ms. Myrtle Ross, forced me into understanding its importance, process, and usage.

For decades she served as Precinct Judge over an area in Northeast Houston. She would crisscross the city and even the country to fight on various issues I knew nothing about and when she would leave for her trips she would simply say, “Jesse, your Granny is off again to fight the good fight.”

Every year when election time rolled around, my siblings and cousins could be found block walking for candidates that our grandmother backed that we knew nothing of. Hey, when granny gives you orders, you don’t ask questions. Her house was not a democracy; it was a dictatorship.

On Election days, my Saturday mornings of watching Smurfs or Fraggle Rock were replaced with stale Shipley Donuts and 12 straight hours of working a polling site passing out flyers and earning just enough to buy two honey buns and a red soda. Didn’t seem fair, but I couldn’t protest my grandmother for higher wages because I valued my soft behind. However, when I got older, I earned more.

My grandmother would drag me to political events so much during the week. And just before pulling up she would remind me, “Look people straight in the eye when you shake their hands, Jesse.” Those events were most of my first time encounters with and seeing rooms filled with White people--a culture shock to say the least. So I marveled at how my grandmother worked the room and even more how much people respected her—especially the candidates. At community events, she would be so outspoken and people would flock to her afterwards.

It was at these moments I realized that my grandmother had ALOT of influence and she was not a traditional politician in the sense of the word. However, she had the pulse of the people and with that she could influence candidates. Today, her den is filled with countless recognitions from officials on all levels, all the way up to past Presidents.

It wasn’t until I got older that I learned to appreciate what she did for me instead of focusing on what she was doing to me. Her way of community politicking has influenced me much and makes me very careful whom I put my backing behind when navigating through the political seas.

This brings me to 29-year old Ms. Christina Sanders.

Let me be clear: I support her 1000% in her run for Houston City Council District D.

I don’t know Christina from a distance. I have had the opportunity to work alongside her on many issues locally and nationally. She is a passionate, dedicated, relentless and admirable community servant and visionary.

Her educational resume speaks for itself and her transcript of tenacity of purpose speaks even louder. When Christina attaches her name to a cause, she has never played around. She’s driven by love for her community and that love has touched countless people--whether it has been in the classroom, the Houston streets, the halls of the Texas state capitol, or the steps of the White House.

I was in attendance when she made her official announcement and was in awe, however, not surprised by the outpouring of love expressed by those who have been inspired by her. Most of them were young college students.

“We deserve the best. We just need a leader who will deliver the best,” she said. “I’m just saying, we can do better. That’s why I am running.”

Christina is one of the most skilled people I know when it comes to engaging and training young people to be involved and participate in elections, voting and public policy. 

 “My name on the ballot is not about me. It’s about us,” she said.

Her platform includes Create Jobs, by fostering the growth of the “smallest” of small businesses and investing in a well-educated workforce. I heard her stress to present college students the need to have an entrepreneurial mind. Who else is telling them that?

She wants to Improve Public Safety through a community-oriented approach and developing creative solutions for getting our young people productive and off the streets.

And she has stressed Sustain Our Communities through neighborhood beautification, green spaces and welcoming balanced and fair real-estate and business development that respects and values our properties and the neighborhood’s rich history. She has also been unafraid in addressing gentrification and the sweeping food deserts in District D.

“There’s a buffet of fast food chains, but the people need access to fresh fruits and vegetables. We deserve better,” she said.

I believe Christina will deliver the best and that she is the best candidate in the race for Houston City Council District D. She can make a change because she has already lived up to the quote that we all seem to recite and tweet: "Be the change you want to see."

So, on Tuesday, November 5, I encourage everyone to go to the polls and cast your vote for her!


(For more information on Christina Sanders' Campaign, visit http://christinaforhouston.com/home/)

Being Proactive: Project Forward's "Stop the Violence Day" inspires communities to step up in Houston

by Brother Jesse Muhammad

When discussing violence in the Black community, Houston is no different than any other city in America. Yes, there are frequent murders and all other forms of crimes being committed. I don't need to waste paragraphs telling you the negative statistics. You can Google that for yourself.

However, I wanted to share some great news about a recent solution-oriented effort that occurred on Sunday, Oct. 27 in our city. Have you heard of Project FORWARD? It's a Black male initiative spearheaded by community servant Deric Muhammad, a member of the Nation of Islam's Muhammad Mosque No. 45.

Project FORWARD is a platform for Black males to unite as a brotherhood and address issues. Along with brotherhood, it's core principles are unity, respect for life, integrity, confidence, knowledge, economic development, family, justice and mentorship. Yes, they are focused on making Each One Teach One the "in thing" again in the community.

The first Project FORWARD meeting was held Sept. 21 at the SHAPE Community Center, also known as the "United Nations of the 'Hood." Let's be honest: Most of our gatherings are long on chatter and short on measurable results. We tend to get caught up in the emotional energy of a feel good session and once we leave, within 24 hours, that spirit dies away as quickly as our intentions to take action.

That cycle has to be reversed and Project FORWARD took a step in the right direction with some follow up action to keep their word regarding a desire to host a citywide "Stop The Violence Day." A little over a month later, it was concrete reality.

Many pastors preached a Stop the Violence message from their pulpits that Sunday morning and 
Houstonians were asked to flood social media with Stop the Violence posts expressing their concern about violent crime in our city using the hashtag #StoptheViolenceinHtown.

The morning activities culminated into an afternoon rally held in the Cuney Homes Housing Projects in Third Ward. The featured speaker was
 nationally acclaimed gang expert, former gang leader, Arthur "Silky Slim" Reed of Stop the Killing Inc. based in Baton Rouge, La.

"I can't be a hypocrite and say God got me on a mission and then be afraid to go out among His people," said Reed. "Jesus was in the streets trying to wake the people up. Why we not in the streets?..We need strongness right now. We have to stop this violence."

"It's more easier to make a fool out of you than to convince you that you are being made a fool out of," he added. "You're too worried about how people are looking at you and you are not looking at your own self."

Other presenters included Durce Muhammad, Dazie Williams, Reginald Gordon, Judge Warren Muhammad, and Student Minister Robert Muhammad. All were consistently encouraging young men in particular to become agents of change in their community instead destroyers of it.

"What is your idea or understanding to be a slave? When you are engaged in crime you put the shackles of slavery back on your feet," said Judge Muhammad.

Gordon said, " My life is committed to working with young people. If we are willing to get into this cause we better be willing to die for what we believe in."

"Don't let anybody tell you Black Leaders are not addressing violence in the streets," urged Minister Muhammad. "Yes, we must stop the violence and we must know why we must stop. We must love one another." He also delved into the critical need for Muhammad's Economic Blueprint to solve the ills of the community.

Deric Muhammad closed out the rally with everyone in a close-knit circle. "We're sick of the senseless violence. The time is ripe to take action," he said. "We're going to take this around the city...Let's Go back to Each One Teach One!

On Nov. 2, Project FORWARD held its next meeting at the SHAPE to chart the next moves to fulfill the promises made on Stop the Violence Day to ensure it doesn't die off.

What can you do? Get involved by choice, not by force. Don't wait for something to happen. Act as if it already has...Be ProActive!