Nation of Islam marks 80 years in North America at Saviours' Day 2010By Ashahed M. Muhammad -Asst. Editor- | Last updated: Feb 9, 2010 - 8:21:36 AM
This year's Saviours' Day convention marks the 80th year of the Nation of Islam's existence in North America. Each year, to commemorate the birth of its founder Master W. Fard Muhammad, members from around the world make the journey to Chicago, Illinois during the last week of February for a weekend of fellowship, networking, information dissemination and spiritual renewal.
Also during Saviours' Day, some of the best academic minds, entertainers and activists come together for strategizing, organizing and mobilization.
The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan's Saviours' Day messages are always timely as he marvelously deals with current events, spiritual realities, prophecies and solutions to the problems plaguing the Black community. This year's message, titled “The Time and What Must Be Done,” is scheduled to be delivered to the world from the ultra-modern United Center just west of downtown Chicago on February 28.
With the recent major earthquake in Haiti which decimated its capitol of Port-au-Prince and killed over 200,000, along with the second major blizzard and wave of brutally cold temperatures blasting the East Coast and Southeastern portion of the United States and many other areas that typically experience heavy snowfall and below-freezing temperatures, the importance of disaster preparedness is needed. Major challenges lie ahead for Black America in 2010 and all of the workshops will cover aspects of ministries of the Millions More Movement.
Radio spots have begun nationwide, ticket sales have been brisk, hotels are quickly filling up, and the anticipation and excitement is building for what promises to be a memorable event with worldwide impact.
Dr. Aminah Beverly McCloud, a professor of Islamic Studies in the Department of Religious Studies at DePaul University and the Director of the Islamic World Studies Program, said the Nation of Islam's impact on America cannot be ignored.
“The Nation of Islam has been the most powerful and significant movement in this country by Black people ever,” said Dr. McCloud. “It is important that the face of Islam in America be an indigenous face,” said Dr. McCloud also adding that Black people who are followers of Islam have to have the spirit to work together to improve the conditions within the Black community.
“The Hon. Elijah Muhammad set an economic plan into motion. Many have lost the sense of sacrifice,” said Dr. McCloud. “The Hon. Elijah Muhammad was the only one during that time who had the idea of building a community.”
Dr. McCloud also said it is important for many of the younger members of the Nation of Islam to be taught the history. She gave the example that many youth might not even know that the late former Mayor of Chicago Richard J. Daley declared an “Elijah Muhammad Day” in 1974.
“The young people have allowed themselves to be co-opted by Twitter, FaceBook and MySpace. They have confused information with knowledge,” she said.
Saviours' Day Director Ademah Muhammad said there has been a very close working relationship with the members of the Nation of Islam's Executive Council in planning for this event.
“When you look at what the Nation of Islam has done in the past 80 years and you see what the planet is going through at this time, it is a culmination of what the Hon. Elijah Muhammad taught and prepared us for,” said Ademah Muhammad. “Minister Farrakhan loves Black people and the members of the Nation of Islam and everything he does is motivated by that love and what he was taught and learned from the Hon. Elijah Muhammad,” he added.
Among the engaging activities scheduled for the weekend will be an historical display. It will include photos, books and clothing artifacts will chronicle the different phases of the Nation of Islam and its contextual placement within the Black religious, cultural and socio-political experience in America.
Another presentation during this year's convention is “Table Talks by the Honorable Elijah Muhammad,” a project headed by one of his great-grandsons, Rahman Sultan Muhammad. He has been working hard around the clock with a team of volunteers to present a rare, intimate look into the discussions with the Honorable Elijah Muhammad in other social settings outside of the mosque. His words, even during those seemingly “casual” moments, yield wisdom for today.
“Saviours' Day 2010 is history in the making,” said Rahman Muhammad, recalling the great sense of unity, togetherness and family that exists during Saviours' Day. He said he, his wife and children are looking forward to the entire weekend of events.
Mother Khadijah Farrakhan's Children's Village is always a hit, and this year it will be free for the children who register for Saviours' Day.
Dr. Abdul Alim Muhammad, who recently returned from a fact-finding mission in Haiti, will talk to convention goers about his experience there.
Legendary former gangster Frank Lucas, whose life was masterfully portrayed by award-winning actor Denzel Washington in the movie “American Gangster,” is scheduled to appear along with former crack kingpin “Freeway” Ricky Ross for a forum titled “Redefining the American Gangster” and Allen Hughes—one half of the dynamic movie directing duo The Hughes Brothers—the minds behind the movies “Menace II Society,” “Dead Presidents” and “The Book of Eli,” also starring Denzel Washington—will be among those participating in Saviours' Day 2010. Motivational speaker and life coach Iyanla Vanzant and Susan Taylor are scheduled to appear and participate in workshops.
A Jazz and R&B Show is scheduled for Friday, Feb. 26 and on Saturday, Feb. 27, there is a Hip Hop Show as well as a Comedy Show, all taking place at the Rosemont Convention Center.
Radio personality Warren Ballentine will be broadcasting live throughout the weekend, including from the United Center on Feb. 28. James Mtume, host of Open Line on 98.7 KISS FM in New York will also broadcast from the convention.
As always, the Salaam Expo vending section will be available throughout the day with friendly hours and deals on goods and services that you would have trouble finding anywhere else. And as a special treat, the legendary Nation of Islam Drill Exhibition returns.
(To find out more about Saviours' Day and to register for this year's convention, visit http://www.noisd.org.)