“Until the Black woman is lifted up, Black people will never be respected, nor respect themselves,” says Minister Louis Farrakhan. The head of the Nation of Islam will be advising Black females, 12 years of age and older, to “wake up, clean up, stand up,” with the belief that once they lead, the men will follow.
“Knowing Who You Are and Your Purpose” is the working title of this event, the first of its kind since the minister held a similar event in Atlanta in 1997, before the advent of social media and mainstream webcasts.
This Saturday, the Nation of Islam is hosting this women-only webcast, which will be shown in mosques across the nation.
“Our young women are brilliant but untaught, and very seldom validated,” said broadcaster and activist Leroy Baylor, a senior member of Harlem’s Mosque No. 7. He stated that the young women should come to the meeting because it is “an environment for affirming them and their babies.” He emphasized, “The babies born to us today are without fear, highly creative, ready to learn and are targeted by the enemy.”
Everyday women are encouraged to attend the live webcast, New York City’s Student Sister Captain Johnna Muhammad told the Amsterdam News.
“No woman is a B or an H,” she said. “Our women must realize that they are created in the image of God, and as such should raise themselves up so that in turn our men, too, will see them in their righteous light, and also be uplifted.”
She added, “They will hear the minister say that Black women are a valuable resource and must and should be protected.”
Muhammad noted that the world-renowned leader will remind the women that they are the first teachers, and therefore the men ultimately should follow their direction. And if they recognize their “righteous” place and role, the Black community cannot help but rise up to its rightful place of prominence.
“There will never be a righteous kingdom until and unless there is a righteous woman,” Farrakhan has said previously. “Where there are no decent women, there are no decent men for the women.”
Muhammad pointed out that the minister will be speaking on “the value of the woman, the value of her mind, the value of her babies,” but Farrakhan is certain to also do some chastising. He will deliver some no-holds-barred analysis and some no-sugar-coated directives to the youths, older women, mothers, grandmothers, sisters and aunts.
Muhammad said, “Women must be respected, but we must be reacquainted with our respect in order to get respect.”
Speaking at Mosque Maryam in Chicago, the international headquarters of the Nation of Islam, in 2011, Farrakhan said, “You can’t be stupid and rule! [God] never intended for a woman to be ignorant; he never intended for a woman to be unlearned and uneducated, because if you are unlearned and uneducated, you cannot fulfill your destiny … The enemy wants you to think nothing of yourself, so the enemy strips you of your real nature. He has denatured the female and the male and anytime somebody denatures you, they have devalued you. So right now as a woman or as a Black man, you are not valued, and the worst part of that is, you don’t value yourself.”
Muhammad predicted that at Saturday morning’s event, “The minister will uplift, enlighten and empower our women.”
She continued, “We are inviting all Black women, but we are especially looking to the youth from 12 to 25. This is one of our greatest generations—however misguided.
“When we were handing out fliers, we gave a lot of them to the mothers and grandmothers because we understand that they are the greatest influence in the household, and they would pass them on to their daughters. We pray that what the women will hear on Saturday will touch their hearts, and leave them with a desire to do better for themselves.”
The Black women and girls event is Saturday, April 18, at 10 a.m. The webcast from Chicago can be watched at three local venues: Muhammad Mosque No. 7 in Harlem, 106-08 W. 127th St., at Malcolm X Boulevard; Mt. Pisgah Baptist Church in Brooklyn, 212 Tompkins Ave., at Dekalb; and 134 Jackson St., Hempstead, N.Y. Admission is free at all venues. For more information, call 212-865-1200, ext. 202.