State of the Black World: Accepting Our Responsibility

NEW ORLEANS (NNPA) – Beyond egos, competing agendas and differing ideologies, the Black Nation should unite behind common principles to more effectively serve the needs of Black people, Minister Louis Farrakhan said during his keynote address wrapping up the State of the Black World Conference II on Nov. 23 at the Morial Convention Center in New Orleans.

After a stirring introduction

by long-time activist and displaced Katrina survivor Mtangulizi Sanyika who described Farrakhan as a “global evangelist, a theocentric global humanist” and “a Muslim extraordinaire who loves Jesus profoundly,” the Minister immediately addressed the recent historic presidential election of Barack H. Obama and what it means to Black America.

“We have witnessed history being made and the history making event has placed on all of our shoulders a heavier responsibility,” said Farrakhan. “I always try to see the hand of God in things that are happening so I can give the thing that is happening the proper respect,” said Farrakhan adding that despite the fact that he cast his vote just before dawn on Nov. 4, he was “in doubt” that America would elect a Black president until late in the evening. The Minister said Obama’s victory is a sign that “God has not forsaken us,” and “is giving America a chance to redeem herself.”

“This is why I see Barack Obama as a mercy from God to the United States of America and a troubled world,” said Farrakhan adding that America is in a fall from the pinnacle of power.

In a wide-ranging message also dealing with the state of Black leadership, organizations and the slave trade, Farrakhan’s words brought laughter at times. His stern words filled with wisdom and guidance caused deep contemplation and reflection throughout.

The SOBWC II was first major gathering of Black leaders, thinkers, activists and scholars since the historic election of America’s first Black president.

Despite a severe economic downturn, and the typical financial challenges faced by many Black organizations, committed grassroots activists and legendary pillars of the Black Nationalist community made the journey to New Orleans, the symbol of Black suffering and poverty which came to the world’s attention after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina.

Farrakhan said the world’s recent events bring to mind the Biblical story of Moses who made a special prayer to God asking that He would “touch the wealth” of Pharaoh because the Children of Israel were so enamored with Pharaoh’s wealth, that they did not want to leave him.

Citing the recent collapse of several banking and financial giants, the “begging with a tin cup” by the “Big Three” American automakers— General Motors, Chrysler and Ford—and the fact that America is 10 trillion dollars in debt, it is clear that the wealth of America is in fact, being touched.

Well-loved by the people of New Orleans, Farrakhan has been a vocal and consistent advocate for those displaced by Hurricane Katrina. He conducted a factfinding mission immediately following the disaster and then shortly thereafter commissioned The Final Call to produce a documentary telling the hidden truth about what happened before, during and after Katrina.

Unknown to many in the audience, The Minister informed them that New Orleans was at one time the hub of the American economy and considered “ground zero” of the cotton and sugar trade.

“The State of the Black World Conference is the continuation of the tradition of Black people convening to find strategies and tactics to fight the challenges of Black people in America and African people worldwide,” said Dr. Conrad Worrill of the National Black United Front. “It goes back to the 19th century— the Negro Convention Movement—and this follows in that tradition and its significance with the recent election of President Elect Barack Obama finds us challenged to rise to the occasion in our organizing efforts to find solutions.”

Political scientist and author Dr. Ron Walters said that for the first time, Blacks voted at a higher level than Whites in an election and remarked that Black people have “turned a corner” and that the success of Barack Obama is one that Black people can look to with a source of pride.

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