Commemorating Black History - Why February?
Commemorating Black History – Why February?
By Imam W. Deen Mohammed
(The following is Imam W. Deen Mohammed's conclusion to his lecture at Morehouse College at Atlanta, Ga. on Feb. 9. 1985. It is presented separately because of the gravity of the message and its importance to Muslims striving to find their place in today's American society.)
I WOULD LIKE to see a time when we would commemorate the great virtues of some of our great leaders of the past, and the sincere people who followed those people.
Not just commemorate being black! But more than that, commemorate the virtues and fine principles that men of our race stood for and died for. That kind of celebration would help the spirit of the whole people — a healing in the life of the people, to keep us with a sense of respect for things of value.
BUT TO HAVE a February commemoration of Black History to me it's nothing. It saddens me.
How did it come about anyway?
Who chose February? Why February?
Because it's dark and gloomy? You can hear "worry" in the end of it — "Febru-worry."
We have a long ways to go. But if you're a Muslim, you should be strong, you shouldn't be looking for blackness in yourself in order to appreciate or to love yourself. You should look for human qualities in yourself. A beast can be black or white.
SO LOOK FOR the human qualities in yourself. God has said that he made the human being and made your form excellent. He said that He has made honorable all the descendants of Adam.
One scholar, writing in a book called "Qur'anic Sciences," Dr. Abdul Rahman, says that when God says in the Qur'an that He taught Adam the names, that means He gave Adam knowledge -knowledge of himself and knowledge of the external world.
I'M GOING TO conclude this by saying that the late leader of the Temple of Islam — called the Lost Found Nation of Islam too said to his people, "You will not be equal with the white man until you get equal knowledge."
I think that's a good thing to listen to because if you go out trying to get some economic power without any sense, you're going to be in big trouble.