Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Nation of Islam leaders in Tampa for 15th anniversary of Million Man March

TAMPA — Leaders of the Nation of Islam are in Tampa to mark the 15th anniversary of the Million Man March.

Related News/Archive

Minister Louis Farrakhan, organizer of that march, is scheduled to speak at 2 p.m. Sunday in the Tampa Convention Center's east hall, which holds up to 8,000 people.

Farrakhan, 77, known as a fiery orator, has been a polarizing leader, alienating many with statements considered racist toward whites and Jews.

His assistant, Minister Ishmael Muhammad, spoke about Farrakhan's message Thursday from the grounds of the Westchase Golf Club during a private fundraiser there.

Muhammad said Farrakhan has "never ever said anything to offend other faiths, and particularly the Jewish religion."

Farrakhan's message offers not only solutions but a scripture-based perspective on what's happening in today's society, Muhammad said. He encourages the black community to accept responsibility for bringing about the change it desires.

Nation of Islam leaders have had ties with Scientology recently, but Muhammad would not say if they were meeting with Scientologists in this area.

"We are studying the Dianetics as a technology that can help members of our community," he said.

After the Million Man March in 1995, Farrakhan established Oct. 16 as a holy day of atonement and chose Tampa for this year's gathering. Past events have been held in Chicago, Atlanta and, last year, Memphis.

Farrakhan led the Million Man March on Washington, D.C., to elevate the image of black men.

On that Monday 15 years ago, Louis Muhammad of Brandon remembers arriving at 4:30 a.m. at the National Mall with a group of friends. In the dark, men began to pray. First a Muslim led, then a Christian, then a Jew, he said.

"There was just this buzz," said Louis Muhammad, 52. "When the sun came up, we were all amazed. There was a sea of men as far as the eyes could see."

After the march, men went home and adopted children, joined churches and registered to vote, he said. But there is still work to be done. He cites low black male graduation rates and a high percentage of black men in prison.

He remembers the pledges Farrakhan led the men to make at the march, including to respect women. At the end of the day, he said they were saying to each other: Long live the spirt of the Million Man March.

"That spirit is still living and it's coming to Tampa this weekend," Louis Muhammad said.

Elisabeth Parker can be reached at eparker@sptimes.com or (813) 226-3431.

Nation of Islam leaders in Tampa for 15th anniversary of Million Man March 10/14/10 [Last modified: Thursday, October 14, 2010 10:50pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Lego T-rex and scores of other brick sculptures free to see in Tampa

    News

    TAMPA — Envision the effort that went into building a basic Lego model with your kids. Now imagine arranging the same toys to look like the Mona Lisa or an 80,020-piece Tyrannosaurus rex.

    Eliana Goldberg, 5, of Wesley Chapel looks at a Lego sculpture called "Everlasting" at The Art of the Brick exhibit, which opened Friday in Tampa and runs through Sept. 4. [CHARLIE KAIJO   |   Times]
  2. Rick Scott signs medical marijuana, 38 other bills into law

    Blogs

    Gov. Rick Scott on Friday signed into law a broader medical marijuana system for the state, following through on a promise he made earlier this month.

    Gov. Rick Scott
  3. St. Pete qualifying ends. Seven for mayor. Eight for District 6 on primary ballot

    Blogs

    The smiles of the faces of the workers in the City Clerk’s office said it all. The qualifying period for city elections was almost over.

    City Clerk Chan Srinivasa (2nd left) and Senior Deputy City Clerk  Cathy Davis (1st left) celebrate the end of qualifying period with colleagues on Friday afternoon
  4. 'Garbage juice' seen as threat to drinking water in Florida Panhandle county

    Water

    To Waste Management, the nation's largest handler of garbage, the liquid that winds up at the bottom of a landfill is called "leachate," and it can safely be disposed of in a well that's 4,200 feet deep.

    Three samples that were displayed by Jackson County NAACP President Ronstance Pittman at a public meeting on Waste Management's deep well injection proposal. The sample on the left is full of leachate from the Jackson County landfill, the stuff that would be injected into the well. The sample on the right shows leachate after it's been treated at a wastewater treatment plant. The one in the middle is tap water.
  5. Registered sexual predator charged in assault of woman in Brooksville

    Public Safety

    Times Staff Writer

    BROOKSVILLE — Hernando County deputies arrested a registered sexual predator Thursday after they say he attempted to assault a woman and fled into a storm drain.

    Lee Roy Rettley has been charged with attempted homicide, attempted sexual battery and home invasion robbery.