by Bro. Demetric Muhammad
Every generation must make its mark on history. Black youth are the descendants of the Africans brought to America to be made slaves. That experience of enslavement has a scriptural or religious parallel: the Biblical and Qur’anic enslavement of the Children of Israel. It was the youth of the Children of Israel—the former slaves that rebelled against Moses’ divine directive and were thus condemned to wander in the wilderness—who forged the way for their entire people to inhabit God’s Promised Land. It was the youth—led by Joshua and Caleb—who were unafraid of and conquered the giants in that land and were therefore dubbed the “Joshua Generation.” Minister Farrakhan teaches that Black youth must become a Joshua Generation for our people.
This idea of a scriptural parallel or correspondent theme or a fulfillment of scripture where the Black college student is concerned is a critical aspect of any analysis of the significance of Minister Farrakhan’s tour. At the root of such an analysis is the identity of Black People in America as revealed in the Scriptures. Minister Farrakhan has taught that the Jews of the State of Israel and elsewhere in the world are not the Children of Israel described in the Bible and Holy Qur’an. And most would be surprised to learn that leading Jewish historians and archeologists of Tel Aviv University in Israel agree with the Minister’s position. Professors Shlomo Sand, Ze’ev Herzog and Israel Finkelstein all teach at Tel Aviv University and have written extensively on this point.
But the Minister also teaches that Blacks in America are the real Children of Israel. This is the most controversial aspect of Minister Farrakhan’s position. Still, the fact remains that Blacks have been enslaved in America for more than 400 years. Consider that fact in light of the following verse: Then the LORD said to him, “Know for certain that your descendants will be strangers in a country not their own, and they will be enslaved and mistreated four hundred years” (Genesis 15:13). All told, there are at least 98 passages in the Bible that connect the history of Blacks in America to the prophecy of the Children of Israel.
But the greatest scriptural principles relevant to Minister Farrakhan’s college tour are those that flow from the example of Jesus the Messiah. Jesus was the best that the Children of Israel ever produced. Jesus was a courageous and principled youth. Jesus was filled with the divine spirit of revolutionary defiance when he ran corrupt moneychangers out of the temple. Jesus was a respecter of women. Jesus was born to satisfy a need and a longing in his people. Like Joshua and Caleb he had a divine destiny—and he accomplished it as a young man. Never can anyone look at the life of Jesus, crucified while still in his 30s, and opine the oft-repeated truism that “youth is wasted on the young.” No, Jesus lived a purpose-driven life as a young man. Jesus gave his life for the deliverance of his people. He did not waste his youth in idle or frivolous pursuits. And this is what Minister Farrakhan is calling Black students to do: Be Like Jesus.
In a beautiful and enlightening exegesis of the 19th chapter of Luke, Minister Farrakhan once taught that Jesus gave freedom to a colt that was bound and tied. Minister Farrakhan explained that the colt, or young horse, represented the young college student. The colt had “a” master that he was tied and bound to, but Jesus said that “the” master had need of him. The Minister went on to teach that this referred to how the young Black intelligentsia is controlled by forces outside the Black community. These forces prevent the Black intelligentsia from truly serving our people in a way that satisfies their need and longing to secure justice, obtain actual equality, and be fully and completely free. He lamented that the best and brightest of our people are not using their brilliance and creativity to lift Black people out of poverty, ignorance and despair.
The Minister says that God is “the master” that has “need of” or a plan for the Black college student. His plan is that the youth use their talents, knowledge, skill and ability to build a new society, civilization and world. God has put in the young a new and different spirit from that of their parent’s generation. In the young is a courageous and uncompromising mind and attitude that only need cultivation and guidance. And there is no better guide than the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan.