Estimated reading time: 9 minute(s)
On Friday, February 26 I had the honor of being the keynote speaker at the Lawson Academy for their annual Black History Month program. The theme for this year was, “Heroes: Past, Present and Future”. There were about one hundred or more middle school students in attendance. The Lawson Academy has separate schools for the boys and girls and we were blessed to have both schools join the assembly.
I was invited by the music instructor, Ms. Stewart and Ms. Raney, the Principal.
This was my second year in a row doing the keynote address.
They were pleased with the presentation last year so I was invited to come again this year.
The program that took place before I spoke featured the students giving various presentations on Black history.
Part of the program was about us being the Original People, which is something you rarely hear at Black History Month programs.
I enjoyed the program from start to finish.
They did musical tributes such as Michael Jackson, and there was a drum line presentation with the majorettes. The students also gave speeches in honor of Black History Month.
I was asked if I could summarize my message in 10 minutes, which was actually all I needed. I stuck to the theme they gave me. I talked to the students about how this system is conditioning us to think being Black is a crime. I taught how historically Black is trending, beautiful and the best. I told them I don’t care what no one told them, what they see in the mirror is beautiful and they don’t have to try to be like anyone else. They are the best.
The second point I talked about was that they are the present, they are the generation of fulfillment and the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan said they are the greatest generation ever produced.
I encouraged them not the waste time and to start now to find out what they like to do and what their purpose is.
With regard to the future: I stood all of the young brothers up and had them look over to the young queens. I told the young boys that we do not have a future without our women and they must from this day forward respect, protect and elevate the young sisters. Then I stood the girls up, and I told them if they respect themselves then the young boys have no choice but to respect them. I echoed again what the Minister said at Savious’ Day to not give themselves to some young boy who might be cute but to save themselves for the right man in the future. I encouraged them not to worry about relationships but to find their purpose.
— Artiium Muhammad™ (@MuslimsLuvJesus) February 26, 2016
I closed out by saying we can talk about the past heroes, but they are the current heroes standing up around the country.
My last words: We don’t need the next Harriet Tubman or Nat Turner, the next Garvey or the next Malcolm X. The best thing you can do for us is be the next you, to be yourselves.
The administration presented me with a plaque for being the keynote speaker that day and invited me to be the keynote speaker for the graduation at the end of the year.
I thanked the administration for the plaque and invitation and I humbly accepted.