Estimated reading time: 8 minute(s)
I was still in high school when it happened andÂ I just could not believe this woman cursed me out!
I had just joined the Nation of Islam and was on the corner of Homestead and Tidwell,Â a popular block on the Northeast side of Houston. It was summer time but I only had one wool suit so I braved the heat because I already knew in my heart that this newspaper I was about to push was the best and provided life to our people.Â
That paper was and isÂ The Final CallÂ newspaper.
Although this was my first time going out, I wasn’t nervous for two reasons. The first reason was I was out there with two veteran F.O.I. brothers who encouraged me and secondly I grew up in that neighborhood so my face was familiar. Matter of fact my former high school, Forest Brook, was just two minutes away.
I stepped out in to the street, held up the paper and yelled “Final Call!”Â It seemed like the light stayed green forever because nobody was stopping. One man even ran the red light after he saw me walking up to the car. I thought to myselfÂ “I’m not going to sale any at this rate”.
Then it happened. A red light caught this one car and she made eye contact with me. I got excited and walked over to her vehicle.Â Before I could get my words out she screamedÂ “Get yo Black brainwashed so and so away from my car you dumb young so and so!” (Note:Â you get the point)
My natural ‘hood instincts wanted to yell back at herÂ and talk bad about the rollers in her hair. But in that instant a voice in my head reminded me that we’re out here to be saviors of our people and not to attack nor condemn them. So I calmed down,Â hit her with a beaming smileÂ and said “Thank you so much maam. You have a wonderful Saturday. God bless you Black woman”.
She looked at me in disbeliefÂ and shot off once the light turned green.
I was honestly a little discouraged. I looked over at the two veteran brothers and they seemed to beÂ selling papers like Big Macs. I was over there standing by the Shipley Donuts wondering if I would sale just one.
I went back out into the street,Â kept smiling and keep making no sales. A few moments later the same woman who cursed me out came back to my side of the street and waved her hand to get my attention. I hesitated.Â
I walked over to her and she said “Little man I apologize for talking to you like that.Â I am just having a bad morning. I lost my job yesterday so I didn’t mean to take it out on you. But I am amazed that you did not curse back at me and not let me get under your skin. Here is a dollar, give me one of those papers.”
I said “Thank you sister”.Â My first sale was made.
I undoubtedly know that every F.O.I. in the Nation of Islam has a story like this and even more. We can write volumes of books. Pushing this paper has taught me so much in terms of character, salesmanship, patience, endurance and customer service. And years later I still loveÂ The Final CallÂ newspaper.
So I ask you, “Would you like aÂ Final Call?“
Please don’t curse me out. (smile)