Estimated reading time: 14 minute(s)
LONDON—An historic event for the Black community in Britain is coming Aug. 5 when the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan will speak directly to the United Kingdom for the first time since 2002.
He will speak as part of the Africa International Day Of Action remembrance celebration.
The event, now in its fourth year, is hosted annually by Rastafari Movement UK to commemorate Emancipation Day and refocus the attention of the Black community on the continuing journey towards liberation.
Next month’s event, which will be held at Kennington Park, is set to be the biggest yet.
“The Rastafarian community and the Nation of Islam have always had a close relationship,” said Minister Hilary Muhammad, European Representative of the Nation of Islam and Minister Farrakhan.
“Many of us began our journey towards consciousness in Europe and the Caribbean in our teens as followers of the Rastafarian community often through the music and culture it inspired,” he added.
“We are very pleased to be working together, to bring the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan’s message directly to our people in the UK and throughout Europe,” said the Nation of Islam student minister.
Many groups and organizations across the religious and political spectrum have voiced support for the event as a much needed boost to the development of the Black community in Britain and across Europe. Minister Farrakhan represents a strong stance for self-improvement and self-reliance—virtues clearly necessary to address the glaring inequalities and challenges Black people face today.
In the United Kingdom young Blacks under age 25 are twice as likely to be unemployed as their White counterparts. According to the Trade Unions Congress, the more educated a Black person is the greater the pay gap between educated Blacks and equally qualified Whites in Britain.
Black children are reportedly excluded from school at twice the national rate and as an ethnic group Black people are 6.5 times more likely to be stopped and searched by police. Police brutality remains a major concern with the recent death of Edson Da Silva in police custody, the latest in a long line of Black victims. Since 1990, over 1,600 people have lost their lives in police custody but no police officers have been successfully prosecuted.
Combined with the ongoing increase in working poverty and skyrocketing cost of living, these conditions have underlined for many the need for Black people to work together and develop their own institutions.
The Nation of Islam has a history of institution building. From schools and universities, to restaurants, a newspaper, and farms, the Nation of Islam creates and maintains establishments dedicated to the service of Black people.
The last time Min. Farrakhan addressed the UK directly via satellite was December 2002. His message was in the aftermath of a historic legal campaign led by Minister Muhammad to overturn an order banning the Minister from visiting the UK. Although the exclusion order was lifted, a legal first in Britain, it was reinstated afterwards following an appeal by the government.
Nevertheless, the Minister’s standing and reputation has grown. Generations of Black men and women across Europe are inspired by his tireless stand and work to promote unity and progress.
Nana Amponsem, founder of the Maarifa Hub, a Black business app, is among those who have been impacted.
“I listen to the Minister constantly for guidance and inspiration—what he’s accomplished and his drive to uplift his people even now at this stage of his life just motivates me to try and serve my people and to spread his message of self-reliance and unity,” he said
ShakaRa Mbandaka, of the Pan African Alkebulan Revivalist Movement, said, “It’s a monumental occasion whenever he speaks for any Black person who wants to see us move forward as a people. We are excited to hear from him.”
Niyat Asafaha, a member of Black Lives Matter UK movement and Grenfell Tower Media Watch group, is eager to hear what the Minister has to say following a number of tragedies in England.
“With everything that’s happened over the past year from Brexit to the Grenfell tower fire It’s clear we’re living a very serious time so Minister Farrakhan’s words are very much welcomed now at this moment to ensure that our emotions are guided and that we as a community, or nation, strive to be on the same moral page,” she said. “I think the Minister will help us to remain focused on what we need to do to create changes.”