Imam comments on his visit to Tuskegee Institute
Imam W. Deen Mohammed
OH, I WAS really inspired. It was more impressive than I thought it would be. It showed the works of Booker T, Washington.
T know something about the history of Booker T. Washington. And seeing the facilities and reading the information that they had around those facilities explaining the institution there impressed me.
1 said, something has happened to us to make us think smaller and to perform smaller. There was a man who just concentrated in one area — education — and did what? — much more than we have done in 50 years. An^ he was just up from slavery.
WHAT IT DID for me „„.. w> make me think that we're not doing nearly enough as a people. And it must be because we don't have the principles and the spirit that those people had.
We have lost a lot of principle and spirit.
It left me feeling happy on the one side, but sad on the other side, that a man like this — so close to the days of slavery — was able to get support from white people in this country and from his own people to do what he did and to leave that kind of record.
He was a member of the poor and a member of the black people. So if he were able to do that, it makes me think that something is wrong with us now.
Dr. Mays was a great man, but he didn't have the kind of dedicated people and supporters that Booker T. Washington had. He didn't fire them up like Booker T. Washington fired up those people who were supporting him.
YOU CAN SEE the pictures of them and you can tell. They had that look of commitment that you saw in the Honorable Elijah Muhammad's followers when they were really believing in him and following him strongly.
In fact, it looks like Fard went over there and copied a lot of Booker T. Washington's work and brought it to the temple and opened it up in the name of the temple. That's what it looks like — the way they dress and everything.
It (pictures in the museum) showed them doing actual construction — brick masonry — but they were dressed in a tie and shirt, full business dress. They looked so clean and excited.
You can see the excitement and enthusiasm in their eyes; dignity is there, and they captured it with the camera.
I said to myself, these people started out and they had an idea that we had that we should do something, and be willing to start from scratch.
Next week: What's missing in our community.