Peace and personal responsibility was the keynote message from Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan on Tuesday when he addressed a crowd of over 300 people in Harlem.
Speaking at the Adam Clayton Powell Jr. State Office Building on 125th street, the controversial minister said, “Change will not come out of the sky.”
The rally was spurred on by the recent string of deadly gun violence that has plagued the black community this summer. The minister summed it up saying, “It’s a shame that after 310 years of chattel slavery and 150 years of injustice that we are worse in our treatment of each other.”
For Farrakhan and members of the local community, the shooting of five people in Rucker Park during a basketball tournament this summer, the death of four-year-old Lloyd Morgan (shot in head likely from a stray bullet in a Bronx playground), and the death of Heaven Sutton (a 7-year-old killed by a stray bullet at her mother’s candy stand), represent incidents that call for a desperately-needed change in the black community.
DNAinfo.com report that Minister Farrakhan said, “We are holding ourselves back. You can’t keep blaming the white man.” He added, “The question is, what are we doing today to undo what he did?”
People in attendance welcomed the message of the minister, like Abdul Hafeez Muhammad, head of Muhammad Mosque No. 7 in Harlem who said, “The minister is here to proclaim peace in the streets, we have to stop the violence and change ourselves.”
Minister Farrakhan also made stops in Jamaica, Queens, Newark, New Jersey and Brownsville as part of a 100-plus city tour to address the rampant violence.