PRAIRIE VIEW, Texas – The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan served as guest lecturer at Prairie View A & M University Wednesday, November 9, 2011. Farrakhan’s appearance was part of the Students Participating in Transcendent Knowledge, or S.P.I.T Knowledge, an unconventional platform which offers a diverse genre of speakers to the students and community in a method that is not usually given in a traditional classroom setting.
People of all ages, races and walks of life attended the event to hear Farrakhan’s message of education and empowerment.
"We are honored to be at Prairie View tonight. I am grateful to the students who invited me to come," said Farrakhan, who had not been to the campus in 23 years.
Farrakhan remarked how his appearance was something unexpected—and may not have been welcomed – on other college campuses.
"Education should prepare you to listen to anyone and judge them for yourself as to whether they are worthy to be listened to," he said. "The person that has knowledge has potential power to remove any impediment in the pathway of our progress."
Security was tight at the event, which was free to the public, and attendees went through TSA-style pat-downs before entering PV’s William "Billy" J. Nicks building, also known as "The Baby Dome."
In the dome, the crowd was treated to various uplifting performances including spoken-word poetry, singing and rapping from Houston artist K-Rino.
Inspiring words were spoken by Texas rap legend and Rice University professor, Bun B of UGK, who impressed upon the youth the importance of the minister’s visit.
"This is history. It is importance that we acknowledge that we are in the presence of history; the presence of greatness," Bun B said, telling the students they need to take heed to the minister’s message and take charge of their lives. "They don’t believe you guys are willing to stand together, fight for what’s yours or you care."
Houston City Councilmember Jarvis Johnson also paid homage to the man he called great, hailing Farrakhan for advocating leadership and unity. He encouraged the attendees to "take the message in, not take the message out."
The minister was also presented the key to the city by Prairie View Mayor Frank Jackson.
S.P.I.T. Knowledge selects presenters who have an enormous ability to communicate with the younger "hip-hop" generation and have a message to share, while challenging the opinions and ideas of students.
Many were surprised and delighted how Farrakhan stood up to the challenge. The 78-years-young minister jokingly talked about the sometimes inappropriate fashions of young people today, how women "kill themselves" to look attractive in harmful high-heels and how much money is wasted on purchasing fake hair to spruce up women who are already – in his words – naturally beautiful.
He told the students the goal of getting a college degree and a good job was not just to get a nice car, a nice house and abandon the ghetto; the goal should be to try to give back to the community and turn ghettos into thriving, prosperous communities.
"My people are not destroyed because they’re black, but because of the lack of knowledge. When you know self, you know God; and when you know God, you know self," he said. "How can you be made in the image of God and not have the qualities in you, God has in him."
He said young people are demeaning themselves by referring to each other in slang terms.
"When you say ‘Yo Dog,’ you are no longer in the reflection of God. So if you act like a dog, you get treated like one."
Farrakhan continued his lecture on unemployment and passage of President Barack Obama’s Jobs Act, but stressed that each person is ultimately responsible for helping their own financial situation. He suggested becoming more producers, rather than consumers.
"What creature do you know that waits for something else to provide for them," he challenged. "If foxes have holes and birds have nests, but we as the sons of Man have no place to lay ourselves; something is wrong with that."
Farrakhan said today’s generation should stop solely enjoying the fruits of the Civil Rights labor, and do something to ensure their children—and grandchildren’s—futures. He said they need to become producers and follow the "Law of Use."
"When you’ve got land, and not do anything with it, then by the Law of Use, you lose the right to use it. This is yours, you have to own it, claim it, use it."
He exited the stage to thunderous applause.