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The day was October 15, 1995. I was a junior at Forest Brook Senior High School in Houston.
My mother and I took my older brother Deric Muhammad to Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston to depart for Washington, D.C.
Back then, as you may remember, security allowed people to go all the way to the gates to see their loved ones off. So I was lucky enough to see something that I had never seen before in my life at that point.

The airport had been taken over by Black men.

It wasn’t a stick up or a robbery.

But these men had a focused look in their eyes and all of them had the same destination on their ticket stub with one aim in mind: The Million Man March. On top of that they paid their own way!? Now seeing these hundreds of Black men made me even more sad that I could not go. But my mother could not afford to send me so my big brother said to me ‘Next time little brother’. My 79-year-old grandmother had marched with Dr. King in the March on Washington and I remember her telling my brother ‘Now, it’s your turn.’

I really wanted to go and my eyes had gotten watery at that point. But we waved my brother goodbye and my mother let me sit for a few minutes and watch all of those men and their sons line up and load plane after plane after plane. That image stuck with me.

I had already determined that I was going to be off from school the next day because a man that I was just being introduced to through videos and audio tapes called for a Holy Day of Atonement. A Day of Absence. No School. No Work. No Play.

That man was/is the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan.

I wanted all male teachers and students at my school to join with me but the school would not excuse us but I took the day off anyway. So, on October 16, 1995, I was the only male that I know of on the campus of Forest Brook Senior High School that stayed at home to observe the Holy Day of Atonement.

As I watched those nearly two million men on television, boy I was excited and motivated. I saw Hip Hop giants, musical legends, poetic pioneers, Bloods, Crips, Christians, Muslims, Black Panthers, and more standing together.

No violence…no arguing…no arrests….it was a day everyone wanted to see duplicated in their ‘hoods back home.

I couldn’t grasp back then why so many people opposed the March and the Minister, when I saw it as something that was greatly needed. The prior year in 1994 in Houston, I witnessed from the 59 North freeway over 35,000 men packing a church in Fifth Ward for a Men’s Only Meeting to hear what Minister Farrakhan had to say. When I saw men sitting on the side of the freeway just to hear