MINISTER LOUIS FARRAKHAN
NATIONAL REPRESENTATIVE OF THE HONORABLE ELIJAH MUHAMMAD
AND THE NATION OF ISLAM
IN THE NAME OF ALLAH, THE BENEFICENT, THE MERCIFUL.
I BEAR WITNESS THAT THERE IS NO GOD BUT ALLAH AND I BEAR
WITNESS THAT MUHAMMAD IS HIS MESSENGER
June 2, 2014
(Peace Be Unto You)
To the Family, Friends, and all those who have been touched by the marvelous life of Dr. Maya Angelou:
When I heard the news of her passing, I was in the hospital having an MRI. When I got dressed to return to my office one of the Brothers exclaimed that Maya Angelou had passed away. It was as if I were hit with a bolt of lightning for I stood still in my tracks for about 10 seconds unable to move as I reflected on my Sister’s life.
Maya Angelou was not only a tall, strong, Black beautiful woman; she also towered as a giant among human beings. I remember meeting Dr. Angelou as I was one of those having words to say at the funeral of actor and comedian Godfrey Cambridge. At the end of the service we met at the home of Brock and Dee Dee Peters. Present was a host of Hollywood celebrities, writers, and activists; among them was Maya Angelou and James Baldwin.
The Nation of Islam at that time was undergoing a transition after the departure of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad. I had stopped teaching and I was in a depressed mental state. I mentioned to Dr. Angelou and James Baldwin that I wanted to do a movie on the life of Brother Malcolm. James Baldwin responded and said “I have already written the script.” Dr. Angelou encouraged me to continue the word and work of Elijah Muhammad but she also liked the idea of my making a movie on Malcolm X’s life because he was a source of inspiration in her growth into greater consciousness of our struggle.
I was privileged to watch her grow and become the giant that she ultimately became. When we organized the Million Man March, I asked Dr. Angelou if she would say a poem, and in spite of severe opposition she did. When Dr. Angelou saw that huge throng of nearly 2 million men she wept and she recited her famous poem titled, “And Still I Rise.”
In the Holy Qur’an, Allah (God) Promises that He Will never waste the work of a worker male or female who works in His Cause. She was passionate in her search for truth and in her boldness to speak the truth that she found. She was passionate in her quest for justice and equity not only for her people but for every human being.
Although the body of Dr. Angelou must return to the earth, yet no grave can contain her spirit, for her spirit through her work has escaped death and she will continue to live and her memory and her work will feed generations far into the future.
To her family, her friends, and all those who have been touched by her life, let us give thanks for the life germ of her father and the womb of her mother that gave to us and this world this magnificent human being.
She never took her eyes off of the prize, so because of her we shall continue to rise.
Your Brother and Servant,
The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan
Servant to the Lost-Found
Nation of Islam in the West