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Source global Wall Street Journal     time 2022-12-17 15:04:53
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  I didn't know what this distinguished man was doing. I had no dream. When I was told that I wouldbe brought back for dinner that evening, and that, meanwhile, I should get back in the car, how couldI have realized that I was about to see the epitome of Muslim hospitality?

  Born and raised in a family that was culturally varied, I innately gravitated to the rhythms of theworld. Mommie was our constant, as many mothers are. Daddy was the jubilant energy in our world.

  As soon as I got that party settled, I'd telephone the madam. She would generally have me rush by taxiright back downtown to be on the 45th Street and Broadway comer at a specified time. Appointmentswere strictly punctual; rarely was I on the corner as much as five minutes. And I knew how to keepmoving about so as not to attract the attention of any vice squad plainclothes-men or uniformed cops.

  She was brown-skinned, with a small face that was mostly covered. Judge Harkon was a kind,impressive man. We talked. He asked me some questions, having to do with my sincerity. I answeredhim as truly as I could. He not only recognized me as a true Muslim, but he gave me two books, one inEnglish, the other in Arabic. He recorded my name in the Holy Register of true Muslims, and we wereready to part. He told me, "I hope you will become a great preacher of Islam in America." I said that Ishared that hope, and I would try to fulfill it.

  I'm just going to tell you now his _greatest_ greatness! He is the _first_, the _only_ black leader toidentify, to you and me, _who_ is our enemy!

  What makes the ghetto hustler yet more dangerous is his "glamor" image to the school-dropout youthin the ghetto. These ghetto teen-agers see the hell caught by their parents struggling to get somewhere,or see that they have given up struggling in the prejudiced, intolerant white man's world. The ghettoteenagers make up their own minds they would rather be like the hustlers whom they see dressed"sharp" and flashing money and displaying no respect for anybody or anything. So the ghetto youthbecome attracted to the hustler worlds of dope, thievery, prostitution, and general crime andimmorality.

  I understood it better now than I had before. In the Holy World, away from America's race problem,was the first time I ever had been able to think clearly about the basic divisions of white people inAmerica, and how their attitudes and their motives related to, and affected Negroes. In my thirty-nineyears on this earth, the Holy City of Mecca had been the first time I had ever stood before the Creatorof All and felt like a complete human being.

  Free now to do what I pleased, upon an impulse I went to Boston. Of course, I saw Ella. I gave hersome money: it was just a token of appreciation, I told her, for helping me when I had come fromLansing. She wasn't the same old Ella; she still hadn't forgiven me for Laura. She never mentioned her,nor did I. But, even so, Ella acted better than she had when I had left for New York. We reviewed thefamily changes. Wilfred had proved so good at his trade they had asked him to stay on at Wilberforceas an instructor. And Ella had gotten a card from Reginald who had managed to get into the merchantmarine.


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