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Source global Wall Street Journal     time 2022-12-17 15:06:29
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  Back then when our family was destroyed, in 1937, Wilfred and Hilda were old enough so that thestate let them stay on their own in the big four-room house that my father had built. Philbert wasplaced with another family in Lansing, a Mrs. Hackett, while Reginald and Wesley went to live with afamily called Williams, who were friends of my mother's. And Yvonne and Robert went to live with aWest Indian family named McGuire.

   Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays were the meeting days of the relatively small Detroit TempleNumber One. Near the temple, which actually was a storefront, were three hog-slaughtering pens. Thesquealing of hogs being slaughtered filtered into our Wednesday and Friday meetings. I'm describingthe condition that we Muslims were in back in the early 1950's.

  I wasn't about to say any of that romance stuff that Hollywood and television had filled women'sheads with. If I was going to do something, I was going to do it directly. And anything I was going todo, I was going to do _my_ way. And because _I_ wanted to do it. Not because I saw somebody do it.

  I think that an objective reader may see how in the society to which I was exposed as a black youthhere in America, for me to wind up in a prison was really just about inevitable. It happens to so manythousands of black youth.

  "I said to Him again," said Mr. Muhammad, "'What is your _true_ name?' And then He said, 'My nameis Mahdi. I came to guide you into the right path.'"Mr. Elijah Muhammad says that he sat listening with an open heart and an open mind-the way I wassitting listening to Mr. Muhammad. And Mr. Muhammad said he never doubted any word that the"Savior" taught him.

  The author had just sent the copy of the book to be given to me, Dr. Shawarbi said, and he explained that this author was an Egyptian-born Saudi citizen, an international statesman, and one of the closestadvisors of Prince Faisal, the ruler of Arabia. "He has followed you in the press very closely." It washard for me to believe.

  I also did a lot of exploring downtown. Why a city would have two big railroad stations-North Stationand South Station-I couldn't understand. At both of the stations, I stood around and watched peoplearrive and leave. And I did the same thing at the bus station where Ella had met me. My wanderingseven led me down along the piers and docks where I read plaques telling about the old sailing shipsthat used to put into port there.

  The lambskin and the cable-tow used in Masonry today are symbolic of how the nakedness of thewhite man was covered when he was chained and driven across the hot sand.


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