As many of you know, last March, when it was announced that I was no longer in the Black Muslim movement, it was pointed out that it was my intention to work among the 22 million non-Muslim Afro-Americans and to try and form some type of organization, or create a situation where the young people—our young people, the students and others—could study the problems of our people for a period of time and then come up with a new analysis and give us some new ideas and some new suggestions as to how to approach a problem that too many other people have been playing around with for too long, and that we would have some kind of meeting and determine at a later date whether to form a black nationalist party or a black nationalist army.
There have been many of our people across the country, from all walks of life, who have taken it upon themselves to try and pool their ideas and to come up with some kind of solution to the problem that confronts all of our people. And tonight we are here to try and get an understanding of what it is they’ve come up with.
Also, recently, when I was blessed to make a trip, or a pilgrimage, a religious pilgrimage to the holy city of Mecca, where I met many people from all over the world, plus spent many weeks in Africa trying to broaden my own scope and get more of an open mind to look at the problem as it actually is, one of the things that I realized—and I realized this even before going over there—was that our African brothers have gained their independence faster than you and I here in America have. They’ve also gained recognition and respect as human beings much faster than you and I.
Just ten years ago on the African continent, our people were colonized. They were suffering all forms of colonization, oppression, exploitation, degradation, humiliation, discrimination, and every other kind of–ation. And in a short time, they have gained more independence, more recognition, more respect as human beings than you and I have. And you and I live in a country which is supposed to be the citadel of education, freedom, justice, democracy, and all of those other pretty-sounding words.