“In the NOI, black Americans see a group of proud and fearless black men who follow Minister Farrakhan. Black men who will go into drug and gang infested public housing complexes and confront the lawless. And they see an economic plan to revitalize black families and black communities that have been abandoned by government and corporate entities.
I know Farrakhan’s real world impact on people. For example, when I started attending the University of California, Berkley, I also started taking the birth control pill. I think it was included in the registration packet. I mention the birth control pill because at the time, it was the drug of choice for most single young women. Many who were still in high school and not yet sexually active were prescribed the potent drugs, allegedly to “regulate their cycles.”
Moreover, marijuana, “drop out,” and “free love” were the buzzwords of my generation. The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, Sly and the Family Stone, our Pied Pipers of modernity, lured us into a dark and swirling hole of hedonism. And Farrakhan, espousing the teachings of Elijah Muhammad, brought me out of the tailspin. Until that point, I had been taking birth control pills to keep from getting pregnant. But after listening to Louis Farrakhan speak about how potent a drug must be to be capable of shutting down one of nature’s powerful biological functions-that of reproducing itself-I stopped.
It took me another 2 years to ovulate or produce eggs again. And some years later, the pharmaceutical companies revealed that we had been guinea pigs and the pills prescribed to some young women were about 10 times more potent than they should have been.
“You are poisoning yourself,” Farrakhan has said. “Why kill the fruit of your womb and prevent maybe another great Black Leader from being born? Hasn’t Pharaoh killed enough of our children?” I am glad I heard him, I stopped taking the pill. And now I am the proud mother of 4 children: a daughter and 3 sons.”
In major cities across the country, Minister Farrakhan is trying to build businesses, open schools, and teach black people how to pool their resources to build something for themselves…But, most important, he loves black people. [He] loves them more than he loves white people. And that is a rare black person to find. Most “black leaders” want to appease white folks. They need to have their intellect, their humanity, their worthiness validated by white people-the same people brought up to despise them. But not Farrakhan. That is his appeal.
As an NOI lieutenant during the 1970s, my task was teaching and training the women who joined the organization. I witnessed young chemically addicted female prostitutes come out of the drug culture and become good, loving mothers and homemakers. I saw former alcoholics and hustlers, wayward men and cheats become honest, dependable, and hard-working family men. I saw radical anarchists become community builders and schoolteachers. I even saw men involved in homosexual activity become satisfied husbands and fathers. This was done by a belief system and program that told them that their humanity did not originate in slavery or the jungles of Africa.
For me the Nation of Islam was a womb in which I was allowed to flourish and grow, to a point. It served as a womb that sheltered me and allowed me to develop and gain a knowledge of myself absent the presence of white supremacy. In America, blacks need a healthy framework by which we can shape ourselves…I am proud of my experience in the Nation of Islam and glad for the personal evolution it provided me. (Alexander 1998, 161-167)
Fahizah Alim is an award winning columnist for the Sacramento Bee and a former member of the Nation of Islam. The above quote is taken from the book Farrakhan Factor by Amy Alexander