25 years of Community Service
By: Jesse Muhammad
Too often we wait until a person is no longer living for us to finally honor them. We say beautiful words they cannot hear, sing passionate songs they cannot witness, and present flowers they cannot smell.
Recently, hundreds from the city, state and parts of the country filled the ballroom at The Power Center to give Nation of Islam Student Minister Robert Muhammad his flowers while he lives.
The widely respected steward of Muhammad Mosque No. 45 has been consistently serving the community and the Southwest Region for 25 years. The theme of the event was “Celebrating Unity in the Community.”
“We toast you for your 30 years of marriage. We toast you for leaving your corporate job to be in the Nation of Islam and represent the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan. We appreciate you,” said Kofi Taharka, National Chairman of the National Black United Front. “You changed the history of this city.”
Roy Douglas Malonson, publisher of African-American News&Issues, brought laughter to the crowd as he recounted the first time he met the young “too tight suit wearing, sock matching” Brother Robert; whom he greatly respects.
“We don’t have to be around each other to respect each other,” said Mr. Malonson. “The world doesn’t care about the car you drive, the house you live in or how much money you have. The world cares about what you can do for your mankind. That’s the kind of person Brother Robert is.”
Mr. Malonson further stated, “We as a people really need to honor and protect those on the frontline. You all don’t know the strain it puts on their family and the person.”
Texas Congressional leaders Rep. Al Green and Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee presented proclamations in honor of Bro. Robert.
Also, words were shared by Prairie View Mayor Frank Jackson, Dallas Student Min. Jeffrey Muhammad and Junius Wilkerson, a longtime friend and fellow member of Groove Phi Groove Social Fellowship, Inc.
“Our best thank you’s are given when the person being given the thank you can receive them,” said Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee, announced that Bro. Robert’s life story will be placed in the Library of Congress in D.C. “Robert Muhammad deserves it, but he doesn’t ask for it. We should also honor the Nation of Islam and give praise and recognition to Minister Farrakhan.”
“Thank you for always being there for the students and people of Prairie View. You’re always there when the ugly head of racism raises its head. You’ve never backed down,” said Mayor Jackson.
Deloyd Parker, founder of S.H.A.P.E. Community Center, said,”If you ever want someone to speak for you, call Brother Robert. He’s always there when you call.”
The program was emceed by radio personality Jaye Delai of Atlanta. Performances were made by Cool Breeze, poetess Magnificent, Akilah Nehanda, and Rosewood.
A video presentation created by Yusef Muhammad showed photos of the night’s honoree from his days at Hampton Institute, tender family moments and triumphs as a budding community servant. The slideshow also included excerpts from a radio interview Minister Farrakhan did Sept. 2 on Sunday Morning Live on Majic 102.1FM.
“Brother Robert has been a faithful Believer, companion, friend and hard worker in the cause of the elevation of our people. He and his family have sacrificed much to help in this cause,” said Min. Farrakhan in the interview. “But all the time that Brother Robert was teaching in Houston, he never shied away from finding time to serve on committees and boards to advance our people in Houston. And at the same time go on to get his Master’s degree and in a few months from now, God willing, he will have his Doctorate degree.”
To close out the program, Bro. Robert said, “I thank the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan, Mosque 45, the Southwest Region and the event committee. I thank my wife and my children, who have sacrificed so much over these years.”
“We are where we are because of those who forged the way for us. This isn’t about me. It’s about us. To honor me is to honor yourself. By Allah’s Grace, I will work harder and harder to earn what we have received tonight,” he pledged.
Nadirah Muhammad, event committee chairperson, said “I must say that this event turned out better than I expected. It was a classy event. Every Believer and individual in the community that attended the event has given me positive feedback about the ambience, food, entertainment, and the roast and toast of Brother Robert Muhammad.”