Monday, August 14, 2006

The Son Of Man by Akindele Akinyemi


I am not a rookie to helping Black men get on their feet. In fact, I have been doing it so long that it is second nature to me.

Just because I am a Republican does not mean that I am sell-out or Uncle Tom (whatever). My commitment is to Black first in a positive manner.

Over a decade ago there were three things about me that most people do not know.

1. I was a practicing Muslim who was very active in the Nubian Islamic Hebrew Mission (also known as Ansaaruallah Community).

2. I was also into the Pan-African movement very heavy. I read almost every Afro-centric book on the market and listened to conscious hip-hop.

3. I stayed far away from Whites and Jews at the time.

My millitant stance while I attended Mumford High School was off the hook. I influenced many young brothers and sisters in Detroit Public Schools and in the area Catholic Schools. I was always visitng and speaking in schools like DePorres, Bishop Borgess and U-D High.

One brother I had an influence on was Raphael Johnson. Today, he is the CEO of Total Package Lifestyles, a LLC that focuses on the promotion of mental conditioning and physical training. Before that he was a troubled brother seeking the right direction.

Yesterday, Rapahel had his book release party at Youthville. The book entitiled: To Pose A Threat: My Rite Of Passage is a must read for every hoodrat and sewer dweller in the streets. It is also a must read for those who are trying to get their lives in order.

I am already halfway through the book and it is a moving testiment to a man who has elevated to higher plateaus. If he ran for State Representative he would win hands down.

I am mentioned in the book because of my influence with Raphael. At the time when I met him I was in the Nubian Islamic Hebrews with Dr. Malachi Z. York. He came down on Grand River every Sunday and I would drive over to the Unviersity District to build with him. My whole goal, regardless of whtever he had (or was going through) was to build his self-esteem and give him the knowledge that was necessary to motivate him.

Raphael understood that I could back what I say up and I stood my ground against those who tried to make Black people like fools. To this day, I still stand my ground in politics and education.

When I left the Ansaars, Raphael went to the Nation of Islam where he was even further groomed. When he went to prison he was further reformed.

When I saw him for the first time at a men's conference at Wayne County Community College a few months ago he recognized me and told me he appreciated me for giving him a base of knowledge that laid the foundation for him and his future.

I am proud of Raphael Johnson and his accomplishments. Some brothers do not make it out. Some do. In this case, Raphael not only made it out of the hole but is now moving to new heights.