Ebony S. Muhammad (EM): This 5th Annual Black Male Summit (BMS) comes at a very critical time in America as it relates to the lives of Black boys and men. Is it possible for black males to be encouraged and empowered at a time like this and if so how?
Deric Muhammad (DM): Emphatically YES! The Black male in America has many reasons to be discouraged. But they are not outweighed by the many more reasons we have to be ENCOURAGED. THE deaths of Mike Brown, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice and countless others have broken our hearts. However, at the same time it has elevated our level of consciousness. We are waking up in this time like never before. We see the justice system for what it really is; not for what it pretends to be. In all adversity it opportunity. The scripture promises us that God would give us “beauty for our ashes.” The best way to encourage the Black male today is to give him the knowledge of himself and the knowledge of the time and what must me done. We have to help him to make sense of it all and give him the tools that he needs to survive and succeed in America. The greatest of all those tools is TRUTH. The number one question in America is “What do we tell our boys?” My answer is tell them THE TRUTH.
EM: Some have referred to the current events as signifying an “open season” on black males as it relates to their demise. What exactly are we witnessing?
DM: We are witnessing America on trial. Not in a court room; but in the streets. She is being exposed for the diabolical way she mistreats us every day. What we are witnessing is two-fold. It is a GREAT and a DREADFUL day. It has ALWAYS been open season on Black males in America. This is nothing new. However, the use of modern technology is speeding up the process of the evidence reaching the masses of the people. The world is sickened by what it sees. But, the Black man will rise regardless. The more they oppress of the stronger it will make us. The more they oppress us the more reason we have to unite to do something for ourselves. Our foreparents went through 300 plus years of physical bondage, torture and murder. We will survive this.
EM: What is the mission and vision for this year’s BMS?
DM: The mission of this year’s summit is to further elevate the consciousness of everyone we are blessed to reach with an emphasis on the criminal justice system. We plan to teach, in plain terms, how to effectively handle yourself during encounters with law enforcement. Our theme this year is “EDUCATION-SURVIVAL-SUCCESS!”
EM: Who will be the speakers and what do each possess in fulfilling the mission and vision?
DM: We tend to choose speakers who are gifted with the energy, presentation skills, information and most importantly, the real life experience to reach our attendees and stir their very souls. Our speaker include St. Louis area activist A.J. McQueen, Pastor E.A. Deckard, Jeffrey L. Boney of the Black Dollar Project, Atty. Dennis Spurling, Minister Robert Muhammad and others.
EM: As these events of injustice continue to unfold/increase, how will the BMS continue to promote its mission and vision long after Dec. 6th? Will you begin a college, high school, middle school, elementary tour? How can schools contact you to host a BMS?
In the words of the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan, “LET’S GET THIS WORK IN!” That’s all I have to say. Thank you for the interview.
EM: Thank you sir and may Allah bless you with much success!