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Social media has become the driving force for disseminating information as well as social engagement, yet there are many who still find it quite intimidating or without significant value. On June 1, 2013 those apprehensions were met with a powerful, engaging and inspiring presentation during the Houston Tweet Up and Social Media Workshop led by Brother Jesse Muhammad, at Muhammad Mosque No. 45 in Southeast Houston. This would be his third official presentation subsequent to New Orleans, LA and Austin, TX. Brother Jesse is an international motivational speaker, award winning blogger, social media expert and Staff Writer for The Final Call Newspaper. Along with managing his own personal Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts, Brother Jesse also manages the official social media accounts for the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan, National Representative of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, the Leader of the Nation of Islam.
Brother Jesse began his presentation by showing the attendees the music video, “Raise Your Flag Up”, by Hip Hop artist Jasiri X. The audience’s attention was immediately drawn in to the lyrics and imagery of the film, which was a wonderful segway into the social media workshop.
The next slide was an image taken from the late 1980’s movie, “I’m Gonna Get You Sucka”, where Antonio Vargas’ character was released from prison after serving a significant amount of years, which as a result caused him to lose touch with current fashion trends. If you can recall the gold bell bottoms with the fish tank platforms, then you understand how out of touch he was with what was considered in style or modern. This was the correlation Brother Jesse was making regarding how many people still operate in the world today; with an old mindset. There are modern means of communication and interaction that many have yet to use, because they are still holding on to ideas and methods that are outdated.
He continued by sharing the story of how he was asked to set up the official Twitter account for the Hon. Minister Louis Farrakhan. According to Brother Jesse, the Minister was initially apprehensive to engage in social media until he learned of its immense benefits and ability to reach millions all over the world with the Word of God. After Brother Jesse introduced Minister Farrakhan to the mechanics of Twitter and the various ways he could use the network, the rest was history.
Brother Jesse explained to the audience why they were needed on the “Digital Battlefield”. According to FinalCall.com, the Twitter account of Minister Farrakhan has been attacked on more than one occasion, the first attack, by removing over 20,000 of his followers within at 48 hour period. Despite these multiple attacks on Minister Farrakhan’s account, Brother Jesse encouraged the attendees in how to respond to other forms of assaults such as profane comments from critics. “The Hon. Louis Farrakhan represents that clean glass, so we must interact in the same manner as he does”, said Brother Jesse. These words of encouragement stemmed from instructions given by Minister Farrakhan via Twitter. He tweeted, “The more we engage the people with intellectual dialogue, the more friends we will make and the more enemies we will silence.”
Although many around the world use social media for vain and non-productive reasons, Brother Jesse emphasized to his listeners to use these vehicles to inspire and empower others. “Social media is a tool used to help us with our purpose”, he said.
At that time he moved on to the mechanics of Twitter, which included the basics of how to set up an account, how to follow others, how to retweet, what trending means, what hashtags (#) mean as well as other key functions. In light of the attacks on Minister Farrakhan’s account, Brother Jesse made sure to hone in on the importance of changing passwords as often as possible. He shared that many Student Ministers in the Nation of Islam have had their accounts hacked into within two weeks of being on Twitter.
One of the most exciting aspects about this workshop is that no matter what age or experience level, EVERYONE was learning how to thrive! Brother Jesse conducted a practical application segment for Twitter users by asking a participant from the audience to retweet a comment as well as to follow someone. Since it was a live demonstration on Twitter, others who were located in other parts of the country joined the conversation. It further proved how interconnected we are and how powerful social media can be.
The energy of the audience buzzed with enthusiasm, and the level of understanding heightened as many of the attendees asked questions and applied the answers right on the spot.
Brother Jesse presented the mechanics of Facebook as well as Instagram proving that not only words can be powerful, but images hold a profound weight as well. One image in particular that he pulled from Instagram had nearly a thousand likes. It was an image of the Fruit of Islam in an organized formation promoting peace in the streets of a rough neighborhood.
At the conclusion of the first phase of the social media workshop and in preparation for the weekly broadcast of Minister Farrakhan’s lecture series, The Time and What Must Be Done, Brother Jesse and a few other experienced Twitter users assisted those who did not have an account to open one so they can tweet live.
Brother Jesse made an exciting announcement to the entire work shop, which was now standing room only, “I just want everyone here to know that you have now enlisted yourself into the official Farrakhan Twitter Army!”
At 6P.M. CST, the Tweet Up for The Time and What Must Be Done lecture series kicked off. The newly enlisted members of the Farrakhan Twitter Army were on their personal mobile devices, smartphones, tablets and laptops sharing the words of the Hon. Minister Louis Farrakhan to the world.
For the past few consecutive weeks the hashtags #TheTime and #Farrakhan have been trending nationally as well as worldwide. At the conclusion of the broadcast the energy of the room was explosive! The Time and What Must Be Done broadcast trended above the NBA playoffs, which for many who follow sports, is unheard of. This was the exclamation mark and stamp of profound significance that the words streaming via social media are indeed from the Source of Truth through a Vessel of Guidance, Knowledge and Understanding of the time in which we are living in that will ultimately save lives.
The next Tweet Up and Social Media Workshop Brother Jesse is scheduled to present will be held at Muhammad Mosque No. 48 in Dallas, Texas on June 8, 2013. To invite Brother Jesse to your city for a Tweet Up and Social Media Workshop, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow Brother Jesse on Twitter @BrotherJesse.
Article and photos by Ebony S. Muhammad