If knowledge is king, information vehicles that enlighten and inform are jewels in the crown of the ruler—and for a people steeped in ignorance and mis-education, truth is the light needed to guide to the proper path.
The Final Call newspaper, founded by the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan of the Nation of Islam in 1979, is committed to bringing information, enlightenment and truth to a world dominated by corporate-owned media outlets driven by a lust for profits, tainted by a fascination with all things trivial and all the gossip it can find.
In essence, The Final Call is in the information and resurrection business and inextricably linked with the movement for spiritual renewal and progress that is the Nation of Islam. It follows in the tradition of Muhammad Speaks, with hard-hitting national and international news and coverage of political issues. It is also the official communications organ of the Nation of Islam.
The entire first edition of the paper, except for the Honorable Elijah Muhammad’s editorial and presentation of “The Muslim Program,” was written by Min. Farrakhan. Members of his family and others designed the layout, did typesetting and copy editing and assisted with research.
The emergence of The Final Call just two years into Min. Farrakhan’s rebuilding effort of the Nation of Islam sent a message about his serious dedication to see the message of the Hon. Elijah Muhammad rebirthed. The Nation had went in an incredibly different direction shortly after the departure of Mr. Muhammad in 1975 and so did the powerful Muhammad Speaks newspaper.
The first edition of The Final Call, dedicated to the resurrection of the Black man and woman of America and the world, emerged with the headline, “The Ultimate Challenge: The Survival of the Black Nation.”
“In rebuilding the Nation of Islam, it is incumbent upon us to retrace the Honorable Elijah Muhammad’s steps,” the paper noted. “The first newspaper that the Messenger produced was in 1934 after His Teacher Master Fard Muhammad had left Him with the Mission. The name of that paper was The Final Call To Islam.
“One day, the Honorable Elijah Muhammad said to the Minister, ‘Brother, if there were any sign or symbol that I would choose to represent my work it would be the trumpet … for the trumpet is the sign of the resurrection of the dead,’ ” the paper continued.
“So, as He began, we begin! THE FINAL CALL is a monthly message published by people dedicated to the resurrection of the Black man and woman of America and the world …”
So from the faith and dedication of one man has come a weekly publication and an online edition that provides information to millions each year – and includes a fledging international English language edition that is published in the United Kingdom.
Throughout Black America and now other parts of the world, the sight of Muslim men offering a newspaper to people has become a hallmark of the Nation and a symbolic and literal taking the truth to the streets to warn and inform through a spiritual message wrapped in news events and analysis that bear witness to the time – the time of great change and turmoil foretold in the scriptures of the Bible and the Holy Qur’an, the book of scripture of the Muslims.
The Final Call is headquartered in Chicago in the heart of a Black community has staff writers in the Nation’s capital, in Houston, in Los Angeles and a correspondent at the United Nations, where The Final Call is the only Black-owned news publication with permanent media credentials. Contributing writers and columnists supplement the work of dedicated staffers.
On April 16, 1996, The Final Call began its weekly publication schedule. “Following the legacy of the Muhammad Speaks newspaper, published by the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, we plan to maintain and, in fact, increase our standard of excellence in bringing information to the Black community,” vowed the newspaper.
As the newspaper marks over 30 years of publication, it is still growing and developing, but nothing will deter this news organ from bringing the truth to the world. Truth is what is needed today and it is perhaps the most precious commodity on the market.
(Richard Muhammad is editor of The Final Call Newspaper. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.)