The head of the Nation of Islam, Minister Louis Farrakhan, met politicians, pastors and a police chief during his visit to Detroit last week.
But it’s his unprecedented meeting with rapper Eminem over a 2 1/2-hour dinner in his Detroit hotel room that has garnered the most attention.
The leader of the Detroit-founded group was in Southfield and Detroit in recent weeks to talk about his plans for the 20th anniversary of the Million Man March with an event called Justice or Else.
In his meeting with Eminem on Aug. 25, Farrakhan talked about the responsibilities that stars like Eminem have toward society, “to influence people positively,” said Troy Muhammad, a student minister who heads the Detroit branch of the Nation of Islam.
“It was a beautiful discussion,” Muhammad said. “Eminem was engaged. His manager (Paul Rosenberg) was engaged. It was a great time and experience.”
Farrakhan talked to Eminem about “using his influence and using his power through rap music and hip-hop culture to influence people positively, so our children, our youth, can grow into more positive humans,” Muhammad said.
In a post on Instagram, Farrakhan said he “was very honored to receive my brother, Marshall Mathers aka @eminem, last night at my dinner table for a beautiful dialogue.”
The meeting featured Farrakhan, the most prominent black nationalist in America, Eminem, a white rapper who become known for performing in a black-created art form, and Rosenberg, who is Jewish. Farrakhan has been criticized for his what some say are some anti-Jewish remarks.
Rosenberg could not be reached for comment. Members of the Muslim community praised the meeting. In a post on Instagram that featured a photo of Farrakhan meeting Eminem, Hajj Hasaun Muhammad said: “This picture is over ten years in the making. So much happens behind the scenes that I don’t post or talk about, but this one I absolutely had to. Truly epic that the two of them had dinner last night in Detroit.”
During his visit to Detroit, Farrakhan also spoke to a packed crowd at Fellowship Chapel in Detroit, the church led by the Rev. Wendell Anthony, who heads the Detroit Branch NAACP.
SOURCE: Niraj Warikoo
Detroit Free Press