Minister Louis Farrakhan urged young people to challenge themselves academically after he witnessed the great achievements Black women made in the Oscar-nominated film “Hidden Figures.”
The film, starring Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer and Janelle Monáe as three Black mathematicians who sent NASA astronaut John Glenn into space, left a lasting impression on Farrakhan. So much so that he told the youngest members of his audience to, “Go back and look at your curriculum” during a speaking engagement at the Afrikan Black Coalition Conference Saturday, Jan. 14 in Long Beach, Calif.
“If it is meaningless, CHALLENGE YOURSELF,” he tells the crowd. “You are strong enough to master any course. Don’t let your guidance or misguidance counselor — they’re there to misguide you. You say ‘Oh, I want to be an engineer.’ ‘Hey, hey, hey no, we have a carpentry shop.’ ” He said guidance counselors often mislead students because “they want you to take courses that they can make money off of you on your scholarships.”
He insisted that the Black liberation movement needed engineers, and he asked young people to change their course because engineering is vital. In his address, the Nation of Islam leader issued a warning to students: Stop listening to the advice of guidance counselor because it will not allow young Black students an opportunity to be a “shining light in the liberation struggle.”
By the midpoint of the short clip, Farrakhan began tp praise the hit film “Hidden Figures” to illustrate his point about the importance of engineering.
“I advise you to go see it because a white man would not have been able to go to the moon if it was for not for our Black sisters and their mathematical genius,” he said. “And look how long they hid that knowledge from us.”