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Black Church News in Virginia

The Ink of the Scholar: History, Divine Ordinance and the Current Times

By Imam Vernon Fareed

When we look at the major events taking place in today’s world one can’t help but conclude, that the Divine Hand of G-d has to be in the mix. In an eerily manner today’s events bear a great resemblance to what is in scripture, with respect to “The Last Day” and that’s because it is! It is worth mentioning that learned people in religious language understand that “Day” in scripture does not mean a “24 hour day,” it is a reference to a lengthy period of time.

The extremes in thinking and behavior are just a couple of signs reflecting what has been prophesied in scripture, regarding “The Last Day.” We are certainly witnessing these extremes in the political arena, and it is of unprecedented proportion. The wild and unpredictable occurrences in the culture are yet another segment where we see extremism. The weather, religion, education, etc. are all areas where we are seeing extreme representations, and they speak to the seriousness as well as finality of the times!

Locally and nationally there are unveilings of everything from films telling the stories of people and events, to the opening of the new Museum of African-American History and Culture in Washington, D.C. In my view it is not accidental nor coincidental that films such as “The Birth of a Nation” and “Hidden Figures” will be making their national debut soon! ‘The Birth of a Nation’ happens to have been co-written and directed by a native Norfolk named Nate Parker. The film tells the story of an 1831 slave rebellion led by Nat Turner. Noted Hollywood actress Gabrielle Union, (recipient of the NAACP Image Award) stars in the film. ‘Hidden Figures’ depicts the role that African-American women played in ‘computers.’

Local Hampton, Virginia native Catherine Johnson had a major (behind the scenes) role on the computing team. The knowledge and involvement of this team helped to launch the first space flight (of astronaut John Glen) to the moon. Award winning Hollywood actress Taraji P. Henson will be starring in the film portraying Catherine Johnson. The Museum of African-American History and Culture is a huge contribution to the world, because a good portion of the Black people’s struggle and accomplishments are on display there!

Recently I (this writer) had a brief conversation with Brenda Andrews, the Publisher of this newspaper (the New Journal and Guide), and we talked about a couple of important things. One had to do with the importance of this publication (the third oldest such weekly in this country), and the other matter had to do with the need to establish an African-American Museum here in Norfolk. We both agreed that the Museum should highlight the 116 + years of history documented by the New Journal and Guide. No other publication has come close to documenting the struggle of Black people in this metropolitan area, and perhaps in the State of Virginia.

In reality this publication has captured history that is of importance to people of all races, religions and cultures, and this truly magnifies its value. The newly opened Museum in the Nation’s Capital is of great importance, and it will be of immense value to the world. The presence of the museum there does not diminish the need to establish an African-American Museum here in Norfolk, which will highlight the history that only the New Journal and Guide could capture. I have committed myself to work to see this project come to fruition and we trust that you will join us! I’m sure you’ll be hearing more about this initiative in the near future. Please join and support us when you do!

Note: The spelling of “G-d” when used in my articles is not a typo, it is intentional. We have a serious issue when the reverse spelling for the Name of the Great Creator is “Dog” and this is our way of drawing attention to this concern!

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