Possession is the motivation
that is hanging up
the goddamn nation
Looks like we always end up in a rut
I can't use it
Trying to make real
Compared to what?
— Les McCann and Eddie Harris, "Compared to What?"
One of my most vivid childhood memories is the constant presence of neatly though conservatively dressed Black men in dark suits with bow ties, sporting closely cropped hair, or a "Quo Vadis," as it was called at the time. These men were of course members of the Nation of Islam who sold Muhammed Speaks from the street corners of downtown Detroit.Their polite manner of speaking and dignified appearance were always interesting to me, and I looked forward to encountering them, if for no other reason than that they would often refer to me, a little boy, as "Sir" or sometimes "young brother," terms of acknowledgment and respect that had lasting meaning.
I guess in hindsight I was impressed by their pride and dignity, the fact that they looked you straight in the eye when talking, that they did