The Audacity Factor
Words by NfrMa’at Hotep
As the father of two sons, I don’t know how I would feel if one of them was doing what my friend, Kokayi Nosakhere is doing. Without visible financial means, or staff or even 1000 email addresses, he has landed in Minneapolis, Minnesota to start what he is calling Phase Two of the By2015:AMERICA movement. It just doesn’t make sense. It defies logic. If I was one of his parents, I would be worried.
If he is worried, Kokayi isn’t showing it. When I asked him why he was so confident that the movement can start here he answered with seven words and one of those smiles of his that he is famous for. “Marcus Garvey and the Million Man March.”
Kokayi seems obsessed with the Million Man March. He tells the story like it happened last year instead of in 1995. To give that some perspective, Snoop Dogg was a new rapper back then and Tupac had one more year to live. Anyways, Kokayi says he “died” that day. He was terrified walking into the Capital Mall at 5:45 in the morning. He knew at any time the policemen on horseback or the helicopters flying overhead could open fire and kill all the men there.
But that didn’t happen. No one died. In fact, there were no fights. In fact, it was the largest, most peaceful demonstration ever in the history of Black America.
Kokayi says he learned something that day. “I wrote about my experience at the Million Man March in the Anchorage Daily News. I quoted scripture. No one had a problem with that. It was the fact that I thanked Minister Farrakhan for teaching me that faith and courage are two-sides of the same coin that people had a problem with. As the article flowed through Anchorage, I could hear the closing of doors.”
Kokayi laughed. Exasperated laughter. The same kind Bob Marley used in his interviews whenever he said something militant or controversial. (I learned that from Kokayi. He seems to know everything there is to know about Bob Marley.) Which brings me to Marcus Garvey.
Marcus Garvey was the Jamaican version of Farrakhan from the 1920s. Apparently, he landed in New York much the same way that Kokayi has landed in Minneapolis, with little more than his personal skill set and a plan of action. It didn’t matter. After making a few mistakes, Garvey went on to lead the most successful Black American organization of the 20th Century. Everyone became a “Garveyite.”
Kokayi thinks lightning can strike twice.
“I am a graduate of the Million Man March. I get that people aren’t used to dealing with someone who thinks in terms of possibility like I do. I get frustrated because I can see the potential of America. We can feed ALL of our children. All we need is for someone to do like Jesus and walk up and down the shores of Galillee spreading faith.”
That’s what Minister Farrakhan did. For over a year he traveled from city to city building the network and faith to support the manifestation of the Million Man March.
As a father, I still think Kokayi is crazy, but he has inspired me to help him out. Every movement needs funding to be successful, so I have chosen to help out Phase Two of the By2015:AMERICA movement by establishing a PayPal account, which I volunteered to supervise.
When I told Kokayi this, he smiled. “Great. We can use that to fund a Children’s Meal Mission satellite site here in Minneapolis.”
But what about you? How are you going to maintain yourself? Don’t you have child support to pay?
In response, Kokayi opened a book that he is reading and quoted John H. Johnson’s Urban League speech from the 1960s.
“It is the responsibility of leadership to point out the hard and narrow path. But it is also the duty of leadership to travel that path, to set an example. People are no longer willing to follow the leader who says – Don’t do as I do-Do as I say do.”
Then, he pointed to his booklet, “Start Where You Are.”
Yep. Kokayi is one in a million.
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