CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - The 17th Anniversary of the Million Man March is coming to Charlotte October 12-14, 2012. Charlotte was chosen to host the event because organizers say the city gave the best proposal. It beat out other cities such as Detroit and St. Louis.
Many believe the Minister Louis Farrakhan is coming to Charlotte at the right time.
"I hope that he will bring that calming - that divine spirit," Mecklenburg County NAACP President Rev. Kojo Nantambu said. "That will stir us up and get us up again, so we can do what we need to do to bring the community together again."
North Carolina's unemployment rate is approaching the double digits and many people are still recovering from the recession. Farrakhan's message is entitled: "Muhammad's Economic Blueprint: Ending Poverty and Want." He will deliver his message Sunday, October 14, at 2PM at the Bojangles Coliseum.
"Every message will have something new of guidance," Farrakhan supporter Corey Muhammad said. "So I will most certainly say it will be something shared with us that we have never heard before."
Already, followers of the faith have started arriving in town for the events.
Imam Sultan Muhammad conducted a Friday worship service leading up to the event."We as black people in America must unite regardless of our faith and backgrounds," he said. " We are in no need of hand outs. We are humans that have an ability to actualize our self determination just like an other human on the planet."
"The Nation of Islam leader has been known to be a controversial and polarizing figure, but people, who don't see eye to eye with Farrakhan on religious beliefs, are laying their differences aside and will focus on their similarities.
"The time is too late to allow differences to separate us," Rev. Dr. Dwayne Walker said. "It's time we come together. We have in common that we believe that homelessness is wrong, that poverty is wrong, injustice of any sort is wrong, and everyone ought to be entitled to equal opportunity and equal access to everything this country provides."
17 years ago the charge was given to men who attended the march to become better. Organizers say some improved others did not.
"We lost site of the plan," Nantambu said. "And because of that we have somewhat skipped backwards in murky darkness, where now we have lost our identity. We've lost control of our children in our community and gotten into a place now where we don't know where we are going."
This time around organizers will try to keep the Million Man March spirit going after it leaves Charlotte.
"This group along with others," Muhammad said. "Will continue to meet, look at the challenges that exist and collectively in unity and bring about solutions."
There is a fee to see Farrakhan at the Coliseum. Ticket prices range from $20 to $100. For those who can't afford that price, there are sponsors that are buying tickets to hand out for free.
"We do have people with unique circumstances," Muhammad said. "We do what we can so everyone who wants to hear the message can hear the message."
Organizers say the Nation of Islam leader's speech will be live streamed on NOI.org for those who can't attend.
Leaders expect the event to sell out.
There will be a weekend full of events during the 17th Anniversary. For ticket information call
704-399-0096 or 980-72-6533