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The House of the Lord Church where Black Political Power was born and nurtured Part One Hundred Eleven

Reflections on my attending UN Security Council with President Joshua Nkomo (cont.)

September 29, 1977 

In the photo: Joshua Nkomo at the Refugee camps in Southern Rhodesia. He signed this photo on Sept. 28, 1977.

On my way back to the hotel, I met a woman named Loretta Parker, who was a syndicated columnist. She persuaded me to return back to the U.N, where she invited me to accompany her to explore the rest of the U.N building. We went into the delegates lounge and had coffee (It is the same lounge I used to take Leah, our eldest daughter. Now Rev. Leah Daughtry the National Prelate of our churches, the House of the Lord Church). 


Mr. Calistus came in and sat with some of his friends. After having coffee, we headed out when Mrs. Parker observed that people were getting on the elevator. She invited me to go up to the reception with her. She explained that these receptions were held nightly. It is an insult if the people do not respond. There were two receptions being held on the same floor. When the elevator arrived, we were informed to go to the reception on our right. It was a Togo land reception. When we entered the reception area, we were announced at the door. We were greeted by four persons as we entered the room. The food was hors d'oeuvres. I feasted on shrimps and orange juice.  


As we were leaving, I saw the Ambassador of Botswana. I also met some other people in the Delegation from Tanzania. From there, we went to the Samoan reception, which was much smaller. The hors d'oeuvres were the same. Some of the same people were also present that we had met at the Togo land reception.   

I remarked to Mrs. Parker that it was quite interesting, that after fighting downstairs all day, then they would come upstairs to share food and drink with one another. I could not help but reflect that even in a war situation, the Ambassadors, or at least the Delegations from the various waring countries would come to these receptions to eat and drink, laugh and talk, while men from both sides of their armies and countries were presently dying on the battlefields.  


Thus completed my day at the U.N. I picked up Calistus, and hoped that we could say our goodbyes to Mr. Nkomo at the airport, as I had not gotten a chance to do so before leaving the U.N. He was so gracious to us, the least I wanted to do was thank him and wish him farewell. But unfortunately, it did not materialize. So again, ending my United Nations experience.   

Now, I want to back up just to offer some personal reflections from this event... 

First of all, I must say that I was very, very pleased and gratified that Mr. Nkomo would call me. He had come to this country just for the purpose of making the United Nations Security Council speech. I must have been the only person in the USA that he had called – a true honor indeed. I was told by others that he had said, “I've got to get in touch with my brother” referring to me, and I was very pleased by that. I was also pleased that I was accepted and treated as a brother within his entourage. When we were at the hotel, I sat there for an hour or so, perfectly comfortable and at ease, particularly made so by the company that arrived with Mr. Nkomo.  


Even when we left the hotel, I felt particularly comfortable being invited to the U.N with Mr. Nkomo and his Delegation. We walked out of the hotel and headed across the street into the U.N. I was a part of the Delegation. In fact, I asked Calistus if it were alright for me to be there, or if I should go inside through another entrance in the United Nations building. He said, "No, you go with us. You will be able to enter as a member of our Delegation and entourage."   

Inside of the United Nations that day, sitting in the front row, I experienced the humanness of it all. Here, in the highest council of human deliberation, people were just human after all.   

Secretary Owens, whom I had previously read so much about, just seemed so human. In fact, when we were seated in the corridor, while passing on his way to speak, he spoke to us. He had mentioned a personal tragedy that was troubling him. He didn’t say what it was, but I assumed someone had died or was very sick. He seemed tired, weary, and in pain.  


Ambassador Andrew Young also looked human. His mannerisms — the picking at his face, looking at his hands, taking notes — it all just looked so human. The suits of the Delegates were wrinkled and all of them seemed ungroomed. They all appeared to be tired. The greetings, handshaking, backslapping — all of it seemed so human.  


Here I sat in the Security Council, where so many major decisions regarding the world situations were deliberate and I was simply struck by the fact that the people here were still just human beings; no more, no less. The way they carried on their business was no difference than all of the other conferences that I had been a part of. Perhaps, with a little bit more strictness regarding parliamentary procedures, but the same nonetheless. In large conferences there are always people standing on the side of the halls or conference rooms, meeting in the corners, planning, scheming, plotting, caucusing, even here all that was done. 


The American Delegation had Andrew Young seated in the front row. Opposite the table, four seats behind him were occupied by very old white men. It was such an incongruous scene. Here, was Andrew Young — youthful, handsome, sitting in the front of these old worn-out white men. I thought it was so striking. He moved back to whisper something in the ear of one of the old white men, who then left the room and returned later. I thought to myself, “isn’t that a change.” Here was Andrew Young, conveying a message of some sort, to this old white gentleman, which moved him from his seat to go look after an errand. 


I remember outside the Security Council, after the meeting, when people were being introduced, I was introduced to someone by a brother whose name I cannot recall. I remember his gesturing at me and saying "oh yes, he is our brother” when introducing me. I was left feeling elated by it all. It was an unforgettable day.  


As I had mentioned earlier, Mr. Nkomo had three pictures, which he gave me. These were pictures that were taken some time ago of his being at the refugee camps in Southern Rhodesia. He said that he didn't have time to develop the other films that were taken, but he wanted me to have these. I asked him to autograph them for the church and myself, which he did.  


Mrs. Parker told me something about Mr. Nkomo I think it is worth recording here. She said they used to stay in the same building in Harlem. On one occasion, her son had fallen backward and bumped his head badly on a radiator. She went on to say that Mr. Nkomo, being so deeply concerned about her son, he left the United Nations in order to personally look after her son. This was some years ago.  


I bring this up, because I believe it also agrees with one of the observations made by Tony Breeland at our church — that Mr. Nkomo had a lot of compassion and strength in his eyes. This, I had observed as well. He is a very sensitive human being. Very compassionate, very outgoing. He is a man who has known a lot of pain, a lot of hurt, and so has become a very sensitive human being as a result of it.   

Usually when we experience deep hurt, we either become bitter, or become better. Mr. Nkomo had become better. (“I remember years later when Rev.  Jesse Jackson said that about Nelson Mandela, Mr. Mandela came out of prison better not bitter.”) I think that it is significant that he was invited to address the Security Council — with all of the parties that were operating in the Rhodesian situation, as well as all of the various African parties — Mr. Nkomo was the one selected to address the Security Council.   (We should note here that Mr. Nkomo was considered the Godfather of the Southern Liberation struggle even more highly regarded than Nelson Mandela at the time.)

Well, one has to reflect upon the future. It does seem inevitable that the government of Southern Rhodesia will change hands. I cannot help but wonder how it will be when the government changes, and Mr. Nkomo becomes the Prime Minister. (The country did change hands and changed names, Rhodesia became Zimbabwe, but Mr. Nkomo was not elected Prime Minister. Mr. Robert Mugabe became Prime Minister of Zimbabwe. Mr. Nkomo became head of the Homeland Security department.)  

What would it mean for our church? I’m not sure. But another thought comes to mind. I do plan to go to Africa in early December and visit the refugee camps. The thought occurred to me that we might be able to start some mission work there while all of these young men are in the refugee camps.  


All in all, as I had said, it was an unforgettable day. I sat there observing, analyzing, and it was hard to believe that I was there. Sitting in the highest council of human deliberation. Going through that experience, I am more and more convinced that God had called me with a worldwide mission. To convert the world to Jesus Christ was the heading of the 10-page document that I wrote in Lewisburg Federal Prison in 1957. For which I see the future of human beings and their relentless and noble efforts in trying to resolve world problems.  


They seemed so committed and confident! Yet, so small. If you discern a contradiction in my analysis and observation you’re right. But contradictions are a part of life. It was/is part of the Marxist thinking “theory, thesis, antithesis and synthesis”. The challenge of life is to achieve a synthesis bringing the two together, bringing thesis and antithesis together to achieve your objective or goal. I knew as never before that only God can bring this saga to a close. Now, this is not to suggest that I will not continue to participate — to work, to labor, to pray, to advocate, to preach and to do all that I can while here on Earth. (To use a phrase that I developed years later, to Save the Planet, Save the People.) But while I struggle for better things here, I realize that only God can bring Peace, Justice and Love to the world.  


To be continued on Thursday, February 1, 2024.  

Stay tuned for more updates from Herbert Daughtry Global Ministries.  

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