Archive for the ‘BLACK RELIGION’ Category

“THE BLACK HEBREWS”BY JEWISHVIRTUALLIBRARY.ORG

October 10, 2007

from jewishvirtuallibrary.org

The Black Hebrews

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Note: The Black Hebrews are not Ethiopian Jews.
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The Black Hebrews, a sect whose full name is “The Original African Hebrew Israelite Nation of Jerusalem,” have two centers of activity: Chicago and Dimona. About 2,500 members, led by Ben Ami Carter, live in Israel — most of them in Dimona, and the rest in Arad and Mitzpe Ramon, with some others residing in other parts of the country.
The Black Hebrews believe that they are descended from the ten lost tribes of Israel. They live according to their own special rules of conduct. Polygamy is permitted and birth control is forbidden. Their leaders decree who will marry whom, performing the weddings and approving annulments. Their dietary laws prohibit the eating of meat, dairy products, eggs and sugar; members who are caught consuming these foods are punished. Members must adopt Hebraic names in place of their former “slave names.” According to Black Hebrew custom, the woman’s responsibilities focus on child­rearing and other family obligations. The Black Hebrews’ closed society is isolated from the mainstream and all infractions of their rules are severely punished.

The first Black Hebrews began arriving in Israel in 1969, entering the country on temporary visas that were periodically renewed. In the meantime, the Chief Rabbinate of Israel declared that the Black Hebrews were not Jews, and therefore the sect’s members were not entitled to Israeli citizenship under the Law of Return. Nevertheless, the Black Hebrew population in Dimona continued to grow due to their high birthrate and because many of them, some with criminal backgrounds, illegally entered Israel using various forms of subterfuge. The Government of Israel avoided deporting the Black Hebrew members who lived in the country illegally, but at the same time also refrained from granting the Black Hebrews citizenship or permanent residency. During the tension that developed during the 1970s and especially the 1980s, some members of the sect engaged in anti­Israel activity and propaganda, aligning themselves with anti­Semitic groups. They claimed that the white Jews were “imposters,” and that they, the Black Hebrews, were the rightful inheritors of the land of Israel.

The Black Hebrews acquired legal status in an agreement reached with the Israel Ministry of the Interior in May 1990. According to that agreement, the Black Hebrews were initially granted tourist status with a B/1 visa that entitled them to employment; a year later they were given temporary resident status (A/5) for a period of five years. At the end of the five-year period, in 1995, their status was extended for another three years. At the beginning of 2004, the interior minister granted them residency, which does not carry mandatory military service.

Currently they receive two special benefits:

A. They are entitled to stipends paid by Israel’s National Insurance Institute (social security)-such as child support, assistance to the disabled, aid for the elderly, supplemental income, etc. Indeed, 830 members of the sect are receiving such benefits from the NII.

B. The Israel Ministry of Education assists and subsidizes the operation of a school for the Black Hebrew children. Today the school serves 700 pupils who study in 14 classes. The U.S. Congress has assisted this school by appropriating $1 million, half of which was designated for constructing the school facility.

The Black Hebrews derive their income from their famous choir, their seamsters’ workshop, which provides the sect with its colorful clothing, and from their vegetarian restaurant in Arad’s commercial center, with an adjacent factory for vegetarian food products.

The first member of the Black Israelite community to enlist in the IDF, Uriahu Butler, was inducted into the army July 29, 2004. By the end of 2006, more than 100 of their youth, girls and boys, joined the military. Their enlistment process was complicated by the community’s strict vegan dietary traditions, which extend to wearing all-cotton clothes and a ban on leather shoes. The community agreed to comply with IDF requirements and the IDF agreed to allow Israelite soldiers to wear cloth shoes instead of army-issue boots; the congregation will forgo the stricture regarding cotton clothing.

Presently, the community operates a vegan eatery in Tel Aviv; their musicians perform across Israel and around the world, touring the US, Europe and Africa either solely with their own members or as a part of other Israeli groups. They have created their own music genre, which they call Songs of Deliverance, and produce CDs.

In sports the Black Hebrews have represented Israel at home and in Europe in track and field and national softball events, including the Maccabiah games. Their students have represented Israel in international academic competitions. Twice they have represented Israel in Eurovision, the international music competition.

In February 2005, in conjunction with the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, the civil rights organization established by civil rights icon, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the Black Hebrews opened the Dr. Martin Luther King/SCLC – Ben Ammi Institute for a New Humanity, a conflict resolution center in Dimona to teach holistic non-violence and reconciliation to families, communities, faiths and nations. Their story is a testimony of the great growth and maturity of the State of Israel and its people.

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Source: Israeli Foreign Ministry; Haaretz, (July 30, 2004)

“THE DESTRUCTION OF BLACK CIVILIZATION” BY BROTHER CHANCELLOR WILLIAMS: A REVIEW BY SAADIQ MANCE FROM EMERGINGMINDS.ORG

October 1, 2007

from emergingminds.org

Book Review: The Destruction of Black Civilization

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Book written by Chancellor Williams
Reviewed by Saadiq Mance

In the past, I have heard several people refer to The Destruction of Black Civilization, by Chancellor Williams as the “Black Bible.” With such a lofty analogy attached to this book, I wonder to this day why it took me so long to read this amazing story of Black history. Well, Black History Month 2007 would be the year my eyes would be open…and all I can say at this point is thank you Chancellor Williams!

All of my life I have questioned why Black people throughout the world have experienced such a plight and why it has been so difficult for us to overcome it. Well The Destruction of Black Civilization is a book of answers, as it answers most of the major questions that people have about the African race. Such as:

“How did such a highly advanced Black Civilization get so completely destroyed that its people have found themselves not only behind other people of the world, but as well, the color of their skin a sign of inferiority, bad luck, and the badge of the slave whether bond or fee?”

“How did all Black Egypt become all white Egypt?”

“What were some of the specific details in the process that so completely blotted out the achievements of the African race from the annals of history?”

“How and under what circumstances did Africans, among the very first people to invent writing, lose this art almost completely?”

“Is there a single African race, one African people?”

“If we are one race or one people, how do you explain the numerous languages, cultural varieties and tribal groupings?”

“Since, as it seems, that there is far more disunity, self-hatred and mutual antagonism among Blacks than any other people, is there a historical explanation for this?”

“How is the undying love of Blacks for their Europeans and Asian conquerors and enslavers explained?”

Chancellor Williams does not just answers these questions as an arm charm scholar either, no not at all. Williams created this book after 16 years of research which included a precise investigation of Africa’s own independently developed civilization by doing a continent-wide field study from the Mediterranean extending southward down the Nile into the “bush” far way from the westernized urban centers, through the tip of the country in South Africa.

That data he uncovered is startling! If you haven’t read this magnificent work yet then I would suggest you stop reading this right now and go pick up the book and start reading it now

“THE FINAL CALL NEWSPAPER” UPDATES,CURRENT

September 29, 2007

from thefinalcall.com


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A PRELIMINARY GLOBAL AFRICAN PRESENCEBOOK LIST*,COMPILED AND POSTED BY RUNOKO RASHIDI,SUBMITTED BY BROTHER DARRELL DAVIS TO ” BLACK IS BEAUTIFUL”

September 29, 2007

from Brother Darrell Davis

A PRELIMINARY GLOBAL AFRICAN PRESENCE BOOK LIST*

Compiled and posted by RUNOKO RASHIDI

DEDICATED TO DR. JOHN HENRIK CLARKE (1915-1998)

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Akbar, Na’im. Visions for Black Men. Nashville: Winston-Derek, 1991.

Ani, Marimba. Yurugu: An African-Centered Critique of European Cultural Thought and Behavior. Trenton: Africa World Press, 1994.

Armah, Ayi Kwei. Two Thousand Seasons. Poppenguine, Senegal: Per Ankh, 2000.

Begg, Ean. The Cult of the Black Virgin. London: Arkana, 1986.

Ben-Jochannan, Yosef A.A. Black Man of the Nile and His Family. Baltimore: Black Classic Press, 1989.

Ben-Jochannan, Yosef A.A. African Origins of the Major Western Religions. Baltimore: Black Classic Press, 1991.

Bennett, Lerone. Before the Mayflower: A History of Black America. Harmondsworth: 1962.

Browder, Anthony Y. Nile Valley Contributions to Civilizations: Exploding the Myths, Volume 1. Introduction by John Henrik Clarke: Washington, DC: Institute of Karmic Guidance, 1992.

Butweiku I, Nana Ekow. Afrikan Theology, Cosmogony & Philosophy: An Insight on Traditional Afrikan Religion. Introduction by Runoko Rashidi. Hampton: UB & US Communications Systems, 1999.

Bynum, Edward Bruce. The African Unconscious: Roots Ancient Mysticism and Modern Psychology. Foreword by Linda James Myers. New York: Teachers College,

Carruthers, Jacob H. The Irritated Genie: An Essay on the Haitian Revolution. Chicago: The Kemetic Institute, 1985.

Carruthers, Jacob H. Intellectual Warfare. Chicago: Third World Press, 1999.

Carruthers, Jacob H., and Leon Harris, eds. African World History Project: The Preliminary Project. Chicago: Kemetic Institute, 1996.

Chandler, Wayne B. Ancient Future: The Teachings and Prophetic Wisdom of the Seven Hermetic Laws of Ancient Egypt. Introduction by Ivan Van Sertima. Baltimore: Black Classic Press, 1999.

Chinweizu. The West and the Rest of Us. Lagos: Nok Publishers, 1978.

Clarke, John Henrik. Notes for an African World Revolution: Africans at the Crossroads. Trenton: Africa World Press, 1991.

DeGraft-Johnson, J.C. African Glory: The Story of Vanished Negro Civilizations. 1954; reprinted. Baltimore: Black Classic Press, 1985.

Diop, Cheikh Anta. African Origin of Civilization: Myth or Reality. Translated from the French by Mercer Cook. New York: Lawrence Hill, 1974,

Diop, Cheikh Anta. The Cultural Unity of Black Africa.: The Domains of Patriarchy and Matriarchy in Classical Antiquity. Introduction by John Henrik Clarke. Afterword by James G. Spady. Chicago: Third World Press, 1978.

Diop, Cheikh Anta. Civilization or Barbarism: An Authentic Anthropology. Translated from the French by Yaa-Lengi Meema Ngemi. Edited by Harold J. Salemson and Marjolijn de Jager. New York: Lawrence Hill, 1991.

Drake, St. Clair. Black Folk Here and There: An Essay in History and Anthropology, Volume 1. Los Angeles: Center for Afro-American Studies, UCLA, 1987,

Elder, Bruce. Blood on the Wattle: Massacres and Maltreatment of Aboriginal Australians Since 1988. Sydney: New Holland Publishers, 1998.

Fanon, Frantz. The Wretched of the Earth. New York: Grove Press, 1963.

Finch III, Charles S. Echoes of the Old Darkland: Themes from the African Eden. Decatur: Khenti, 1991.

Finch III, Charles S. The Star of Deep of Beginnings: The Genesis of African Science of Technology. Decatur: Khenti, 1998.

Fraser, Rosalie. Shadow Child: A Memoir of the Stolen Generation. Alexandria: Hale & Iremonger, 1998.

Gnammankou, Dieudonne. Pouchkine et le Monde Noir. Paris: Presence Africaine, 1999.

Guillon, Emmanuel. Cham Art: Treasures from the Da Nang Museum, Vietnam. Bangkok: River Books, 2001.

Harris, Joseph E.,ed. Africa and Africans as Seen by Classical Writers: The William Leo Hansberry Notebook, Volume 2. Washington, DC: Howard University Press, 1977.

Hilliard III, Asa G. The Maroon Within Us. Baltimore: Black Classic Press, 1994.

Hilliard III, Asa G. SBA: The Reawakening of the African Mind. Foreword by Wade W. Nobles. Gainesville: Makare, 1997

Houston, Drusilla Dunjee. Wonderful Ethiopians of the Ancient Cushite Empire. 1926; rpt. Introduction by W. Paul Coates. Afterword by Asa G. Hilliard III. Commentary by James G. Spady. Baltimore: Black Classic Press, 1985.

Jackson, John G. Introduction to African Civilizations. Foreword by Runoko Rashidi. Introduction by John Henrik Clarke. New York: Citadel, 2001.

James, George G.M. Stolen Legacy: The Greeks Were not the Authors of Greek Philosophy, but the People of North Africa Commonly Called the Egyptians. 1954; rpt. Introduction by Asa G. Hilliard III. San Francisco: Julian Richardson, 1988.

Katz, William Loren. Black Indians: A Hidden Heritage. New York: Atheneum, 1986.

Killens, John Oliver. Great Black Russian: A Novel on the Life and Times of Alexander Pushkin. Introduction by Addison Gayle. Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1989.

Martin, Tony. Race First: The Ideological and Organizational Struggles of Marcus Garvey and the Universal Negro Improvement Association. Dover: The Majority Press, 1976.

McCray, Walter Arthur. The Black Presence in the Bible: Discovering the Black and African Identity of Biblical Persons and Nations. Chicago: Black Light Fellowship, 1990.

Moore, Carlos, ed. African Presence in the Americas. Trenton: Africa World Press, 1995.

Obenga, Theophile. Ancient Egypt and Black Africa: A Student’s Handbook for the Study of Ancient Egypt in Philosophy, Linguistics and Gender Relations. London: Karnak House, 1992.

Rajshekar, V.T. Dalit: The Black Untouchables of India. Foreword by Y.N. Kly. Afterword by Runoko Rashidi. Atlanta: Clarity Press, 1995.

Rashidi, Runoko, and Ivan Van Sertima, eds. African Presence in Early Asia. New Brunswick: Transaction Press, 1995.

Raven, Susan. Rome in Africa. London: Routledge, 1993.

Rodney, Walter. How Europe Underdeveloped Africa. Introduction by Vincent Harding. Postscript by A.M. Babu. Washington, DC: Howard University Press, 1982.

Rogers, Joel Augustus. Sex and Race. Rogers: New York 1942.

Rogers, Joel Augustus. World’s Great Men of Color, two volumes. New York: Macmillan, 1972.

Sabbioni, Jennifer, Kay Schaffer and Sidonie Smith, eds. Indigenous Australian Voices: A Reader. New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 1998.

Scobie, Edward. Global African Presence. Introduction by Ivan Van Sertima. Brooklyn: A & B Books, 1994.

Sharp, Saundra. Black Women for Beginners. New York: Writers and Readers, 1993.

Van Sertima, Ivan. They Came Before Columbus: The African Presence in Ancient America. New York: Random House, 1976.

Van Sertima, Ivan, ed. African Presence in Early Europe. New Brunswick: Transaction Press, 1985.

Van Sertima, Ivan, ed. Egypt Revisited. New Brunswick: Transaction Press, 1989.

Van Sertima, Ivan, ed. Golden Age of the Moor. New Brunswick: Transaction Press, 1992.

Van Sertima, Ivan, ed. Egypt: Child of Africa. New Brunswick: Transaction Press, 1994.

Van Sertima, Ivan, ed. Early America Revisited. New Brunswick: Transaction Press, 1998.

Van Sertima, Ivan, and Larry Obadele Williams, eds. Great African Thinkers, Volume 1: Cheikh Anta Diop. New Brunswick: Transaction Press, 1986.

Welsing, Frances Cress. The Isis Papers: The Keys to the Colors. Chicago: Third World Press, 1991.

Williams, Chancellor. The Destruction of Black Civilization: Great Issues of a Race from 4500 B.C. to 2000 A.D. Chicago: Third World Press, 1987.

Wilson, Amos N. Afrikan-Centered Consciousness Versus the New World Order: Garveyism in the Age of Globalism. New York: Afrikan World Infosystems, 1999.

Woodson, Carter G. The Mis-Education of the Negro. Washington, DC: Associated Publishers, 1933.

X, Malcolm. Malcolm X on Afro-American History. New York: Pathfinder, 1970.

WHY SOME BLACKS CHANGE TO ISLAM FROM RELIGION-ONLINE.ORG

September 25, 2007

from religion-online.org

return to religion-online

Turning to Islam — African-American Conversion Stories

by Rose-Marie Armstrong

Rose-Marie Armstrong, a freelance writer and development consultant, is also a fellow of the C. S. Lewis Institute In Annandale, Virginia. This article appeared in The Christian Century, July 12, 2003, p. 19-23. Copyright by The Christian Century Foundation; used by permission. Current articles and subscription information can be found at http://www.christiancentury.org This material was prepared for Religion Online by Ted and Winnie Brock.

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I was searching for several years before I became a Muslim,” says Abdus Salaam, a marketing specialist from Birmingham, Alabama. “I was baptized during this time in the Church of Christ. But I had questions. What bothered me were the white pictures of Jesus and Mary. In Islam we have no pictures, not even of the Prophet Muhammad. As a child I wondered if black and white people had a separate God!”

Salaam’s story is familiar among African-American converts to Islam. While newfound faith is central to their stories, race and personal empowerment are also key parts of the narratives. The in-dignity of discrimination, unfortunately mirrored in Christian churches, haunts African-Americans.

The freedom that Khalid Abdul Kareem, a native of Washington, D.C., found in Islam feels right to him. “African-Americans have been disconnected and disenfranchised,” says Kareem. “At about the age of 17 I realized that Islam wasn’t racist. It established the nature of who I am, why I am here, and where I am going. I am the Creator’s vice-regent; I have no boundaries. I was created by a loving God who has a purpose for me. I can go wherever I choose to take my abilities.” Now 48, Kareem says, “Islam contains truth that is dependent only on God. It liberates us from man.”

African-Americans make up about a third of the estimated 4 to 8 million Muslims in the U.S. — conservatively, around 1.5 million, nearly 5 percent of all African-Americans. According to a poll conducted in 2001 by Muslims in the American Public Square (MAPS). 20 percent of African-American Muslims are converts while 80 percent were raised Muslim. More detailed information about Islam in the African-American community, however, is relatively scarce.

Robert Dannin has opened a new and fascinating perspective on the subject in his recently published book Black Pilgrimage to Islam. Using the methods of ethno-graphic research to collect his information, Dannin tells what he calls “conversion sagas” — rich, unvarnished stories about individual African-American’s journeys into Islam. He also traces the history of Islam among African-Americans by tying together such key developments as the formation of black fraternal lodges in the 18th and 19th centuries; Noble Drew Ali’s 1913 organization of the Moorish Science Temple in Newark, New Jersey; the growth of various Islamic missionary and revivalist movements beginning in the 19th and continuing throughout the 20th centuries; and the conversion to Islam of be-bop jazz musicians who helped raise the faith’s profile in the African-American community.

Dannin also introduces what he admits is a “taboo” subject: that a portion of “African-American society has always been unchurched,” that African-American lodges have traditionally been centers of unchurched religious practices and beliefs,” and that since the end of the civil rights era unchurched African-Americans “have been moving more rapidly toward Islam.” Dannin contends that the “voice of the unchurched” has been repressed by the black church’s command of African-American history.

The various movements, organizations and institutions of unchurched African-Americans, Dannin argues, constitute an alternative to and in some cases a subversion of the black church. Even in the post-Reconstruction era black fraternal lodges “clearly threatened the African-American church’s monopoly of social and civic life.” Similarly, Islam, in all of its forms within the black community has offered an option for those who “thirst for an alternative to the church.”

African-American Muslims I spoke with consistently explained Islam’s appeal in terms of four benefits: a new sense of personal empowerment; a rigorous call to discipline; an emphasis on family structure and values; and a clear standard of moral behavior. But negative comments about Christianity and its associations with slavery and discrimination regularly accompany their expressions of gratitude to Islam, suggesting that Dannin’s “alternative” hypothesis deserves consideration. Read between the lines and it’s hard not to conclude that for many African-Americans an added appeal of Islam is that it’s not Christianity.

“Humans serve their highest and best interest by serving God, which is characterized by building their own lives,” says Abdul Mallek Mohammad, a spokesman for the leader of the Muslim American Society, W. Deen Muhammad. Mohammad argues that slavery took away African-Americans’ ability to properly serve God, even though they lived in a Christian culture. God ordains “freedom, equality, justice and peace,” and so “provides a foundation for life and the stability of community,” he says. But blacks in this country have been deprived of this divinely authorized foundation. “African-Americans’ history bears out that their humanity was not valued. Even now, there are pockets of racism in America that question the humanity of black people.”

W. Deen Muhammad, one of the most eminent Muslim leaders in America, is the son of Elijah Muhammad, the longtime head of the Nation of Islam (NOI) who died in 1975. The elder Muhammad built a strong following that elevated both the emotional and material status of black men and women. Known as the Black Muslims, the members of this movement recruited from among the disadvantaged, welcoming ex-inmates as brothers wronged by a system of oppression. Malcolm X, who later converted to orthodox Islam, is the most notable example. Muhammad also established businesses and put men in black suits, white shirts and black bow ties. His organization, which began in the 1930s, was strongly antiwhite. It is now led by Louis Farrakhan — albeit with what Farrakhan says are major changes in philosophy.

W. Deen Muhammad broke completely with the NOI, forming his own orthodox Sunni Islamic movement. It is now the largest community of Muslim African-Americans, numbered at 200,000. The NOI doesn’t release statistics but is said to number anywhere from 50,000 to 100,000.

Dannin seeks to break the widespread sense that the NOI is the dominant form of Islam within the African-American community. It’s a mistake, Dannin says, portray “a single, notorious example as representative of the entire religious movement,” especially when the NOI under Elijah Muhammad “resembled Islam only to the extent of its taboo against alcohol and pork.” The practice of orthodox Islam has a long history among African-Americans, Dannin argues, and deserves to be understood on its own terms.

Eric Erfan Vickers, former executive director of the American Muslim Council in Washington, D.C., says that orthodox Islam today is “irresistible to African-Americans” because “they are a deeply spiritual people.” Yet “Islam has a strong call to social justice — Malcolm personified this.”

Vickers, who has been a Muslim for more than 20 years, says, “You have African-American men seeking liberation, and many see Christianity as a white man’s religion that continues to oppress. But God in his infinite wisdom created many religions.”

Significantly, all of the African-American Muslims who shared their stories with me turned out to be from Christian homes — a few even have family members who were or are clergy. Behija Abdus Salaam, a retired Department of Corrections chaplain and a member of the Interfaith Conference of Washington, D.C., states, “My grandfather started the first Baptist church in Manassas, Virginia, in the 1880s.” Her oldest brother was also a pastor. Now in her 60s, Behija became a Muslim many years ago. Her doubts about Christianity began when, as a child, she attended services with her uncle, who was so light-skinned he could pass for white. When she entered the church holding his hand an usher pushed himself between them and said she couldn’t sit up front with her uncle.

“Many of my family members are Muslims now,” says Behija. An older brother first joined the Moorish Science Temple, a small Islamic sect with Masonic roots. Later he affiliated with the Nation of Islam. Other family members soon followed, but eventually left the NOI to join the Muslim American Society.

Some students of Islam believe that many African-American’s ancestral Islamic heritage is one of the reasons why they turn from Christianity to Islam. Dannin writes that 15 percent of slaves shipped to North America came from Islamic regions of Africa and were themselves Muslims. The faith, which was suppressed principally to thwart rebellion, is resurfacing in complex ways, he believes.

While this may be true, Amiri YaSin Al-Hadid, co-author with Lewis V. Baldwin and Anthony P. Pinn of Between Cross and Crescent: Christian and Muslim Perspectives on Malcolm and Martin (University Press of Florida), says, “Historically, Islam in the United States is largely a 20th-century phenomenon, and is associated with the urban areas of the North, Midwest, and more recently the West Coast and the South.” Al-Hadid chronicled the life of Malcolm X while Baldwin documented the viewpoint of Martin Luther King Jr. They suggest that it was Malcolm’s militancy, not his Muslim beliefs, that made him a hero. But clearly part of Malcolm’s legacy is his identification of Islam as a pathway to power.

Young black men seeking empowerment and self-determination are drawn to Islam despite the negative Image projected by the extremists of 9/11. By living according to the precepts of Islam they counter white America’s stereotype of black men as on drugs, out of work or in jail. A commitment to discipline and industry structures their lives; family and community become rewarding responsibilities; moral behavior is required, charity is a duty Islam ordains, defines, clarifies and mandates. “It’s a complete way of life,” its followers like to point out — a way of life that bestows pride on a man and gives a woman security.

If Islam is a path not only to God but also to self-respect for young black men, what about black women? Do they feel complete in a religious institution that teaches deference to men and the priority of wifely duties, and that prescribes a dress code that may include a burka? A visit to Masjid Mohammad on Washington’s New Jersey Avenue helps answer these questions. A happy camaraderie unites the women there, as it does the men. Over 125 men and some 100 women attended the Friday lunch and prayer service I attended. Visitors are welcome. Several women cuddle babies in their arms in a small anteroom at the back of the main hall, chatting and laughing softly. Others come through the back door and sit on the floor or on chairs. The men enter from another door, moving well to the front, standing, bowing, kneeling and praying. Women pray or chat in an atmosphere of community and acceptance.

A speaker gives a short talk on stress, hypertension among blacks, and the benefits of fasting. Sherifah Alaimeen Rafiq, a Sunni Muslim who works for the Muslim American Society attends the mosque as often as possible, although women are excused to attend to family responsibilities. She arrives late, hugs babies and leaves without entering the main hall. The busy nursery and kids’ school classes normally found in churches are absent here. These sisters and their children draw quietly together, enjoying their shared Muslim Identity

For women, choosing Islam means gaining new power in their communities and in their lives, They are attracted to the movement because Islam gives them clearly defined rights, respect as women and the prospect of a family unit headed by a dependable male. Most of the women I talked to believe that these ideals are not stressed enough in Christianity.

For many Muslim women, the benefits of Islam overshadow what many American women would view as Islam’s privileging of males. According to the Qur’an, a man is entitled to four wives if he can treat them all equally, and he may in certain circumstances administer corporal punishment. Some of the women I spoke with acknowledged these practices, but one woman said they are mischaracterized. “In the Hadith, which tells us how Muhammad himself lived — and he is our example — we see that he treated his wives gently and respectfully. He may have corrected them, but he would not harm them.”

Harm may be suffered in other ways, however, as Dannin reports. Some of his conversion stories detail the emotional struggles faced by African-American Muslim women and broach the issue of polygamy which Dannin concedes is one of ‘the most controversial topics” among African-American Muslims. Dannin tells of Naima Saif’ullah, for example, who “found her experiment in Islamic plural marriage had become a nightmare.” A former drug addict who married five times as a Muslim — once into a polygamous arrangement — Naima blames her mosque’s religious leaders for not being more vigilant in overseeing her choice of a mate. Despite her “unsuccessful marriages and her failure at polygamy” Dannin observes, Naima Saif’ullah has not lost her faith in Islam “precisely because she sees herself not as a convert to some monolithic patriarchal Islam but as a serious professional woman who has chosen to accept Islam as a moral compass for her life.”

Dannin also writes of Aminah Ali, who converted to Islam in order to marry a Muslim. In her case, the marriage was called off because she learned that “being a Muslim wife implied a particular status that excluded her from camaraderie with her husband and his friends.” Aminah eventually left the faith. Dannin says that Aminah was adamantly opposed to “the popular assertion that polygamy is truly a viable solution for the dearth of marriageable men among African-Americans.”

Who would expect well-educated 25-year-old Sherifah, whom I met at the Masjid Mohammad and who speaks Mandarin Chinese and Arabic, to permit her husband to have another wife? Yet in a conversation with me she upheld plural marriage in principle. “In our community we say it’s best to marry one, but we don’t want to see another sister struggling [without resources],” she told me. “Some groups say you can put in the marriage contract that the husband cannot take a second wife. But, actually a lot of men marry a second wife.” Speaking of her own upcoming marriage, Sherifah confides that she thinks it will be monogamous, since her fiancé was not born Muslim and is not, therefore, culturally attached to polygamy.

Dannin offers a nuanced and revealing discussion of polygamy that underscores how perplexing the issue is for Muslims themselves. Most orthodox Muslims believe in interpreting scripture along very strict lines, and the Qur’an does indeed permit polygamy. To forbid what scripture teaches is considered blasphemous. Yet Dannin points out that most Muslim leaders who “are concerned with propagating their faith in 20th-century America have minimized the importance of polygamy to Islam. Historically, this strategy amounts to accommodation with the dominant form of monogamy in a society where polygamy itself transgresses the definition of marriage. The general view of polygamy is that it is an institution alien to American culture and generally incompatible with modern society. If Muslim men are reluctant to admit this publicly, it is also because they avoid this very controversial issue among themselves.”

Abdul Malek Muhammad, speaking for the Muslim American Society told me that the society strongly disapproves of plural marriages.

For Dannin, patriarchy, which in his view troubles all major world religions, is the deeper problem beneath polygamy. Fatima Mernissi, he observes, is one of the few scholars who has “waded boldly into the question of feminism and Islam” with books like Beyond the Veil.

None of the Muslim women I spoke with, however, were interested in feminist analysis. They enjoy the respect they receive from Muslim men, and many like the rules on modest dress and chastity. A younger crowd praised chaperoned and group dating.

Women also like the fact that no matter how much money they earn, they have no monetary responsibilities in the marriage. “That’s because, should the man divorce a wife, she needs her own money,” one member of the mosque told me. The clarity with which Islam defines the economic rights and responsibilities of women is appealing to African-American Muslim women, in contrast to what they see as the ambiguities of American society. How well it works in practice is another matter. Dannin sites numerous cases in which men failed to live up to their responsibilities. As in any community individual abuses cannot be blamed on the religion. The security and personal empowerment marriage promises Muslim women are only as dependable as the individual who makes the promise.

While Muslims are highly visible members of black communities, and non-Muslim African-Americans are growing more and more comfortable with their Muslim neighbors, the tensions that have historically characterized relations between Islam and the black church still exist. Some African-American pastors consider Islam a rival for the souls of black folks. But there are also plenty of mediating voices.

The possibility of strained relationships has moved Vance Ross, pastor of the First United Methodist Church of Hyattsville, Maryland, both to defend the inclusive and egalitarian nature of Christianity against charges that Christianity is a “white man’s religion” and to insist that the members of his congregation have an accurate understanding of Islam.

Ross cannot imagine what could be more egalitarian than “that sacrificial act of Jesus in giving his life for the salvation of humankind. Everyone is equal at the foot of the cross. Discrimination doesn’t live there. We need to be certain [that] people have a complete picture — that they know it was the influence of Christianity that made It possible to free the slaves,” he says. “They also need to know the entire history of Islam. Islam shouldn’t be equated just with the Nation of Islam, or Osama bin Laden or Muslims who are selling slaves today.”

Black Christian academics and pastors are well aware of the attraction of Islam for African-Americans, but many reject the idea that it represents a threat to Christianity. “The African-American Christian community does not need to be concerned about losing people to Islam,” says Calvin O. Butts III, senior pastor of Harlem’s Abyssinian Baptist Church and president of the College of Old Westbury in Long Island. “It will not happen. Christianity is without question the strongest religion in our community. Remember, the first nation to be fully Christianized was Ethiopia.”

Eugene F. Rivers III, pastor of Azusa Christian Community Church in Boston, sees things differently. “We are losing young black men to Islam, and we need to research why this is happening.” Rivers lays the responsibility on black churches. He wants to see them do five things: “Initiate a focused approach to the claims of Islam; make a political and cultural analysis of the unique impact of the Islamic evangelization of black males; approach Islam on theological and evangelical levels; assess the geopolitical and strategic implications of Islam in Africa and South Asia, since the fortunes of black people in the U.S. are informed by what happens to blacks elsewhere In the world; and, mount a major effort to investigate the success of Islam in prisons.

In a telephone conversation Dannin acknowledged the strain between the faiths, but he considers it manageable. He points out that African-American Christians vastly outnumber their Muslim brothers and sisters. According to a survey conducted by the Barna Research Group, over 19 million African-Americans identify themselves as “born-again Christians,” a statistic that doesn’t include those who identify with Christianity in other terms. Compare that figure to the number of African-American Muslims — estimated at 1.5 million — and the demographic “threat” seems remote at best.

Nevertheless, Dannin criticizes the black church for not living up to its call to moral leadership within the black community. “There is in the Christian churches a tolerance for the status quo,” he states. “Christian groups fail to emphasize and defend what is right. People will follow whoever leads if [leaders] are doing what is right.”

Islam is doing something right. Muslims are accepted, visible members of black communities. The man or woman on the street is unlikely to blame these neighbors for 9/11, or to associate them with last summer’s sniper attacks in Maryland and Virginia. For their part, Muslims, at least publicly, shower compliments on Christianity acknowledging the importance of Jesus as a prophet but denying his deity. Still, Baldwin claims the calm is only on the surface. “Christians tolerate Muslims, but there is an underlying tension because of the theological differences.” There has always been dialogue between the two groups, Baldwin states. “Interfaith dialogue is one of the main themes of Between Cross and Crescent. Martin and Malcolm believed in building bridges of understanding instead of building barriers,” Yet the tension between leaders of the two religions remains.

Butts also emphasizes cooperation. He believes the African-American church should “embrace our Muslim brothers and sisters, first, because they are seeking God, and second, because we have problems in our community that we both have a major interest in solving. Remember what Malcolm said? ‘We don’t catch hell in America because we are Democrats or Republicans, or Christians or Muslims; we catch hell in America because we’re black.’ When we have concerns we must come together.”

Some black church leaders believe that the black church should not only cooperate with Muslims but learn from them as well, especially when it comes to reaching black men. “Black churches challenge you emotionally, and maybe intellectually” Rivers said, “but Islam challenges a man spiritually, physically and intellectually.” Like Islam, Rivers observes, the Church of God in Christ enjoys a large male membership because “it cultivates the image of manhood.” Rivers maintains that “black churches will have to take a page out of Islam’s playbook if they are going to engage young people.” A former gang member, Rivers confesses to studying the strategies used by the NOI in its heyday. “My entire outlook was influenced by the Muslims,” he admits. Rivers is now heavily involved in promoting church leadership in inner-city neighborhoods.

Robert Franklin, president emeritus of the Interdenominational Theological Center in Atlanta, thinks the church should pay close attention to what he sees as the three distinctive marks of Islam’s appeal to African-Americans. “The political theology of Islam appeals to African-American activism the well-ordered spiritual life provides specific guidelines for prayer and for relationships to others; and the promotion of family values emphasizes male leadership. African-Americans feel the family is fragmented, mainly because black men are not fulfilling their role. In Islam the man is the provider,” Franklin remarks. When Malcolm X presented Islam as an alternative, Franklin notes, black men responded because “Christianity failed to understand and satisfy what they were feeling but didn’t say.”

Butts acknowledges the empowerment, stability and privileges Islam brings to African-Americans and their communities. “I see men who are redeemed from prison and drugs, who are off the streets and running their own businesses, who are neat and clean. They even have a new name!” he exclaims.

Hafis Mahbub, a Pakistani Muslim missionary to “new” black Muslims in Brooklyn during the 1960s, offered an even more radical account of Islam’s appeal to black Americans. In Dannin’s words, Mahbub taught that in Islam “the struggle to achieve personal transformation was synonymous with the struggle for total social reform.”

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“POLYGAMY AND CIVIL RIGHTS” IN AMERIKKKA!

September 19, 2007

from intentionalfamily.org

POLYGAMY AND CIVIL RIGHTS

ISSUE:

The right to practice polygamy is considered to be the next civil rights battle and many individuals and groups are working to have anti-polygamy laws struck down as unconstitutional.

CURRENT STATUS:

In the U.S., pro-polygamy forces have many supporters — legally, academically and culturally:

Polygamy is supported in principle by the American Civil Liberties Union and the National Libertarian Party.

In a 2004 commentary in USA Today, George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley said anti-polygamy laws are hypocritical and that Green’s 2001 bigamy conviction was “simply a matter of unequal treatment under the law.”

Georgia State University professor Patricia Dixon interviewed numerous polygamous families who live in three black (U.S.) communities: African Hebrew Israelite, Ausar Auset Society and African American Muslim. In her book, We Want for Our Sisters What We Want for Ourselves (2002), Ms. Dixon concluded that polygyny, in which one man co-partners with many women, can be quite advantageous for women when it’s practiced openly and with consent, The women in these communities would “really appreciate” having polygamy rights, “Not having a legal license [as a second or third wife] causes a lot of anxiety.”

“Polygamy rights is the next civil rights battle” has become the motto of a Christian group that believes in “freely consenting, adult, non-abusive, marriage-committed polygamy”. Mark Henkel, founder of http://www.TruthBearer.org website, has said: “There’s no doubt about it, we are next. Liberals and feminists have to be pro-polygamy because of their tolerance doctrine and belief in a woman’s right to choose, which certainly includes ‘the right to choose polygamy’. The goal… is to convince conservatives, especially Christians, that ‘consenting adult’ polygamy is biblical and valuable, both to society and to individual men and women. Opposition to polygamy will come crashing down … like a house of cards.”

“We’ve got some judicial activists all over the country, especially on the 9th Circuit [Court of Appeals], who would probably be ready, willing and able to include polygamy as a constitutional right,” says Jan LaRue, legal specialist at Concerned Women for America.

An estimated 30,000 to 80,000 families are living polygamously in the United States, including hundreds of Laotian Hmongs in Minnesota and thousands of fundamentalist Mormons in Arizona and Utah.

Individual citizens, who are starting to wonder why polygamy is a crime, ask the following kinds of questions?

o If consenting adults who prefer polygamy can do everything else a husband and wife can do—have sex, live together, buy property, and bring up children jointly — why should they be prohibited from legally committing themselves to the solemn duties that attach to marriage? How is society worse off if these informal relationships are formalized and pushed toward permanence?

o Why is it a crime for an upstanding, tax-paying legal U.S. citizen who chooses to legally marry one wife and they solemnize, in a religious ceremony only, a relationship with another consenting adult? All parties are adults capable of making this decision and willing to live with each other in this scenario freely. I thought the protection of religious choices and the privacy of intimate, personal relationships between consenting adults were upheld by the U.S. Constitution?

o Isn’t it funny that a married man can legally have a mistress, children out of wedlock and that, without the knowledge or consent of his legal wife, sleep with other women – or men for that matter – and the legal system looks the other way? Yet, a spiritual man who believes it’s wrong to have marital relations outside the sanctity of God’s holy ordinance, and without the permission or knowledge of his legal wife, is a criminal if he lives a polygamous lifestyle.

BACKGROUND:

Polygamy was outlawed in the U.S. during Colonial days, when Mormon pioneers in Utah wished for Utah to become a state. When Mormon pioneers moved to areas of western Canada, the Government of Canada also created anti-polygamy legislation.

The U.S. Supreme Court rejected polygamy in its 1879 decision in Reynolds v. United States, which said government can enforce anti-polygamy laws even if they run counter to people’s religious beliefs.

Utah’s Constitution outlaws polygamy “forever” and, in 2001, the state’s anti-polygamy laws were upheld when Thomas Green, a fundamentalist Mormon man with five wives, was sent to prison for bigamy and related crimes.

In recent years, the U.S. federal government and 40 states have passed Defense of Marriage Acts and/or constitutional amendments that define marriage as the union of one man and one woman.

Source documents:

“Why is this a crime?” by Janie Miller The Salt Lake Tribune May 23, 2006

http://www.polygamy.com/articles/templates/?a=182&z=2

“The Marriage of Many” by Cheryl Wetzstein The Washington Times December 11, 2005

http://www.washingtontimes.com/specialreport/20051211-121113-7195r.htm

“Polygamy Is ‘Next Civil Rights Battle,’ Activists Say” by Randy Hall Staff Writer/Editor, CNSNews.com, March 16, 2006 http://www.cnsnews.com/ViewCulture.asp?Page=%5CCulture%5Carchive%5C200603%5CCUL20060316a.html

BLACKAMERIKKKAN JEWS IN ISRAEL BY RELIGIONNEWS.COM

September 8, 2007

from religionnewsblog.com

Black Hebrews:
Israel grants ‘’Black Hebrews’’ permanent residency
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ReligionNewsBlog.com • Item 3836 • Posted: Wednesday July 30, 2003

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Reuters, July 29, 2003

http://famulus.msnbc.com/

By Dan Williams

JERUSALEM, July 29 — Israel has granted permanent resident status to the ‘’Black Hebrews,’’ a group claiming descent from the Bible’s lost tribes, after a 34-year struggle for recognition, an Interior Ministry spokeswoman said on Tuesday.

Also known as the African Israelites, the sect was founded by 39 U.S.-born blacks in 1969. Its members previously had only temporary resident status in the Jewish state.

About 2,500 Black Hebrews based in the desolate desert town of Dimona will now be able to serve in Israel’s military and vote in municipal elections. Under Israeli law, permanent residents can usually apply for citizenship after five years.

‘’We have been in talks with the government for years, so the decision is a nice surprise,’’ sect spokeswoman Yaffa Bat-Gavriel said.

Under Israel’s ‘’law of return,’’ people considered Jews according to rabbinical codes are eligible for immediate citizenship. The law does not cover those born to illegal or temporary residents in Israel.

Practising a strict version of kibbutz-style collectivism and Old Testament ethics — including polygamy and veganism — the Black Hebrews are not recognised as Jews by Israel’s rabbinate.

The Black Hebrews believe they are descended from one of ancient Israel’s 10 lost tribes by way of Africa and the slave routes to America, an account most scholars dismiss as myth.

Several sect members were deported as illegal residents in the 1970s, but authorities avoided a large-scale crackdown, citing concern the Jewish state would be accused internationally of racial discrimination.

A government initiative in the 1990s to settle the Black Hebrews’ residency status lagged under interior ministers from ultra-Orthodox religious parties. But current Interior Minister Avraham Poraz of the secularist Shinui party has vowed to liberalise the country’s naturalisation policies.

The Black Hebrews strongly support Zionism. Their musicians entertained Israeli troops during the 1973 Middle East war and represented the country at the 1998 Eurovision song contest.

The sect’s demand for recognition was bolstered by public sympathy after a Palestinian militant shot dead a member who was singing at a bat mitzva — a Jewish girl’s coming-of-age ceremony — in the Israeli town of Hadera in January 2002.

POLYGAMY AMONG THE BLACKamerikkkan JEWS WHO MIGRATED TO ISRAEL BY PAMELA FERHINARD.COM

September 8, 2007

FROM pamelaferdinard.com

<< back to portfolio

Miami Herald, The (FL)
December 6, 1991

THE DOOR OPENS AFTER YEARS OF DISPUTE, BLACK HEBREWS FIND SALVATION IN A TRUCE WITH ISRAELI GOVERNMENT

PAMELA FERDINAND Herald Staff Writer

Alta Stevenson hustles from kitchen to counter to table and back again as she tends to patrons in a one-room vegetarian restaurant.

“Sometimes there’s a line at the door,” she says in English, smiling and slightly exasperated. “See how busy we are?” It is the exasperation of waitresses worldwide. Only Stevenson, 43, who came to Israel 15 years ago from Detroit, is not an average waitress. She is black. She says she is Jewish. And now her name is Cocavatiyah.

Cocavatiyah is one of some 2,000 members of the Original Hebrew Israelite Nation of Jerusalem — they’re called Black Hebrews — living in Israel. They say they are descended from one of the 12 lost tribes of Israel. They insist they have a right to live in the Jewish homeland under the law of return, which promises Israeli citizenship to any Jew who applies for it.

Israelis, however, have refused to recognize Black Hebrews as Jews. Controversies involving more than a dozen unrelated Black Hebrew groups in the United States have fueled Israeli distrust; the indictment of Yahweh Ben Yahweh, leader of the Nation of Yahweh in Miami, on murder conspiracy charges is among the sore points.

Now, after years of dispute, the Israeli government has agreed to give Black Hebrews a chance to legally live and work in Israel.

“I came here because when I was growing up, there was something missing — you know what I mean?” Cocavatiyah explains quietly. “Even when I went to church, there was something missing. . . . Then I learned about the Black Hebrews. . . . When I came here, I felt at peace.”

The Black Hebrew sect now living in Israel was founded in the 1960s by Ben Carter, a former Chicago bus driver and foundry worker. One account says Carter, now known as Ben Ami, heard a voice from heaven telling him he had been chosen to take his people to the Promised Land. His followers say they were disillusioned with the “second-class citizen” status of blacks in 1960s America.

In 1967, Ben Ami took a group of black Americans to Liberia, where they lived for nearly two years. They came from Chicago, Detroit, Philadelphia, Atlanta, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Washington. Their numbers grew, and in 1969 the Liberian government pressured them to leave. Some returned to the United States, but 39 followed Ben Ami to Israel.

In Israel, they were first detained at the airport and later granted permission to settle temporarily in an abandoned absorption center in the southern Negev desert town of Dimona. Many of the newcomers renounced their U.S. citizenship, then allowed their tourist visas to expire.

“As more and more people came, it caused some consternation,” recalls Zvenah Baht Israel, a community spokeswoman. “Israel has forever been in the state of asking ‘Who is a Jew?’ So, of course, if some black people show up, that just further complicates it.”

Relations were complicated, too, by Black Hebrew practices. Many are the same as other Jews: Sabbath, for instance, is observed from sunset Friday to sunset Saturday. Worship services include traditional blessings of the Torah, a scroll containing the first five books of the Old Testament. Black Hebrews circumcise their sons; many speak Hebrew.

But other practices are decidedly unfamiliar — such as the community’s practice of polygamy. Black Hebrew males are allowed to marry up to seven women. Ben Ami has three wives.

The conflict between the immigrants and Israel escalated through the ’70s and ’80s. Israel’s rabbis refused to recognize the Black Hebrews as true Jews because they did not have Jewish mothers. The Black Hebrews refused a proposed Israeli compromise — conversion to Judaism — because they said they were Jews already.

(On the other hand, Ethiopian Jews, often referred to as “falashas” or “outsiders,” are recognized as true Jews by Israel’s Orthodox community. It is believed they were converted to Judaism thousands of years ago.)

As more Black Hebrews arrived and remained in Israel illegally, the government began refusing entry to some black American tourists on suspicion that they were members of the sect. About 40 individuals were deported in 1986.

“The question was that individuals had overstayed their visas or were working in Israel without a permit,” said Immanuel Ben Yehudah, the Black Hebrews’ Washington-based spokesman. “That was the official charge, but some of those individuals had lived and worked there for more than a dozen years.”

Last year, a compromise was reached. The Israelis now permit registered Black Hebrews to live and work in Israel for renewable periods of one year. The visas also entitle community members to education, social services and medical benefits. In turn, the Black Hebrews agreed to reinstate their U.S. citizenship.

“The situation is not simple and quite delicate,” said a spokesman with the Israeli consulate in Miami. “They are not Jewish according to the Jewish religion. That’s why they cannot immediately become Israeli citizens. We have nothing against them and are trying to help them now. I think there has been progress already.”

Over the past few years, the U.S. government has given more than $3 million to Black Hebrews in Israel, according to U.S. Rep. Lee Hamilton (D-Ind.), chairman of the Europe and Middle East subcommittee of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. The funding has been used, in part, for housing and a school.

Hamilton calls the agreement an “uneasy but apparently durable compromise.” Nearly all of Dimona’s residents have been documented as U.S. citizens and have received visas, said Ben Yehudah. The travel embargo on visitors to the community also has been lifted.

Cocavatiyah, a former postal worker, says she is glad her community’s status is “normalizing.”

She has been working at the Eternity restaurant in Tel Aviv for five years. The cafe is simply decorated in yellow and white, with pictures of sandwiches from its creative menu on the wall.

The Black Hebrews are vegetarians, a practice that evolved as a form of preventive medicine, says Baht Israel.

“We didn’t always have access to medical facilities,” she says. “We had to look at alternatives. Four days a week, we don’t eat salt and four times a year for one week all adults eat raw vegetables. We fast on Shabbat completely.”

Cocavatiyah rotates responsibilities at the restaurant in Tel Aviv with five other women. When she is not scheduled to work, she returns to Dimona about 80 miles away to be with friends and family.

Dimona, a town in the Negev and in full view of an Israeli nuclear reactor, is now home to the majority of Black Hebrews. Other communities also inhabit the desert settlements of Arad and Mitzpe Ramon.

The landscape is arid and flat, an agoraphobic’s nightmare several hours’ bus ride from the bedouin markets of Beersheba and a short drive from the salty blue Dead Sea and the cliffs of Jordan.

Here, in a dark, cool sitting room, Baht Israel, 42, talks with a visitor about her life. She came to Israel in 1981 from Atlanta and her speech is peppered with expressions such as “you be praying,” and “shalom, sister.”

While the Black Hebrew dress code stresses modesty, much like that of Orthodox Jews, it resembles African tribal wear with flamboyant colors and geometric designs. Baht Israel wears a green and orange gown over an ivory turtleneck; American-style Docksider shoes peek out from underneath. Four fringes dangle from the corners of the garment, “symbolizing that African- Israelites are scattered to the four corners of the earth,” she says. Men dress simply in tunics with hand-crocheted caps, or kepote, but they tend to work in casual American-style dress.

Baht Israel says she sees a common thread running through her Baptist upbringing and her newfound faith.

“Although I wasn’t raised as a Hebrew Israelite, there were certain cultural similarities,” she says. “For example, when a woman is menstruating (in the Orthodox Jewish culture), she is separated from men. She doesn’t sleep with her husband or cook for the family. It is a time of spiritual renewal and her body is giving off toxins. When I was a child, in my household women were separated, too.”

Some of the community’s young men and women are too young to possess any American childhood memories. Shmooel Ben Israel, who did not want to give his former American name without permission from Ben Ami, is a 24-year-old construction worker who moved here with his mother 18 years ago from Washington. He plans to marry his first wife soon.

“At 19 or 20, we ‘come out’ into brotherhood or sisterhood and we can date with the permission of our parents,” he says. “People marry at all ages. Someone may have a wife or two in their 30s and want to marry again in their early 40s.”

Black Hebrew women say polygamy is liberating for them.

“A woman can do everything here but be a man, there are no limits,” says Baht Israel, who shares a husband and her child with his second wife and her two children. “We made the decision together about the other wife. If I’m separated because of menstrual activity, somebody has to care for him. Why not someone who’s a part of the family? This life style affords me time for self-development. I don’t have to be all things for everyone.

“My sister-wife is the sports person,” she explains. “When it’s time for basketball, she and him go to play and, shalom, shalom, I can go and read.”

Baht Israel says they worked out a system where each wife spends two weeks with their husband. The other wife, she says, “becomes a very dear friend and a family member at the same time.”

Economically, the Black Hebrews hope their changing status may be a windfall.

Community members earn money mainly by selling jewelry, working as domestics in Israeli homes or as construction workers. Now that many have work permits, they are hoping to capitalize on Israel’s growing construction needs.

Ten percent of each person’s earnings go into a central fund that provides food, medicine, education and housing. Currently, an average of four families share a household, says Baht Israel.

Administrative duties are divided according to rank. Brothers and Sisters are titles for the common members of the community. Above them are Crown Brothers and Crown Sisters, who run day-to-day operations, and then the Sahreem or Ministers, officials who run many of the group’s international outposts, according to Ben Yehudah.

Ben Ami remains the Israeli-based spiritual leader of the sect with his advisers, the Holy Council, also called the Princes or Apostles. They run a central office that handles economic affairs, negotiating work contracts for men who work in the outside community.

Foreigners who want to join the community must pay their own way to Israel, Baht Israel says.

“It has worked well both in hard times and in times when we were a little more prosperous,” she says. “We’re not millionaires. We get the menial jobs.”

Still, community members say life in Israel provides an escape from America’s crime-ridden society and what they believe is the oppression of blacks.

When asked if she misses her comfortable America, Baht Israel replies, “not really.”

“We were not self-determining,” she said. “It was always somebody else’s culture. Our struggle was to recapture our identity. We were denied access to our culture, and just look at the crime rates and life expectancy rates among American blacks. Finally, the thought came, could there be something else?

“We have developed a model for drug-free living, if nothing else,” she says. “People used to say, ‘What’s a black person going to do in Israel?’ But our longevity says something in itself.”

“Going back to the United States is our last thought,” says Ben Israel. “We have family there, but we came out here for a particular reason: to save the lives of our people.”

“FOR THESE MUSLIMS POLYGAMY IS AN OPTION”FROM DOCTORBULLDOG.WORDPRESS.COM

September 8, 2007

Pauline Bartolone, San Francisco Chronicle
Sunday, August 5, 2007
Clad in his Sunday sweatpants and a long blue Pakistani-style shirt, Ali, a 59-year old African American Muslim elder, popped in a DVD of “Big Love” – the HBO series about Mormon polygamists in Utah.

“Dude’s not handling this well at all,” he says as he watches Bill Paxton play an overburdened husband with three wives. “You know, I feel sorry for dude.”

Ali – who prefers to only use his first name – faces the challenges of polygamy every day. For 10 years, he’s been religiously married to two women, and lives with them under one roof in a working-class neighborhood of San Diego. Tuesday through Thursday he sleeps with his wife Hasanah on the first floor, then Saturday through Monday it’s upstairs with his second wife Asiila. That leaves his office, cluttered with photocopies of Quranic sayings and dusty pictures of relatives in hijab, as his only private room in the house.

“We get our time off, we got a sisterhood thing going on,” chuckles Asiila, 50, Ali’s wife of 15 years. She crosses her ankles underneath her overhead khimar, a black dress that covers her from head to toe. “To me, polygyny (polygamy) is for the woman. It’s really for the woman.”

This San Diego family’s life is part of a small but increasingly visible phenomenon of African American Muslims practicing polygamy, according to Debra Mubashir Majeed, associate professor and chairwoman of philosophy and religious studies at Beloit College in Wisconsin. For her research, she surveyed more than 400 Black Muslims and interviewed more than 15 polygamists.

“Most African American women who are into polygyny do so by choice,” says Majeed, adding that their reasons range from their interpretation of the Quran, to desire for independence, to needing a father for their children.

She says that a shortage of marriageable black Muslim men may be one reason polygamy is embraced.

“With the high number of African American men in prison, on drugs, out of work, or unavailable in some other way … the options are limited,” Majeed said.
-so the answer doesn’t include breaking the cycle of abuse and change?

African Americans are not the only Muslims who practice polygamy. Plural marriages exist in majority Muslim populations of Africa and the Persian Gulf states, and immigrants continue the practice in the United States. In May, the Times of London reported that as many as 1,000 Muslim men are living with multiple wives in the United Kingdom. There is no projected number of Islamic polygamous unions in the United States, but Majeed says the number of Muslim polygamists in the United States may be fewer than 1 percent of the Muslim population.

In a spring survey conducted by the Muslim magazine Azizah, 150 Muslims – mostly women of all lines of thought and ethnic backgrounds – were quizzed about their experiences with polygamy. Editor in chief Tayyibah Taylor said perspectives ranged from “it was the cat’s meow” to claims it was “tantamount to abuse.” The majority said success hinged on the seeking of spiritual enhancement by all involved, and the male’s ability to “handle” the situation. Taylor said polygamy among non-immigrant Muslims may be more visible because they are more outspoken about it.

Mohamed El Sheikh, executive director of the Islamic Jurisprudential Council of North America, said that many American converts to Islam, of all races and ethnicities, are already accustomed to having multiple sexual partners.
-Moral equivalency alert: apple and oranges, numbers of partners outside of marriage have no relation with numbers afterwards. Part of the marriage is the commitment to one and only one partner.

“After accepting Islam, some have continued this practice by giving the status of spouse to their sexual partners using the Islamic law,” El Sheikh said.
Most Muslims do not seek legal recognition or benefits in their plural unions, according to Majeed. She says that for many, “The religious importance will supersede the legal issue.” When polygamous Muslims do have legal unions, it typically involves the first wife.
-Once again we see Muslim’s hold Islamic law higher than man made law.

The daily practice of Islamic polygamy varies greatly. Most often, according to Majeed, the husband will take on two wives who live separately. The second wife may forgo financial support and a dowry. Other times, two wives may live together in one house and a third wife may come in and out of the situation.

Shiite Muslims even have a temporary marriage, or mutah, where a man may enter into a sexual union with more than one woman. The arrangement need not involve an imam and could last anywhere from one weekend to several years.
-any Muslim female who would agree to this is nothing more than a prostitute. You already know my opinion of Muslim men.

There is no consensus among Muslims about how polygamy should be carried out, although the Quran tells Muslim men that they may marry up to four wives only if he treats them equally and fairly. One passage implies that additional wives must be widows or orphans. Some religious scholars say the aya were written during wartime, and should be practiced only when there is a shortage of men.

Thirty-eight-year-old Azeez of upstate New York says the current shortage of eligible African American men justifies his plural Islamic marriage. The former Olympic wrestler converted to Islam 18 years ago and works as a technician.

“You have all these women out there,” he said, “and Allah has given a remedy to a situation.”

Azeez splits his week between two wives, who live half an hour away from each other. He fully supports his first wife, and is a father to his second wife’s son from another relationship. He says he didn’t consider taking on more than one wife, until he got a raise and the second wife agreed to help financially support herself.

“If it’s for you,” he said, “then Allah will make it easy for you.”

His 22-year-old first wife, who refers to herself as Miz Azeez, recently published diary-style writings about her marriage in “Polygynous Blessings: usings of a Muslim Wife.” Her love for Allah, she says, frees her from dependence on her husband.

“With passionate love, and the whole concept of love in American culture … They put (their husband) up to a status like Allah. Like this is their life source, like if that person leaves, they’re dead – that’s it, life can’t go on. I don’t have that type of love for my husband.”

Miz Azeez says sharing her husband brings her closer to him and to God. After a year and a half of living in polygamy, she says she would never live any other way.

It wasn’t as easy for one anonymous 53-year-old American Muslim woman in the Washington, D.C., area to share her husband. After they had five children together, he took on other women, a total of four on separate occasions. When the international entrepreneur married a woman in a Muslim country, the first wife found herself financially insecure and alone for months at a time.

“I was just not prepared to include another family in that struggle,” she said, about her decision to divorce her husband after 10 years of polygamy. “I felt forced to rise to the occasion, and I felt I as the current wife had some rights.”

Women have few protections when entering an Islamic polygamous relationship. The Quran says the husband must care for his wives equally, but there is no universal Islamic law or accountability mechanism to define or enforce that. Under some lines of thought, the husband need not notify the first wife that he is taking another, and he may even withhold a divorce.

For second wives not married under U.S. law, this can mean difficulty claiming financial support and legitimacy for their children, according to Kecia Ali, author of “Sexual Ethics and Islam” and assistant professor of Religion at Boston University.

“I don’t think polygamy should be romanticized as a solution to man shortage problems,” she said. “It is dangerous for women, in many contexts.”
The lack of state regulation of polygamy, especially in times of marital disputes, concerns El Sheikh of the Islamic Jurisprudential Council of North America. “The spouse and her children may not be entitled to many legal rights. This is against the principle of equality and thus polygamy is not practical in the United States.”

He adds that even the Quran states that men will never be able to do justice between wives “even if it is (their) ardent desire.”
Ali’s two wives in San Diego would disagree; they say their husband is a fair and just man, and they’ve figured out a family model that works for them.
Hasanah works full-time as a social worker and savors her alone time. Asiila takes care of her and Ali’s 10-year-old son, and “plays hostess.” Ali is the head of the household, spending most of his time writing about Islam and providing spiritual counseling.

“I helped him ship out and go get the sister,” jokes Hasanah, recounting how, 15 years ago, she wrote Asiila a nine-page letter asking her to join the family.

Nearby, Asiila pretends to complain. “You gave me six months with Ali when I first got here, but you won’t take them back.”
Ali, realizing he’s being picked on, responds with a joke that he is going to take on another wife.
“You have the computer,” says Asiila. “That’s wife No. 3.”

This story is one part of a larger “News 21″ reporting project at UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism. To see more stories on “God, Sex and Family,” go to http://www.newsinitiative.org/ucb. Contact us at insight@sfchronicle.com.

THIS WHITE MAN IS HUMBLE ENOUGH TO ACCEPT THE TRUTH OF BLACK EGYPT!(BY THE WAY HE IS FROM CANADA SO HE IS FREE OF THE YOKE THAT AMERIKKKAN WHITES HAVE!)

August 22, 2007

from freemaninstitute.com
(CLICK ON TO SEE THE PICTURES)
AND
MORE PHOTOS OF BLACK EGYPT
freemaninstitute.com

— T h e F r e e m a n I n s t i t u t e –
A quick historical overview, introducing the…
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Huge Ancient Egyptian Photo Gallery

LINK TO PHOTO GALLERY NEAR THE BOTTOM OF THIS PAGE

Egypt, Tut, Rosetta Stone, pyramids, pharaoh, Africa, culture, hieroglyphics, Nile

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The Lemba:
Black Jews of Southern Africa

Badagry, Nigeria — Slave Trade History

THE ENTIRE CONTENTS — INCLUDING PHOTOS
Copyright © 2006 by Joel A. Freeman, Ph.D. All rights reserved.
Note: Reproduction of any kind, including copying and pasting, is strictly prohibited.
Courtesy of The Freeman Institute

“WHAT’S UP WITH THE COVER-UP”

“Truth and morning become light with time.” — Ethiopian Proverb

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For about 15 centuries, people, fascinated, gazed upon Egyptian hieroglyphics without comprehending their meaning.
In 1799, LT Pierre Bouchard discovered the Rosetta Stone (below) while building Fort Julian (see to left–now Fort Rashid) on the west bank of the Nile during Napoleon’s Egyptian campaign. the proclamation carved on it, praising Ptolemy V in 196 B.C., is of relatively little significance; what is important is that the inscription appears in three texts: Hieroglyphics, Egyptian Demotic Script and Greek. (click here to read entire text)click here to read entire text)

Jean Francois Champollion (below) was a brilliant linguist who worked from an 1808 copy of the Rosetta Stone’s inscription. He labored on it for 14 years without ever seeing the stone itself. In 1822, Champollion finally decided that “Ptolemy” might be read phonetically — patiently reconstructing the name, sound by sound from the Greek and Coptic. Twenty-three years passed before the Rosetta Stone finally surrendered its secret which began with the deciphering of “Ptolemy’s” name. (Click on the Stone below for more information.)

Historical Timeline
of Ancient Egypt
Joseph, Egypt
& The Hyksos

Tutankhamen
& Akhenaton

Ancient Egyptian Religions

Map of
Ancient Africa

Text on
Rosetta Stone

The Pyramid Puzzle

Rosetta Stone

Ancient Nubia

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Other inscriptions on artifacts like obelisks and monuments could now be read. These discovery spawned an even greater interest in Egyptian archaeology. Anthropologists and archaeologists were presented with quite a challenging conflict.

In the early 1800s, around the same time Egyptian Archaeology was maturing, the Middle Passage (slave trade) was in full swing. In order for Europeans to justify the economic drive of the slave trade, blacks had to be viewed as non-humans. Animals. Tools for building the dreams of Europeans.

In stark contrast to the picture of blacks being painted by those who favored the slave trade — anthropologists and archaeologists were discovering more statues and other artifacts which presented a different view. Black people had indeed created the many pyramids and other artifacts. What to do? The Egyptians had left behind a huge “Picture Album”.

When visiting Egypt today, this is what we see of The Sphinx of Giza.

This is what Vivant Denon saw in 1798 before the Sphinx was defaced.

“The Colchians, Ethiopians and Egyptians have thick lips,
broad nose, woolly hair and they are burnt of skin.”
— Herodotus, 450 BC

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In his book, The Destruction of Black Civilization, black scholar, Chancellor Williams informs us that history has proven that a number of tactics were employed by anthropologists to blot out black accomplishments. Here is a list of Williams’ observations about how anthropologists chose to operate:

1. “Ignore or refuse to publish any facts of African history” that would not support
their racial theories.

2. “Create a religious and ‘scientific’ doctrine” to ease the white conscience for
oppressing and enslaving African people.

3. “Flood the world with hastily thrown together African ‘histories'” that contain
European perspectives only.

4. “Start renaming people and places. Replace African names of persons, places, and
things with Arabic and European names.” This will disguise their true black identity.

5. Change the criteria for defining race. For example, one drop of Negro blood in
America makes you a Negro, no matter how light your skin. When reporting ancient
history, reverse the standard. Make one drop of white blood render someone a
Caucasian no matter how dark the skin. (Test this criteria during the
“riding-at-the-back-of the-bus” era of the South during the 1940s in the USA. Be
assured that any of the Pharaoh’s of Egypt, especially up to and including the 25th
Dynasty, would have been required to sit at the back of the bus.)

6. When black participation in civilization is so obvious your best schemes can’t
hide it, find a way to attribute the success to outside white influence.

7. When all the ancient historians contradict your theory, seek to discredit them.

My Opinion
by Dr. Joel A. Freeman

Egypt has always been a place of fascination for the ancients outside the region of Egypt. For instance, two of the seven wonders of the World were situated in Egypt.

The Rosetta Stone was discovered during the Napoleonic Egyptian Campaign in 1799. In 1822 Jean Champollion was able to crack the code of hieroglyphics. Once the code of hieroglyphics had been cracked, it brought a renewed interest to that region of the world.

For the first time in thousands of years, utilizing the new-found skills of reading Egyptian hieroglyphics, people could corroborate certain historical events, people and places. The discovery of the Rosetta Stone and subsequent understanding of the esoteric hieroglyph language was the connection that brought everything to the forefront for “modern” people to wrestle with some realities.

European archaeologists, anthropologists and historians were in a catch-22 situation. On one hand they were seeing images of people with clear Afroid features as they traveled around Egypt.

On the other hand, there was the terrible history of the slave trade that had been going on for approximately 350 years prior. For Europeans to justify the economic drive of the slave trade, there had to be the denigration of people of African descent. (Also, let’s not forget the complicity of African Kings in bringing their warring neighbors to the slave traders.) Since the slave trade had been going on for some 350 years, the negative view of Black people had permeated much of Europe, South and North America and the rest of the world.

There was a crisis of conscience, especially in the mid 1800s. How are the European archaeologists going to interpret what they are seeing and understanding, to an eager outside world? In my opinion, they blew a wonderful opportunity to share the truth. Instead most went to all sorts of ends to try to present Egyptians as though they were not of African descent. The book, Black Spark, White Fire (Richard Poe) addresses the ethnicity of the ancient Egyptians in a most ingenious manner.

The one-drop rule worked in the US — one drop of black blood makes one black. Let’s reverse the standards for archaeologists and anthropologists when viewing ancient history — one drop of white blood makes you white, no matter how curly the hair or thick the lips.

All of this impacted the world — brought on by a specific event. In my opinion, the re-discovery of the Rosetta Stone was the catalyst that brought about the series of events that ultimately reshaped the thinking of people around the world regarding the ethnicity of the ancient Egyptians.

See for yourself. The photos you are about to view in a few moments are not so much “Afro Centric” as they are “Truth Centric”. See powerful visual images that reveal much more than words could ever communicate. Here’s a quick example:

Mummy-case of
Djedmaatesankh, a musician from the temple of Amun-re at Thebes. Egyptian, Late Period, 850 BC.
CT-scan of Djedmaatesankh
X-ray of Djedmaatesankh showing profile of mummy inside cartonnage coffin.

Read the first chapter and overview of

Return To Glory: The Powerful Stirring of the Black Man

In many sectors there seems to be some controversy about the racial make-up of the Egyptian people, i.e. whether they were White or Black. This is a simplistic approach to a much more complicated set of circumstances since Egypt’s strategic location brought people in from the south with Nubian and equatorial African influence and from the northern coast of Africa and the Middle East with Afro-Mediterranean and Semitic influences. The Biblical record places Egypt among the “Black” countries. Melanin dosage tests of mummified remains (controversial due to damage caused by the embalming process) seem to indicate a level of melanocytes consistent with a people of a semi tropical to temperate climate zone.

Egypt continues to dominate the focus of our African oriented studies. These studies have clearly demonstrated that not only were early Egypt’s origins African, but that through the whole of Egypt’s Dynastic Era (the age of the Pharaohs), and during all of her many periods of national splendor, men and women with black skin complexions, broad noses, full lips, and tightly curled hair, were dominant in both the general population and governing elite.

In the intense and unrelenting struggle to establish scientifically the African foundations of Egyptian civilization, the late Senegalese scholar Dr. Cheikh Anta Diop remains a most fierce and ardent champion. Dr. Diop (1923-1986) was without a doubt one of the world’s leading Egyptologist and held the position of Director of the Radiocarbon Laboratory at the Fundamental Institute of Black Africa in Dakar, Senegal. In stating the importance of the work, Diop noted emphatically and early on that, “The history of Black Africa will remain suspended in air and cannot be written correctly until African historians dare to connect it with the history of Egypt.”

The solid range of methodologies employed by Dr. Diop in the course of his extensive Afro-Egyptian labors included: examinations of the epidermis of the mummies of Egyptian kings for verification of their melanin content; precise osteological measurements and meticulous studies in the various relevant areas of anatomy and physical anthropology; careful examinations and comparisons of modern Upper Egyptian and West African blood-types; detailed Afro-Egyptian linguistic studies and the corroboration of distinct Afro-Egyptian cultural traits; documents of racial designations employed by the early Africans themselves; Biblical testimonies and references that address the ancient Egyptian’s ethnicity, race and culture; and the writings of early Greek and Roman travelers and scholars describing the physical characteristics of the ancient Egyptians.

The original Egyptians were unmixed pure black folks. When they were at the pinnacle of their glory they were not a mixed group by any means. During the middle dynasties especially (and later) when people migrated to this great land there was some intermarrying. This is natural and doesn’t need to be debated. It was even done within royalty lines at times to solidify alliances, which was a common practice between powers during that period of history. Chancellor Williams refers to this phenomenon in his book “The Destruction of Black Civilization.” And frankly, he theorizes that this mixing was part of the reason for the fall of Black Civilization. Nevertheless, there was never so much of this that at any time the ancient Egyptians could ever be classified as other than a black people.

It’s reasonable to say that Egypt was a gateway for the meeting and interchange of goods, ideas, and people; and that the Egyptians were themselves a unique expression of human strength, beauty, intelligence and diversification. Ancient Egypt was an African civilization. It is also interesting to note that the Biblical record states “Israel also came into Egypt…the land of Ham.” (Psalm 105: 23).

Plus we need to be reminded that Egypt is in Africa (not the Middle East) and that all of the Pharaohs (up to and including the 25th Dynasty) would have been required to “sit at the back of a bus” in the 1940s in Montgomery Alabama. Let’s allow the pictures to speak for themselves…Ready?

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inviting three or four of your friends to view the same page.

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Enter Photo Gallery
View More Resources Below

This photo gallery, one of the most comprehensive collection of Ancient Egyptian
photos on the Internet, has come about after much travel.
Nothing may be used without written permission from Dr. Freeman.

“We have come to reclaim the house of history. We are dedicated to the revision of the role of the African in the world’s great civilizations, the contribution of Africa to the achievement of man in the arts and sciences. We shall emphasize what Africa has given to the world, not what it has lost.” — Ivan Van Sertima

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to your organization, entitled “A White Man’s Journey Into Black History”?

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Return To Glory: The Powerful Stirring of the Black Man

M O R E R E S O U R C E S:
The Lemba: The Black Jews of Southern Africa
Table of Nations–Ham, Shem and Japheth
Badagry, Nigeria — Slave Trade History
Historical Timeline of Ancient Egypt
The Mitochondrial “Eve” Theory
Joseph, Egypt & The Hyksos
Tutankhamen & Akhenaton
Ancient Egyptian Religions
The Colonization of Africa
Map of Ancient Africa
Text on Rosetta Stone
The Pyramid Puzzle
Rosetta Stone
Ancient Nubia

To learn more about seminar — Diversity: The Value of Mutual Respect

The ever-expanding Freeman Institute Black History Collection has items such as:
1. Authentic, priceless slave ball, with handle (50 lb.) — #3 written on it, for “trouble-makers”, manufactured late 1600s — used on the London-based slave ship, Henrietta Marie, the oldest identifiable slave ship wreck in the world (summer, 1700) ; featured in National Geographic’s (August, 2002). By one estimate Henrietta Marie’s cargo grossed well over £3,000 (more than $400,000 today) for the ship’s investors. Most of the captives were headed for sugar plantations where they’d be worked to exhaustion, many dying within five to ten years. Sturdy and fast, The Henrietta Marie traveled the infamous triangular trade route favored by the slavers – from England to the Guinea coast, to the Americas, then home again. Accounts relating to the Henrietta Marie’s voyages were uncovered, as were the names of her investors, captains, and wills of some of her crew members. Artifacts found at the site proved particularly helpful in creating a picture of shipboard life and the practices of the slave trade.
2. Two Wedgwood jasperware black on white Anti-Slavery medallions, with the bound slave on the front, and the words “Am I Not A Man and A Brother?” around it. Also, a rare 1800s antique bronze figure of man (6″ high, weighs 18 oz.) pictured in medallion.
3. One-of-a-kind signed letters/albums/contracts/sheet music from Nat King Cole, Dizzy Gillespie, Duke Ellington, Lionel Hampton, Louis Armstrong, B. B. King, Ethel Waters, Pearl Bailey, Miles Davis, Fats Domino, Quincy Jones, Earl Hines, Ella Fitzgerald, Sammy Davis, Jr., Grover Washington, Jr., Count Basie, Mills Brothers, Ozzie Davis, Lena Horne, Four Tops, Cicely Tyson, James Brown, Charlie Pride, Bo Diddley, Bobby Blue and others…
4. A rare 1838 (third edition) copy of Phillis Wheatley’s book, “Memoir and Poems of Phillis Wheatley, A Native African and a Slave” — Includes memoir, George Washington’s letter to Wheatley, preface by John Wheatley, plus poems by another slave, George Moses Horton, with introduction and letters. And also the 1773 edition of the Gentleman’s Magazine — first published mention of Phillis Wheatley’s book, first printed in the UK, paid for by the Countess of Huntingdon.
5. Silver Civil War locket (1860s), containing two tin-type pictures of African American women, worn by an African American soldier.
6. The Rosetta Stone, a First Edition 55-page article in Archaeologia: Miscellaneous Tracts Relating to Antiquity, Volume XVI, published by The Society of Antiquaries of London. 1812. Some of the first published articles about the Rosetta Stone. This is historic in light of the fact that the code to Hieroglyphics wasn’t cracked until 1822 by Jean Champollion.
7. Riggs Bank check written and signed on July 3, 1907 by Judson W. Lyons, ex-slave from Georgia and first African-American lawyer to practice in the state of Georgia. He was appointed Register of the US Treasury from 1898-1906 and as such, his signature appeared on US currency issued during those years.
8. 1820s “T Porter” slave button (from Antigua, British West Indies), used to identify the owner of a slave.
9. Click Here to view more items and images…

For more information
please visit an overview of
RETURN TO GLORY

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“Black History — Ancient Egyptian Photo Gallery — Ancient Egypt — Tut — Rosetta Stone — pyramids — pharaoh — Africa — culture


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