Archive for the ‘MALCOLM X’ Category

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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MALCOLM X:”THE HOUSE NEGRO AND THE FIELD NEGRO”:SPEECH TO SNCC WORKERS,SELMA, ALABAMA,FEB.4,1965

April 5, 2007

mxfrom mysonabsalom.wordpress.com(MALCOLM X AT THE UNIVERSITY OF IBADAN,MUSLIM STUDENTS MEETING,IN NIGERIA!)

Take, Take, Take
http://www.mysonabsalom.com
House Negros
June 20, 2008 in History, Japan, Japanese
X says it straight:

To understand this, you have to go back to what [the] young brother here referred to as the house Negro and the field Negro — back during slavery. There was two kinds of slaves. There was the house Negro and the field Negro. The house Negroes – they lived in the house with master, they dressed pretty good, they ate good ’cause they ate his food — what he left. They lived in the attic or the basement, but still they lived near the master; and they loved their master more than the master loved himself. They would give their life to save the master’s house quicker than the master would. The house Negro, if the master said, “We got a good house here,” the house Negro would say, “Yeah, we got a good house here.” Whenever the master said “we,” he said “we.” That’s how you can tell a house Negro.

If the master’s house caught on fire, the house Negro would fight harder to put the blaze out than the master would. If the master got sick, the house Negro would say, “What’s the matter, boss, we sick?” We sick! He identified himself with his master more than his master identified with himself. And if you came to the house Negro and said, “Let’s run away, let’s escape, let’s separate,” the house Negro would look at you and say, “Man, you crazy. What you mean, separate? Where is there a better house than this? Where can I wear better clothes than this? Where can I eat better food than this?” That was that house Negro. In those days he was called a “house nigger.” And that’s what we call him today, because we’ve still got some house niggers running around here.

This modern house Negro loves his master. He wants to live near him. He’ll pay three times as much as the house is worth just to live near his master, and then brag about “I’m the only Negro out here.” “I’m the only one on my job.” “I’m the only one in this school.” You’re nothing but a house Negro. And if someone comes to you right now and says, “Let’s separate,” you say the same thing that the house Negro said on the plantation. “What you mean, separate? From America? This good white man? Where you going to get a better job than you get here?” I mean, this is what you say. “I ain’t left nothing in Africa,” that’s what you say. Why, you left your mind in Africa.

On that same plantation, there was the field Negro. The field Negro — those were the masses. There were always more Negroes in the field than there was Negroes in the house. The Negro in the field caught hell. He ate leftovers. In the house they ate high up on the hog. The Negro in the field didn’t get nothing but what was left of the insides of the hog. They call ‘em “chitt’lin’” nowadays. In those days they called them what they were: guts. That’s what you were — a gut-eater. And some of you all still gut-eaters.

The field Negro was beaten from morning to night. He lived in a shack, in a hut; He wore old, castoff clothes. He hated his master. I say he hated his master. He was intelligent. That house Negro loved his master. But that field Negro — remember, they were in the majority, and they hated the master. When the house caught on fire, he didn’t try and put it out; that field Negro prayed for a wind, for a breeze. When the master got sick, the field Negro prayed that he’d die. If someone come [sic] to the field Negro and said, “Let’s separate, let’s run,” he didn’t say “Where we going?” He’d say, “Any place is better than here.” You’ve got field Negroes in America today. I’m a field Negro. The masses are the field Negroes. When they see this man’s house on fire, you don’t hear these little Negroes talking about “our government is in trouble.” They say, “The government is in trouble.” Imagine a Negro: “Our government”! I even heard one say “our astronauts.” They won’t even let him near the plant — and “our astronauts”! “Our Navy” — that’s a Negro that’s out of his mind. That’s a Negro that’s out of his mind.

Just as the slavemaster of that day used Tom, the house Negro, to keep the field Negroes in check, the same old slavemaster today has Negroes who are nothing but modern Uncle Toms, 20th century Uncle Toms, to keep you and me in check, keep us under control, keep us passive and peaceful and nonviolent. That’s Tom making you nonviolent. It’s like when you go to the dentist, and the man’s going to take your tooth. You’re going to fight him when he starts pulling. So he squirts some stuff in your jaw called novocaine, to make you think they’re not doing anything to you. So you sit there and ’cause you’ve got all of that novocaine in your jaw, you suffer peacefully. Blood running all down your jaw, and you don’t know what’s happening. ‘Cause someone has taught you to suffer — peacefully.

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10 Replies
thinkingcrowd
June 21, 2008 at 9:13 pm
he says something straight but i’m not sure what it is. not sure we can take this conjecture of all “house negroes” being loyal and all “field negroes” as being revolutionaries as fact though. some of the “house negroes” ended up being key leaders to assist the cause of the north in the civil war. and, as such have every reason to say “we” when saying they are americans. without folks with a willingness to reconcile the differences between white and black we don’t have an obama for president or a chris rock doing comedy.

i can appreciate x for his positions in their context of the 60’s and the newly escaped jim crow laws of the south. in today’s context, we got lots of work to do in making the cooperation work. it’s working better than the 50’s but lots of room for improvement.

Dan
June 22, 2008 at 3:23 am
MLK…what an asshole.

mysonabsalom
June 22, 2008 at 8:11 am
I’m relating this to teaching English in Japan. Ain’t nobody more critical of X than me.

Dan
June 22, 2008 at 10:54 am
The post suddenly assumes a great truth. I must remember to read the tags.

Colin Doyle
June 22, 2008 at 10:59 am
You can’t relate it to teaching English in Japan unless you can find some earlier paragraphs which tell how the slaves got on the boats themselves, sailed to America and *asked* the white folks to *make* them slaves.
Nothin’ like a jug of sweet self-pity on a warm summer’s night on the ol’ plantation…

Dan
June 22, 2008 at 11:02 am
There seems to be a great number of field slaves who are painting their faces white… I guess you refused to be such a coward (all matters of prudence aside)?

Life is full of reconciling contradictions. This, I guess, is the other side of “When in Rome”.

mysonabsalom
June 22, 2008 at 1:25 pm
More specific: This reminds me of my current situation in which a gaijin in authority is trying to enforce an unfair contract meant to exploit foreigners who are unaware of Japanese law and who is doing it more vigorously than the Japanese in authority.

thinkingcrowd
June 22, 2008 at 2:24 pm
fight the power my friend.

colin’s comments made me laugh though. so true. i guess it’s the difference between forced slavery and indentured servitude.

Colin Doyle
June 22, 2008 at 3:26 pm
Ah. You’re referring to your employer, not yourself.Now it (kind of) makes sense. Well, there are plenty of those about, it’s true. Strained analogy, though.

Dan
June 23, 2008 at 1:58 am
Ah yes, the painted slave is whiter than the white man. : ) I could allegorize all day.

Really, though, this is a definite type. I was always fortunate never to encounter it in a superior though.

MALCOLM X:”MESSAGE TO THE GRASSROOTS”

April 5, 2007

from:americanrhetoric.com

Malcolm X: “Message To The Grass Roots”

delivered on 10 Nov, 1963 in Detroit, MI

Audio mp3 of Address

[AUTHENTICITY CERTIFIED: Text version below transcribed directly from audio.]

…And during the few moments that we have left, we want to have just an off-the-cuff chat between you and me — us. We want to talk right down to earth in a language that everybody here can easily understand. We all agree tonight, all of the speakers have agreed, that America has a very serious problem. Not only does America have a very serious problem, but our people have a very serious problem. America’s problem is us. We’re her problem. The only reason she has a problem is she doesn’t want us here. And every time you look at yourself, be you black, brown, red, or yellow — a so-called Negro — you represent a person who poses such a serious problem for America because you’re not wanted. Once you face this as a fact, then you can start plotting a course that will make you appear intelligent, instead of unintelligent.

What you and I need to do is learn to forget our differences. When we come together, we don’t come together as Baptists or Methodists. You don’t catch hell ’cause you’re a Baptist, and you don’t catch hell ’cause you’re a Methodist. You don’t catch hell ’cause you’re a Methodist or Baptist. You don’t catch hell because you’re a Democrat or a Republican. You don’t catch hell because you’re a Mason or an Elk. And you sure don’t catch hell ’cause you’re an American; ’cause if you was an American, you wouldn’t catch no hell. You catch hell ’cause you’re a black man. You catch hell, all of us catch hell, for the same reason.

So we are all black people, so-called Negroes, second-class citizens, ex-slaves. You are nothing but a [sic] ex-slave. You don’t like to be told that. But what else are you? You are ex-slaves. You didn’t come here on the “Mayflower.” You came here on a slave ship — in chains, like a horse, or a cow, or a chicken. And you were brought here by the people who came here on the “Mayflower.” You were brought here by the so-called Pilgrims, or Founding Fathers. They were the ones who brought you here.

We have a common enemy. We have this in common: We have a common oppressor, a common exploiter, and a common discriminator. But once we all realize that we have this common enemy, then we unite on the basis of what we have in common. And what we have foremost in common is that enemy — the white man. He’s an enemy to all of us. I know some of you all think that some of them aren’t enemies. Time will tell.

In Bandung back in, I think, 1954, was the first unity meeting in centuries of black people. And once you study what happened at the Bandung conference, and the results of the Bandung conference, it actually serves as a model for the same procedure you and I can use to get our problems solved. At Bandung all the nations came together. Their were dark nations from Africa and Asia. Some of them were Buddhists. Some of them were Muslim. Some of them were Christians. Some of them were Confucianists; some were atheists. Despite their religious differences, they came together. Some were communists; some were socialists; some were capitalists. Despite their economic and political differences, they came together. All of them were black, brown, red, or yellow.

The number-one thing that was not allowed to attend the Bandung conference was the white man. He couldn’t come. Once they excluded the white man, they found that they could get together. Once they kept him out, everybody else fell right in and fell in line. This is the thing that you and I have to understand. And these people who came together didn’t have nuclear weapons; they didn’t have jet planes; they didn’t have all of the heavy armaments that the white man has. But they had unity.

They were able to submerge their little petty differences and agree on one thing: That though one African came from Kenya and was being colonized by the Englishman, and another African came from the Congo and was being colonized by the Belgian, and another African came from Guinea and was being colonized by the French, and another came from Angola and was being colonized by the Portuguese. When they came to the Bandung conference, they looked at the Portuguese, and at the Frenchman, and at the Englishman, and at the other — Dutchman — and learned or realized that the one thing that all of them had in common: they were all from Europe, they were all Europeans, blond, blue-eyed and white-skinned. They began to recognize who their enemy was. The same man that was colonizing our people in Kenya was colonizing our people in the Congo. The same one in the Congo was colonizing our people in South Africa, and in Southern Rhodesia, and in Burma, and in India, and in Afghanistan, and in Pakistan. They realized all over the world where the dark man was being oppressed, he was being oppressed by the white man; where the dark man was being exploited, he was being exploited by the white man. So they got together under this basis — that they had a common enemy.

And when you and I here in Detroit and in Michigan and in America who have been awakened today look around us, we too realize here in America we all have a common enemy, whether he’s in Georgia or Michigan, whether he’s in California or New York. He’s the same man: blue eyes and blond hair and pale skin — same man. So what we have to do is what they did. They agreed to stop quarreling among themselves. Any little spat that they had, they’d settle it among themselves, go into a huddle — don’t let the enemy know that you got [sic] a disagreement.

Instead of us airing our differences in public, we have to realize we’re all the same family. And when you have a family squabble, you don’t get out on the sidewalk. If you do, everybody calls you uncouth, unrefined, uncivilized, savage. If you don’t make it at home, you settle it at home; you get in the closet — argue it out behind closed doors. And then when you come out on the street, you pose a common front, a united front. And this is what we need to do in the community, and in the city, and in the state. We need to stop airing our differences in front of the white man. Put the white man out of our meetings, number one, and then sit down and talk shop with each other. [That’s] all you gotta do.

I would like to make a few comments concerning the difference between the black revolution and the Negro revolution. There’s a difference. Are they both the same? And if they’re not, what is the difference? What is the difference between a black revolution and a Negro revolution? First, what is a revolution? Sometimes I’m inclined to believe that many of our people are using this word “revolution” loosely, without taking careful consideration [of] what this word actually means, and what its historic characteristics are. When you study the historic nature of revolutions, the motive of a revolution, the objective of a revolution, and the result of a revolution, and the methods used in a revolution, you may change words. You may devise another program. You may change your goal and you may change your mind.

Look at the American Revolution in 1776. That revolution was for what? For land. Why did they want land? Independence. How was it carried out? Bloodshed. Number one, it was based on land, the basis of independence. And the only way they could get it was bloodshed. The French Revolution — what was it based on? The land-less against the landlord. What was it for? Land. How did they get it? Bloodshed. Was no love lost; was no compromise; was no negotiation. I’m telling you, you don’t know what a revolution is. ‘Cause when you find out what it is, you’ll get back in the alley; you’ll get out of the way. The Russian Revolution — what was it based on? Land. The land-less against the landlord. How did they bring it about? Bloodshed. You haven’t got a revolution that doesn’t involve bloodshed. And you’re afraid to bleed. I said, you’re afraid to bleed.

[As] long as the white man sent you to Korea, you bled. He sent you to Germany, you bled. He sent you to the South Pacific to fight the Japanese, you bled. You bleed for white people. But when it comes time to seeing your own churches being bombed and little black girls be murdered, you haven’t got no blood. You bleed when the white man says bleed; you bite when the white man says bite; and you bark when the white man says bark. I hate to say this about us, but it’s true. How are you going to be nonviolent in Mississippi, as violent as you were in Korea? How can you justify being nonviolent in Mississippi and Alabama, when your churches are being bombed, and your little girls are being murdered, and at the same time you’re going to violent with Hitler, and Tojo, and somebody else that you don’t even know?

If violence is wrong in America, violence is wrong abroad. If it’s wrong to be violent defending black women and black children and black babies and black men, then it’s wrong for America to draft us and make us violent abroad in defense of her. And if it is right for America to draft us, and teach us how to be violent in defense of her, then it is right for you and me to do whatever is necessary to defend our own people right here in this country.

The Chinese Revolution — they wanted land. They threw the British out, along with the Uncle Tom Chinese. Yeah, they did. They set a good example. When I was in prison, I read an article — don’t be shocked when I say I was in prison. You’re still in prison. That’s what America means: prison. When I was in prison, I read an article in Life magazine showing a little Chinese girl, nine years old; her father was on his hands and knees and she was pulling the trigger ’cause he was an Uncle Tom Chinaman, When they had the revolution over there, they took a whole generation of Uncle Toms — just wiped them out. And within ten years that little girl become [sic] a full-grown woman. No more Toms in China. And today it’s one of the toughest, roughest, most feared countries on this earth — by the white man. ‘Cause there are no Uncle Toms over there.

Of all our studies, history is best qualified to reward our research. And when you see that you’ve got problems, all you have to do is examine the historic method used all over the world by others who have problems similar to yours. And once you see how they got theirs straight, then you know how you can get yours straight. There’s been a revolution, a black revolution, going on in Africa. In Kenya, the Mau Mau were revolutionaries; they were the ones who made the word “Uhuru” [Kenyan word for “freedom”]. They were the ones who brought it to the fore. The Mau Mau, they were revolutionaries. They believed in scorched earth. They knocked everything aside that got in their way, and their revolution also was based on land, a desire for land. In Algeria, the northern part of Africa, a revolution took place. The Algerians were revolutionists; they wanted land. France offered to let them be integrated into France. They told France: to hell with France. They wanted some land, not some France. And they engaged in a bloody battle.

So I cite these various revolutions, brothers and sisters, to show you — you don’t have a peaceful revolution. You don’t have a turn-the-other-cheek revolution. There’s no such thing as a nonviolent revolution. [The] only kind of revolution that’s nonviolent is the Negro revolution. The only revolution based on loving your enemy is the Negro revolution. The only revolution in which the goal is a desegregated lunch counter, a desegregated theater, a desegregated park, and a desegregated public toilet; you can sit down next to white folks on the toilet. That’s no revolution. Revolution is based on land. Land is the basis of all independence. Land is the basis of freedom, justice, and equality.

The white man knows what a revolution is. He knows that the black revolution is world-wide in scope and in nature. The black revolution is sweeping Asia, sweeping Africa, is rearing its head in Latin America. The Cuban Revolution — that’s a revolution. They overturned the system. Revolution is in Asia. Revolution is in Africa. And the white man is screaming because he sees revolution in Latin America. How do you think he’ll react to you when you learn what a real revolution is? You don’t know what a revolution is. If you did, you wouldn’t use that word.

A revolution is bloody. Revolution is hostile. Revolution knows no compromise. Revolution overturns and destroys everything that gets in its way. And you, sitting around here like a knot on the wall, saying, “I’m going to love these folks no matter how much they hate me.” No, you need a revolution. Whoever heard of a revolution where they lock arms, as Reverend Cleage was pointing out beautifully, singing “We Shall Overcome”? Just tell me. You don’t do that in a revolution. You don’t do any singing; you’re too busy swinging. It’s based on land. A revolutionary wants land so he can set up his own nation, an independent nation. These Negroes aren’t asking for no nation. They’re trying to crawl back on the plantation.

When you want a nation, that’s called nationalism. When the white man became involved in a revolution in this country against England, what was it for? He wanted this land so he could set up another white nation. That’s white nationalism. The American Revolution was white nationalism. The French Revolution was white nationalism. The Russian Revolution too — yes, it was — white nationalism. You don’t think so? Why [do] you think Khrushchev and Mao can’t get their heads together? White nationalism. All the revolutions that’s going on in Asia and Africa today are based on what? Black nationalism. A revolutionary is a black nationalist. He wants a nation. I was reading some beautiful words by Reverend Cleage, pointing out why he couldn’t get together with someone else here in the city because all of them were afraid of being identified with black nationalism. If you’re afraid of black nationalism, you’re afraid of revolution. And if you love revolution, you love black nationalism.

To understand this, you have to go back to what [the] young brother here referred to as the house Negro and the field Negro — back during slavery. There was two kinds of slaves. There was the house Negro and the field Negro. The house Negroes – they lived in the house with master, they dressed pretty good, they ate good ’cause they ate his food — what he left. They lived in the attic or the basement, but still they lived near the master; and they loved their master more than the master loved himself. They would give their life to save the master’s house quicker than the master would. The house Negro, if the master said, “We got a good house here,” the house Negro would say, “Yeah, we got a good house here.” Whenever the master said “we,” he said “we.” That’s how you can tell a house Negro.

If the master’s house caught on fire, the house Negro would fight harder to put the blaze out than the master would. If the master got sick, the house Negro would say, “What’s the matter, boss, we sick?” We sick! He identified himself with his master more than his master identified with himself. And if you came to the house Negro and said, “Let’s run away, let’s escape, let’s separate,” the house Negro would look at you and say, “Man, you crazy. What you mean, separate? Where is there a better house than this? Where can I wear better clothes than this? Where can I eat better food than this?” That was that house Negro. In those days he was called a “house nigger.” And that’s what we call him today, because we’ve still got some house niggers running around here.

This modern house Negro loves his master. He wants to live near him. He’ll pay three times as much as the house is worth just to live near his master, and then brag about “I’m the only Negro out here.” “I’m the only one on my job.” “I’m the only one in this school.” You’re nothing but a house Negro. And if someone comes to you right now and says, “Let’s separate,” you say the same thing that the house Negro said on the plantation. “What you mean, separate? From America? This good white man? Where you going to get a better job than you get here?” I mean, this is what you say. “I ain’t left nothing in Africa,” that’s what you say. Why, you left your mind in Africa.

On that same plantation, there was the field Negro. The field Negro — those were the masses. There were always more Negroes in the field than there was Negroes in the house. The Negro in the field caught hell. He ate leftovers. In the house they ate high up on the hog. The Negro in the field didn’t get nothing but what was left of the insides of the hog. They call ’em “chitt’lin'” nowadays. In those days they called them what they were: guts. That’s what you were — a gut-eater. And some of you all still gut-eaters.

The field Negro was beaten from morning to night. He lived in a shack, in a hut; He wore old, castoff clothes. He hated his master. I say he hated his master. He was intelligent. That house Negro loved his master. But that field Negro — remember, they were in the majority, and they hated the master. When the house caught on fire, he didn’t try and put it out; that field Negro prayed for a wind, for a breeze. When the master got sick, the field Negro prayed that he’d die. If someone come [sic] to the field Negro and said, “Let’s separate, let’s run,” he didn’t say “Where we going?” He’d say, “Any place is better than here.” You’ve got field Negroes in America today. I’m a field Negro. The masses are the field Negroes. When they see this man’s house on fire, you don’t hear these little Negroes talking about “our government is in trouble.” They say, “The government is in trouble.” Imagine a Negro: “Our government”! I even heard one say “our astronauts.” They won’t even let him near the plant — and “our astronauts”! “Our Navy” — that’s a Negro that’s out of his mind. That’s a Negro that’s out of his mind.

Just as the slavemaster of that day used Tom, the house Negro, to keep the field Negroes in check, the same old slavemaster today has Negroes who are nothing but modern Uncle Toms, 20th century Uncle Toms, to keep you and me in check, keep us under control, keep us passive and peaceful and nonviolent. That’s Tom making you nonviolent. It’s like when you go to the dentist, and the man’s going to take your tooth. You’re going to fight him when he starts pulling. So he squirts some stuff in your jaw called novocaine, to make you think they’re not doing anything to you. So you sit there and ’cause you’ve got all of that novocaine in your jaw, you suffer peacefully. Blood running all down your jaw, and you don’t know what’s happening. ‘Cause someone has taught you to suffer — peacefully.

The white man do the same thing to you in the street, when he want [sic] to put knots on your head and take advantage of you and don’t have to be afraid of your fighting back. To keep you from fighting back, he gets these old religious Uncle Toms to teach you and me, just like novocaine, suffer peacefully. Don’t stop suffering — just suffer peacefully. As Reverend Cleage pointed out, “Let your blood flow In the streets.” This is a shame. And you know he’s a Christian preacher. If it’s a shame to him, you know what it is to me.

There’s nothing in our book, the Quran — you call it “Ko-ran” — that teaches us to suffer peacefully. Our religion teaches us to be intelligent. Be peaceful, be courteous, obey the law, respect everyone; but if someone puts his hand on you, send him to the cemetery. That’s a good religion. In fact, that’s that old-time religion. That’s the one that Ma and Pa used to talk about: an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth, and a head for a head, and a life for a life: That’s a good religion. And doesn’t nobody resent that kind of religion being taught but a wolf, who intends to make you his meal.

This is the way it is with the white man in America. He’s a wolf and you’re sheep. Any time a shepherd, a pastor, teach [sic] you and me not to run from the white man and, at the same time, teach [sic] us not to fight the white man, he’s a traitor to you and me. Don’t lay down our life all by itself. No, preserve your life. it’s the best thing you got. And if you got to give it up, let it be even-steven.

The slavemaster took Tom and dressed him well, and fed him well, and even gave him a little education — a little education; gave him a long coat and a top hat and made all the other slaves look up to him. Then he used Tom to control them. The same strategy that was used in those days is used today, by the same white man. He takes a Negro, a so-called Negro, and make [sic] him prominent, build [sic] him up, publicize [sic] him, make [sic] him a celebrity. And then he becomes a spokesman for Negroes — and a Negro leader.

I would like to just mention just one other thing else quickly, and that is the method that the white man uses, how the white man uses these “big guns,” or Negro leaders, against the black revolution. They are not a part of the black revolution. They’re used against the black revolution.

When Martin Luther King failed to desegregate Albany, Georgia, the civil-rights struggle in America reached its low point. King became bankrupt almost, as a leader. Plus, even financially, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference was in financial trouble; plus it was in trouble, period, with the people when they failed to desegregate Albany, Georgia. Other Negro civil-rights leaders of so-called national stature became fallen idols. As they became fallen idols, began to lose their prestige and influence, local Negro leaders began to stir up the masses. In Cambridge, Maryland, Gloria Richardson; in Danville, Virginia, and other parts of the country, local leaders began to stir up our people at the grassroots level. This was never done by these Negroes, whom you recognize, of national stature. They controlled you, but they never incited you or excited you. They controlled you; they contained you; they kept you on the plantation.

As soon as King failed in Birmingham, Negroes took to the streets. King got out and went out to California to a big rally and raised about — I don’t know how many thousands of dollars. [He] come [sic] to Detroit and had a march and raised some more thousands of dollars. And recall, right after that [Roy] Wilkins attacked King, accused King and the CORE [Congress Of Racial Equality] of starting trouble everywhere and then making the NAACP [National Association for the Advancement of Colored People] get them out of jail and spend a lot of money; and then they accused King and CORE of raising all the money and not paying it back. This happened; I’ve got it in documented evidence in the newspaper. Roy started attacking King, and King started attacking Roy, and Farmer started attacking both of them. And as these Negroes of national stature began to attack each other, they began to lose their control of the Negro masses.

And Negroes was [sic] out there in the streets. They was [sic] talking about [how] we was [sic] going to march on Washington. By the way, right at that time Birmingham had exploded, and the Negroes in Birmingham — remember, they also exploded. They began to stab the crackers in the back and bust them up ‘side their head — yes, they did. That’s when Kennedy sent in the troops, down in Birmingham. So, and right after that, Kennedy got on the television and said “this is a moral issue.” That’s when he said he was going to put out a civil-rights bill. And when he mentioned civil-rights bill and the Southern crackers started talking about [how] they were going to boycott or filibuster it, then the Negroes started talking — about what? We’re going to march on Washington, march on the Senate, march on the White House, march on the Congress, and tie it up, bring it to a halt; don’t let the government proceed. They even said they was [sic] going out to the airport and lay down on the runway and don’t let no airplanes land. I’m telling you what they said. That was revolution. That was revolution. That was the black revolution.

It was the grass roots out there in the street. [It] scared the white man to death, scared the white power structure in Washington, D. C. to death; I was there. When they found out that this black steamroller was going to come down on the capital, they called in Wilkins; they called in Randolph; they called in these national Negro leaders that you respect and told them, “Call it off.” Kennedy said, “Look, you all letting this thing go too far.” And Old Tom said, “Boss, I can’t stop it, because I didn’t start it.” I’m telling you what they said. They said, “I’m not even in it, much less at the head of it.” They said, “These Negroes are doing things on their own. They’re running ahead of us.” And that old shrewd fox, he said, “Well If you all aren’t in it, I’ll put you in it. I’ll put you at the head of it. I’ll endorse it. I’ll welcome it. I’ll help it. I’ll join it.”

A matter of hours went by. They had a meeting at the Carlyle Hotel in New York City. The Carlyle Hotel is owned by the Kennedy family; that’s the hotel Kennedy spent the night at, two nights ago; [it] belongs to his family. A philanthropic society headed by a white man named Stephen Currier called all the top civil-rights leaders together at the Carlyle Hotel. And he told them that, “By you all fighting each other, you are destroying the civil-rights movement. And since you’re fighting over money from white liberals, let us set up what is known as the Council for United Civil Rights Leadership. Let’s form this council, and all the civil-rights organizations will belong to it, and we’ll use it for fund-raising purposes.” Let me show you how tricky the white man is. And as soon as they got it formed, they elected Whitney Young as the chairman, and who [do] you think became the co-chairman? Stephen Currier, the white man, a millionaire. Powell was talking about it down at the Cobo [Hall] today. This is what he was talking about. Powell knows it happened. Randolph knows it happened. Wilkins knows it happened. King knows it happened. Everyone of that so-called Big Six — they know what happened.

Once they formed it, with the white man over it, he promised them and gave them $800,000 to split up between the Big Six; and told them that after the march was over they’d give them $700,000 more. A million and a half dollars — split up between leaders that you’ve been following, going to jail for, crying crocodile tears for. And they’re nothing but Frank James and Jesse James and the what-do-you-call-’em brothers.

[As] soon as they got the setup organized, the white man made available to them top public relations experts; opened the news media across the country at their disposal; and then they begin [sic] to project these Big Six as the leaders of the march. Originally, they weren’t even in the march. You was [sic ] talking this march talk on Hastings Street — Is Hastings Street still here? — on Hasting Street. You was [sic] talking the march talk on Lenox Avenue, and out on — What you call it? — Fillmore Street, and Central Avenue, and 32nd Street and 63rd Street. That’s where the march talk was being talked. But the white man put the Big Six [at the] head of it; made them the march. They became the march. They took it over. And the first move they made after they took it over, they invited Walter Reuther, a white man; they invited a priest, a rabbi, and an old white preacher. Yes, an old white preacher. The same white element that put Kennedy in power — labor, the Catholics, the Jews, and liberal Protestants; [the] same clique that put Kennedy in power, joined the march on Washington.

It’s just like when you’ve got some coffee that’s too black, which means it’s too strong. What you do? You integrate it with cream; you make it weak. If you pour too much cream in, you won’t even know you ever had coffee. It used to be hot, it becomes cool. It used to be strong, it becomes weak. It used to wake you up, now it’ll put you to sleep. This is what they did with the march on Washington. They joined it. They didn’t integrate it; they infiltrated it. They joined it, became a part of it, took it over. And as they took it over, it lost its militancy. They ceased to be angry. They ceased to be hot. They ceased to be uncompromising. Why, it even ceased to be a march. It became a picnic, a circus. Nothing but a circus, with clowns and all. You had one right here in Detroit — I saw it on television — with clowns leading it, white clowns and black clowns. I know you don’t like what I’m saying, but I’m going to tell you anyway. ‘Cause I can prove what I’m saying. If you think I’m telling you wrong, you bring me Martin Luther King and A. Philip Randolph and James Farmer and those other three, and see if they’ll deny it over a microphone.

No, it was a sellout. It was a takeover. When James Baldwin came in from Paris, they wouldn’t let him talk, ’cause they couldn’t make him go by the script. Burt Lancaster read the speech that Baldwin was supposed to make; they wouldn’t let Baldwin get up there, ’cause they know Baldwin’s liable to say anything. They controlled it so tight — they told those Negroes what time to hit town, how to come, where to stop, what signs to carry, *what song to sing*, what speech they could make, and what speech they couldn’t make; and then told them to get out town by sundown. And everyone of those Toms was out of town by sundown. Now I know you don’t like my saying this. But I can back it up. It was a circus, a performance that beat anything Hollywood could ever do, the performance of the year. Reuther and those other three devils should get a Academy Award for the best actors ’cause they acted like they really loved Negroes and fooled a whole lot of Negroes. And the six Negro leaders should get an award too, for the best supporting cast.

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Also in this database: Malcolm X – The Ballot or the Bullet

Also in this database: Malcolm X: Photo Gallery and Final Speech

* = phrase absent from this audio

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