Nation of Islam

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The Nation of Islam is an American Black Supremacist movement founded in Detroit, Michigan, by Wallace D. Fard Muhammad in July 1930. From 1934-1975, the NOI was led by Elijah Muhammad, who established businesses, large real estate holdings, armed forces and schools.

During the later part of this period, Malcolm X became a prominent minister and leader in the NOI. After winning the world boxing championship from Liston in 1964, Muhammad Ali revealed that he was a member of the Nation of Islam.

Leaders

Working with Tokyo

According to historian Gerald Horne;

In the late 1920s and early 1930s Tokyo worked closely with the Nation of Islam and other black nationalist organizations on a common platform of "anti-whiteness." The US had been encouraging black workers...to migrate to Seattle, Oakland and Los Angeles during World War II to work in defense factories but it was...the West Coast that was most vulnerable to attack from Japan. This dynamic led the US to conclude that anti-Jim Crow measures were not just a question of morality but...a question of strategic good sense.[1]

Communist leaning editors

The next editor of Muhammad Speaks, from the early 1960s was Richard Durham, a long time mover in Communist Party USA cicles and brother of leading Party member Earl Durham. While Durham was editor, Elijah Muhammad purchased the four-story Muhammad Speaks Newspaper Plant and Cold Storage building. The facility housed a meat processing plant as well as a four-color Goss “Suburbanite” printing press, capable of turning out 50,000 copies per hour. In 1969 a fledgling Black printing crew helped the newspaper make the transition into printing industry, as well as journalistic, leadership, going on line and producing the 400,000 per week press run, entirely in-house[2].

Richard Durham, who presided over a great expansion in the newspaper’s circulation and international respect during the 1960s, was succeeded by John Woodford, another former Ebony editor and writer in 1970. Woodford also to become a Communist Party USA supporter.

John Woodford first came across the Communist Party USA, through leading party members Ishmael Flory and Claude Lightfoot, while working on Muhammad Speaks in the late 1960s[3];

I remember the way Ish Flory came booming and blustering into our Muhammad Speaks newspaper office on Chicago's South Side in 1968. He always had a bundle of Daily Worlds with him, offered some comments about world affairs and sold some copies. To cut to the chase: the paper made a lot of sense on every issue that interested me. Then, listening to Ish and his good buddy Claude Lightfoot recount their many adventures, their witty and "Aesopian" dialogue, their combination of bravery and humor, of deep reading and mother-wit, I couldn't help but conclude: whatever these guys are and however they got that way, they are mighty impressive. I'm not saying the CPUSA is perfect; there are flaws, aggravations and perturbing aspects that reflect the array of human frailties. But I will argue that it is one of the most noteworthy products of American civilization and its most advanced foe of racism.

Woodford expanded the newspaper’s coverage beyond simply a hard news journal with arguably the best coverage of Africa and the non-aligned movement in any U.S. newspaper, with features on the arts and music which were richly illustrated with photographs by Chester Sheard, Hassan Sharrieff and Robert Sengstacke.[4].

Millions More Movement

The Millions More Movement held an important all-day rally Oct. 15, 2005 on the National Mall that attracted an overwhelmingly African-American crowd numbering more than 1 million, according to organizers. The main demand put forth by the rally organizers and supported by the masses there was “Black power!”

Not one U.S. flag was prominent in the crowd, but the colors of the flag for U.S. Black liberation—red, black and green—could be seen everywhere.

This MMM rally was first announced in 2004 as a commemoration of the 10th anniversary of the Million Man March on Oct. 16, 1995, held at the same site. That event attracted at least 1 million, mainly Black men, and was initiated by the Nation of Islam.

The speeches were focused on a variety of issues: the prison system and the plight of political prisoners—especially Mumia Abu-Jamal, Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin (formerly H. Rap Brown) and Leonard Peltier-police brutality, reparations, voter disenfranchisement, LGBT oppression, immigrant rights, economic and political empowerment, education and health, the role of art and culture in the struggle for social justice, and much more.

The main presentation at this rally was given by the MMM’s national convener and NOI leader, the Hon. Minister Louis Farrakhan.

Among the many other speakers were Clarence Thomas and Chris Silvera from the Million Worker March Movement; Dr. Dorothy Height of the National Council of Negro Women; Indigenous leaders Russell Means and Vernon Bellecourt; Congress woman Sheila Jackson; Haitian singer Wyclef Jean; Reverends Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson; Viola Plummer of the Dec. 12 Movement; Damu Smith, Black Voices for Peace; and comedian and social activist Dick Gregory.

In a videotaped message played to the crowd, the president of Cuba’s National Assembly, Ricardo Alarcón, expressed the Cuban people’s solidarity with Katrina survivors and all the poor in the U.S. He also spoke about the case of the Cuban 5, who were imprisoned for fighting against terrorism while the U.S. aids and shelters real terrorists like Luis Posada Carriles. [5]

External Links

Nation of Islam Website

References