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Black Leadership Analysis

This is an unofficial Spiral Dynamics blog. It is not endorsed by D. Beck PhD.

Ancestral Reverence in Shadow Work

Part of Buddhist and African spirituality is reverence for your ancestors. In both frameworks, ancestors provide guidance and assistance. In addition to the help they can provide, people that adhere to these spiritualities use ancestral reverence as a way to recognize and thank our forebears for their sacrifice. The practice allows for a person’s ancestors to move through them. Reverence for ancestors will also aid in coming to grips with yourself as part of an unbroken continuum of experience. The continuum stretches back to the beginning of time and forward until the end of time. The continuation happens whether an individual has children or not. The ancestors will help a person to integrate aspects of their personality.

My ancestral reverence practice occurs after my daily meditation. After meditation, I bow, the Buddhist term is half-prostration, and imagine how my ancestors looked. In meditation, a person should move away from using words and attempt to concentrate on first order sensations. I chose as my ancestral image to be a slave. For me, a female image is more natural and more soothing. I am not sure why.

I feel Black Americans need to come to terms with our slave ancestry. The first step for us was coming to grips with our African ancestry. Black Americans were told the pre-colonial Africans were primitive and lacked culture. Those myths have been debunked, and most blacks understand that African civilization was advanced.

I viewed my slave ancestry as something I have to overcome. My slave ancestors sacrificed for me to be here. I now owe them being successful. If I am unsuccessful, their sacrifice was for nothing. I suspect many other people feel the same way.

What I was missing was slaves had full lives in spite of the oppression. The slaves sought wisdom, savored the few pleasures they had, and found love. I am a product of them finding love. When I came to grips with that, I could allow myself to live a full life. My life doesn’t solely have to be about being successful. My slave ancestors showed me how to have a full life in spite of oppression. I owe them being happy, not successful.

Anyone that follows my blog knows I have completed extensive research on the Pullman Porters. While doing research, I stumbled across many stories of the abusive treatment the porter’s received. Porters were called every racial slur. One of the most frequently used was calling all porters “George.” The name came because a man named George Pullman owned the Pullman company. During slavery, slaves were named after their master. Most passengers, especially from the south saw the porters as slaves and treated them accordingly.

These stories triggered me emotionally. Many times in my career I did not speak up when I or someone around me suffered a racial injustice. Many of my black co-workers expressed that I was extremely passive. I had a rocky start to my career and felt I needed to concentrate on the “nuts and bolts” of the job. I avoided unnecessary conflict because I had very little experience and could be replaced easily if things come to a head. I was fired from my first job due to having a racial conflict, and I did not want to repeat this pattern.

I often second guess my decision on this job. I regret not standing up for myself and others more. I have a few instances, in particular, I regret very much. I justify it to myself by saying I had to take care of business. I needed to hold on to the job and gain experience. Deep down I feel not only did I not stand up for myself, but I also did not stand up for my race.

I contrast my struggles with what the Pullman Porters accepted from the company and what they were able to accomplish in the field of Civil Rights. Even if a porter was completely passive, he was part of an organization, if he joined the union, which laid the foundation for the 1960’s Civil Rights Movement. If he was kowtowing, he kowtowed for the struggle. If a few racist white people laughed about making a spectacle of a porter, who cares? The porter laid the foundation for me.

I am not saying I have accomplished anything anywhere near as significant as the Pullman Porters. However, progress is not about individual achievement. Progress is about community achievement. I could get the opportunity to redeem myself, someone in a future generation could redeem me. Everyday I decide if the cumulative affects of my actions are positive or negative. Being black is not about winning every fight; no one wins every fight. The goal is to have a larger balance of positive action than negative actions. Your positive action balance is tallied every day. In each moment you create your legacy.

I recently, re-read Che Guevara’s Motorcycle Diaries. In the book, he recounts a story of meeting a black man in Peru that reported the murder of his friend. Below is the quote:

“Until this point, we had been traveling in the same truck as the black guy who had reported the murder. At one of the stops along the road, he bought us a meal and throughout it, lectured us on coffee, papaya, and the black slaves, of whom his grandfather had been one. He said this quite openly but [in] it you could detect a note of shame in his voice. In any case, Alberto and I agreed to absolve him of any guilt in the murder of his friend.”

The man from Peru had an intellectual understanding of the history of his people. The man did not have emotional acceptance, hence the shame. A person must foster both the intellectual understanding and the emotional acceptance. I feel that we as black people have a difficult time with the fact we have had to and still have to acquiesce to injustice. It is a survival method forged by our slave ancestors and is often still useful. Black people hate to admit that they had to acquiesce and others around them had to acquiesce.

The shame of acquiescence causes black people to vilify many our mainstream Civil Rights leaders as Uncle Toms. Many hate that A. Philip Randolph had to say the racist American Federation of Labor leader and L. Johnson was a greater friends to blacks than Lincoln. He was able to accomplish more than any other Civil Rights leader. Randolph was not a dogmatist; he was a pragmatist. He built relationships and allied with those he needed, not those with similar views. He separated the needs of the group and race from his personal need for pride. The same goes for Ed Nixon who organized the Montgomery Bus Boycott. Nixon was also pragmatic and extremely successful. He is now often viewed as a Tom. These men should be revered as examples of successful leadership.

I think the vilification of Nixon and Randolph would lessen if black people came to grips with their issues with acquiescence. Once a person accepts they did not directly confront the racism they encountered they can accept the behavior in other people. When can then realistically evaluate the sum of all actions and determine if the leader was successful or not. It is true many leaders acquiesce and get no benefit to themselves and the race at large. Acquiesce without results should be vilified. However, if you can prove the leader made the material conditions of black life better, then give the leader the credit they deserve.

To recap, ancestral reverence will help to integrate various aspects of a person’s personality. Once a person has a better understanding of themselves and their psychology, they will reevaluate many leaders from a more logical standpoint. Often we don’t like in leaders aspects of ourselves. As a community, doing shadow work will help us to choose the most suitable leaders.

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Analysis: Asa Philip Randolph

What He Has Right

Randolph’s treatise on lynching was superb. He understands and relays to the audience the underlying cause of lynchings is economic, not racist. By being able to see the bigger picture, the audience can understand the manipulation. The treatise on lynching illustrates how race issues are rooted in economics.

Randolph did understand the causes of World War I. Many modern historians point to the German colonial expansion was a catalyst for the War. Also, the war can be a boost for the economy and did boost the economy in America and Europe. The war utilized idol materials and workers.

He also understands that global peace will only come after all people are independent and self-agentic. He realizes that the non-European countries are not ready for full independence as of yet. However, the European countries should nurture and bring the countries along.

Randolph’s ultimate plan of bringing together black and white workers will work to the benefit of all involved. Uniting the workers will reduce the number of people willing to cross picket lines and gives the union more power. However, he also understands people will not integrate without laws forcing them to do so. He knows the failure to comply should lead to a loss of funding or political power.

The march toward fair hiring practices will require sustained action. He encouraged the crowd to take the energy back home. He also tutored younger leaders such as Martin Luther King. Randolph understood the process would not only extend his whole life, but it will extend through many lifetimes.

Randolph is correct that he and more moderate Civil Rights leaders are the voice of most Black Americans. Only Dr. King can rival Randolph’s list of accomplishments. Integration is the only way forward for a people systematically disenfranchised. Blacks should not leave or separate. Blacks were an integral part of the building of the country and should reap all the same rewards.

What He Has Wrong

Peace is not a sufficient motivator to get the European countries to facilitate the growth of Non-European countries. The Orange meme, which most European countries were operating at the time, has no reason to help other countries grow. In the Orange meme, the European countries want to have as much status and resources as possible. If profit sharing and knowledge sharing happens, the European countries must give up their status. Here are a list of reasons why the European nations will never facilitate third world growth

1. The European nations want to keep the resources to themselves
2. The European nations want to keep labor cheap
3. The European nations do not see the natives as intellectual equals
4. Admitting that change is needed proves that the European countries were wrong in the past

Full equability requires a shift in consciousness. No council full of countries at Orange level consciousness will perpetuate the current system. That doesn’t mean that a council will not at least ensure the world does not regress. However, profound psychological work will be needed by a large group of individuals before any real progress occurs. At the time Randolph was writing this treatise very few people had made the connection between spirituality, politics, and psychology. The modern day analyst, especially the integralist, can see where this philosophy is lacking.

His framing of President Johnson is overly rose-colored. It is important for the reader to know that Johnson was a Dixiecrat and supporter of segregation until he became president. Most other historians recount how afraid most black people were when Johnson took over the Presidency. Johnson did sign some of the most important Civil Rights legislation. However, the motivation was more political than moral. A separate blog post is needed to give this subject justice.

It is also clear that Dr. King was under FBI surveillance during his entire career. Johnson had to be aware of this fact. To say Dr. King and Johnson had good relations is simply not accurate.

The Democratic party absorbed most of the Civil Rights leadership of the 1960’s. Randolph knew he had to keep his political allies to push forth more legislation. Randolph was also Vice President of the AFL-CIO. The AFL-CIO was strongly allied with the Democratic party. Randolph was being pressured on all sides to keep a positive relationship with the Democrats.

Where is A. Philip Randolph on the Spiral

A Philip Randolph is in the Orange Meme Integrationist. He is a Democratic Socialist that supports First Order Change. Randolph saw race as a subset of the larger issue of economic inequality. In his work, he concentrated on American blacks. Even though he did have a world perspective, which is usually Orange Meme, his work was all in America. Randolph was a power player in the Democratic Party for decades and had recognition internationally. He concentrated on America.

At the beginning of his career, he wanted Second Order change and supported the revolution in Russia. He saw the treatment of minorities in the USSR and determined Communism was severely lacking. Just because he felt the system was superior that did not mean change was not needed. Randolph demonstrates pragmatism in action.

I saw no change in values, so there was no shift up or down the Spiral in Randolph’s public life. He is centered in Orange the entire time.

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March on Washington Movement

After the departure from the National Negro Congress, A. Philip Randolph tours the country with his Brotherhood Vice-President Milton Webster. Webster has the idea of a mass demonstration in Washington. He suggests 10,000 people Marching on Washington. [1] Randolph closes his speeches with a call for a mass protest. The idea spreads like wildfire. In 1941, many are calling for Randolph to go through with the march. Black people have been excluded from the Defense Industry too long. Randolph also wants to end Jim Crow in the military.

Randolph started the March on Washington Movement to create a new coalition to create a mass demonstration to force the government to end segregation in the military and defense industry. He allies with the NAACP, Federal Council on Negro Affairs, and National Urban League. [2]All groups are moderate Civil Rights organizations that wanted first-order change.

Mary McLeod Bethune headed The Federal Council on Negro Affairs. She was a Washington insider that had unprecedented access to the Roosevelts. She was the highest paid government official at the time. [6] Bethune and Eleanor Roosevelt were close friends. Bethune received inside knowledge on how the President thought and had an advocate for blacks that is extremely close to the President.

Walter White headed the NAACP at this time. White was another Washington insider and had several meetings on the topic of desegregation in the defense industry. [6] In later years, Randolph and White become rivals and tell conflicting stories about who convinced Roosevelt to sign the executive order. Ultimately, both men had influence on Roosevelt. White pressured from inside the White House. Randolph pressured from outside the White House.

He now needs to ensure those that want second-order change, the Communist, are excluded from the group. He calls for only black people to come to the march. At the time, few whites outside the Communist Party had interest. There were very few black people in the Communist Party because they abandoned the cause of Civil Rights during World War II. Calling for only black people to be at the march was a shrewd method to dissolve the threat of Communist agitation. There is still bad-blood between the two groups since the National Negro Congress split and the Communist could use a disturbance at the march to reduce A. Philip Randolph’s power.

Roosevelt never said he was against desegregation, but he did not actively support Civil Rights. He needed Southern support to pass and continue the New Deal. To keep the Southerners support, he purposely excluded domestic and agricultural workers from New Deal benefits. At the time 60% of black people were domestic and farm workers. Roosevelt also refused to back an anti-lynching bill in 1938.[3] No matter what Roosevelt personally believed, he would always act with political motives.

The USA had not entered World War II in the summer of 1941. Roosevelt wanted to aid the allies in not only supplies but soldiers. He also was framing the war as a struggle against tyranny and genocide. A mass demonstration against racism would call into question America’s moral authority in the war. Roosevelt could not risk a civil disturbance at this critical time.

Eleanor Roosevelt, heavily influenced by Bethune, calls A. Philip Randolph to discuss postponing the march. Randolph agrees to meet with Roosevelt, other Civil Rights leaders, and various cabinet members. According to Randolph in a 1968 interview, Roosevelt was chiefly worried about a civil disturbance at the march. [4] Roosevelt initially proposed an executive order to outlaw segregation in the government contracted defense industry in return for calling off the march. Randolph would not agree. He demanded that the government include non-contract defense industry. Randolph is only willing to postpone not stop the march. Roosevelt balked at first but ultimately capitulated. Roosevelt signs Executive Order 8802 two days before the march. [4]

Randolph makes a unilateral decision to call off the march. [2]It is possible he did not have enough time to consult with the rest of his team. It could be that he thought the team would not agree unless the order included the military. Many historians chastise Randolph for unilaterally calling off the march. Originally the March on Washington Movement was a collaboration among equals; now it was Randolph’s group.

There is another group of historians that believe Randolph would not have been able to make the march happen. [6] Washington was a segregated city at that time, that meant few accommodations for housing and restricted access by rail. Because many of the rural areas around DC did not have black newspapers, word of the March spread in major cities across the country not to blacks within driving distance. It is possible that Randolph knew he would not be able to gather his 100,000 people.

Randolph has only postponed the march he has not called it off altogether. He now has branches in Los Angeles, Chicago, Trenton, Milwaukee, Washington, Cleveland, Richmond, St. Louis, Atlanta, Savannah, St. Paul, and Jacksonville. [2] The new national movement was successful in creating demonstrations in New York, Chicago, and St. Louis.

Roosevelt created the Fair Employment Practice Committee, FEPC, to enforce desegregation in the armed forces. He appoints Southerner Mark Ethridge to oversee the committee. Ethridge was a staunchly believed segregation had moral and practical justification. [2] The FEPC has no authority to punish the contractors or government agencies if they are found not obeying the executive order. The result of the FEPC is only documentation that segregation is happening. [2]The FEPC ended due to government cuts in 1943.

The FEPC did have practical reasons for not punishing desegregation. The country was in the middle of supplying and fighting (by the end of 1941) a war effort. Stopping a production line or pulling a contract could get people killed on the front line. However, there could have been measures taken that would not shut down the line, such as disqualification in future contracts.

Randolph continues to use the threat of a mass protest to pressure the government into desegregating the military. To execute a massive protest, he needed more organizational infrastructure. In the 1942 conference, organizational ground rules are made. The first is no money from whites. The MOWM can only serve blacks if it is funded by blacks. The second was a complete denouncement of communism. The third was all local branches come together for the March on Washington.[6] Other than the March on Washington local offices had autonomy.

The institutionalization of the MOWM causes the NAACP to worry that they could lose membership and funding. The NAACP denounced the MOWM as being exclusionary to whites. Turning the NAACP into an enemy caused the most problems with the Washington local branch. The NAACP did everything to discourage membership. The DC local was found to have no members in a 1943 audit. [6]The lack of membership was partly due to poor management, but denouncement by the local NAACP did not help the matter. [6] If there is no support in the city in which the protest takes place, there is no reason to think a protest can happen.

The Left criticized the MOWM first. The Left felt the executive order did not go far enough because there was no penalty for non-compliance. The second issue was a fear that Randolph was working to gain a foot into the Democratic Party on the backs of his people. Blacks would then have total loyalty to the Democratic Party. People do not bait hooks for caught fish. From the extreme Left the criticism was Randolph was not attempting to overthrow an inherently racist system, he was just trying to get black people included in the system at a deeper level.

On the right, there was the charge that a mass demonstration is too risky. The summer of 1943 birthed two race riots in Detroit and New York. Both ended with dozens of blacks killed or injured. The Ohio newspaper,Cleveland Call, urged Randolph to concentrate on local protest at factories. The paper cited numerous instances of local protest working without the risk or cost of a national demonstration. [7]

Randolph wanted the march to be all black to reduce the likelihood of infiltration by saboteurs and to promote black pride. Having an all black march would combat the inferiority complex in blacks. [6] If blacks cannot do anything on their own they will never have the confidence to compete in America. Having the MOWM funded totally by blacks allowed for total control of the movement. Randolph reiterates an old saying “there is no instance of people… winning freedom who did not have to pay for it in treasure, blood, and tears, and since who pays the fiddler calls the time.” [6]

Ultimately, a movement can’t be funded by people with no money. Funding from the NAACP dries up when the MOWM is thought to be working for a permanent organization. In 1942, Randolph admitted to a lieutenant that the movement does not have a dime. [6] In 1943, Randolph asks the Executive Committee for personal loans to keep the movement afloat. [6] The organization holds itself together until 1947 with no paid staff members.

The first organization dedicated to nonviolent direct action was The March on Washington Movement. The NAACP focused on winning cases; the National Urban League groomed politicians, the MOWM got people in the streets across the nation to protest. The MOWM successfully picketed an arms manufacturer in St. Louis along with other local victories. The blueprint will be taken up in the 1960’s by Randolph protege Dr. Martin Luther King.

As stated earlier, Executive Order 8802 did not desegregate the military. Truman will have to implement Executive Order 9981 in 1948 and Secretary McNamara issuing Defense Directive 5120.36 in 1963. However, it was a crucial first step. After EO 8802 the number of black civil servants triple and the number of blacks in the defense industry went from 8.4% to 12.5%. [6] Desegregation would never happen overnight. It took many people of all races working together in many different manners. The MOWM created a template for non-violence that will be used for the entire Civil Rights Movement.

One can not be sure why Randolph left his earlier pragmatism behind. It is reasonable to assume he was terrified of communist infiltration. It is also sensible to think he needed an all-black movement to be successful to salve his ego. It’s hard for a person to share a victory with people he does not trust. I assume there were some shadow elements within Randolph that caused some self-sabotage. Randolph also lacked a lieutenant in the MOWM effort. Milton Webster was a pragmatic Vice-President of The Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters. Randolph had a few female secretaries, but due to money issues, none stayed long enough to influence the movement. History will never understand Randolph’s lapse in judgment.

Sources
1. Rising From the Rails by Larry Tye
2. “The Negro March On Washington Movement in the World War II Period” https://theanarchistlibrary.org
3. “Race and FDR’s New Deal” http://www.shmoop.com
4. Thomas Baker Interview with A. Philip Randolph October 29,1968
5. New York Amsterdam News August 7, 1943
6.“It’s A New Kind of Militancy” by David Lucander
7. Cleveland Call Sept 12, 1942
8. “Harry Truman and the Desegregation of the Military” by Joy A. Reid http://www.thegrio.com

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Basic Philosophy of Asa Philip Randolph

Lynching

In 1917, Randolph and his business partner, Chandler Owen, wrote a treatise called The Truth About Lynchings. Lynchings was a way to punish people or entire groups without a trial. Lynchings were very common in the South, and the victims were mostly black.

Randolph and Owen created the treatise to combat the myth that black men having sex with white women cause lynchings. Often interracial relationships ended with an accusation of rape. The whites of the town would rally and kill the offending black man.

To prove the cause of lynchings is not racial, Randolph and Owen show the stats for victims of lynching. Around 35% of victims of lynching were white, and only 34% followed a rape charge. There were black men lynched for dressing well, standing up to whites that disrespected them and attempting to vote. Often black men were just randomly killed. Even when a black man was accused of rape, he did not even know his white accuser. The cause of lynching is much deeper than race.

The writers contend all the victims were extremely poor and often exploited for labor. Most times blacks moved into an area and provided incredibly cheap labor. The skilled labor, generally white, would then need to run these people out of town or kill them. A mob would form to kill one man in hopes the rest would leave out of fear. If that did not work, an attack on the entire black population would follow. That was the story of lynchings in the North.

In the South, lynching provided cause for a constant state of fear in the black community. The state of fear impeded organizing and protesting for equal pay. The fear keeps the old exploitative Capitalist system alive, and the South stayed one step away from slavery.

The capitalists perpetuate racial fears and cause lynchings. The wealthy control the newspapers and can create whatever narrative they want. The public believes the narrative, and the skilled workers are pitted against non-skilled workers. Both have their attention diverted from the real cause of suffering.

Ultimately, exploitative Capitalism led to lynching. Instating socialism can correct the problem. The first order of business was to have all trade unions integrated. Blacks also have to begin to support trade unionism. It is insane to be against trade unionism because most black people are in the working class. In spite of the discrimination in the Union, the fundamental principles of Unionism are sound.

International Affairs

Randolph wrote a treatise on how the United States should handle World War I in 1917 with fellow socialist Chandler Owen. The duo was instrumental in the formulation of socialist thought in the black community. For the reader to fully understand the essay a summary of World War I is needed.

World War I started in 1914 with the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand, heir to the Austrian-Hungarian throne. A terrorist organization known as the Black Hand carried out the assassination, and the group had connections to Serbia. Serbia had recently gained full independence from the Ottoman Empire with the help of Russia. The Serbians wanted to liberate various Slavic countries from Austria – Hungary.

Austria – Hungary declared war on Serbia to avenge the killing of the heir. Serbia had a mutual protection pact with Russia. An alliance between France, Russia, and England had existed for decades. The entry of Germany on the side of Austria – Hungary culminated in “The war to end all wars.”

At the beginning of 1917, the United States was not yet in the war. A telegram from Germany was intercepted by the British. The telegram offered Mexico aid if Mexico declared war on the United States to reclaim land lost during the Mexican-American War. The telegram is now known as the Zimmerman Telegram. Public opinion swayed from isolationism to interventionism upon publication of the Zimmerman Telegram. The USA declared war on Germany on April 6, 1917.

Even though America was justified in entering the war, there were many issues getting soldiers half-way across the world. America could not reinforce European Allied force at speed to move the front line. 1917 was a year of stalemate. America was dumping tons of resources in a war with no end in sight. The government instituted the draft. America will solve all these logistic issues and by 1918 ten thousand new soldiers will be sent to France a day. The Allies will begin to push the Axis Powers back, and the war will end in the summer of 1918.

The stress of the war was not only taking a toll on America. Russia was also near starvation by 1917. The harsh living conditions for the average Russian resulted in a revolution to overthrow the Czar. The new government was the first Socialist government in the world. The new Russian government scales back on the war effort. A treaty between German and Russian will be signed in March of 1918.

Randolph and Owen’s joint treatise Terms of Peace and the Darker Races details how to the major European powers can gain peace with each other and with the non-whites of the world. The treatise takes the position that the war was not intended to avenge the death of Ferdinand. The war was to halt German progress in acquiring new territory in Africa and the Pacific. At the beginning of the war, Germany had colonies in East Africa, West Africa, Northern part of Papua New Guinea, and various islands in the Pacific. The German colonial growth threatened French and German power in Africa and beyond.

The second cause of the war was a surplus of military goods that was going idol. Capitalists run Europe and want to ensure resources go to use and generate profit. However, once the excess of military assets has been exhausted the European powers will end the war because there is not profit motive. The following paragraph is a good summary.

“ After the goods produced shall have been used. There is no gain in having the war continue, but on the contrary, the war’s continuance would be a substantial debt upon capitalist. The capitalist…sell immense amount of goods. When the war ends, the government owes them huge debts. It is necessary for the soldiers to become laborers now to pay this debt. Hence the object of peace is profit – gain- just as the object of war is.” p.2

To illustrate his idea the capital gain is the real reason for prolonging the war he shows how differently the new socialist government in Russia and the capitalist government are handling the issue of peace. The Russians have made their terms for peace well known. Britain and France engage in dark diplomacy, working on terms with Austria -Hungary, and Germany in secret. He concludes that Britain and France want continuance because they still see that the venture is profitable

The profit to be made is not only on the sale of arms and supplies, but the reclaiming of colonial lands recently lost to Germany. The new colonial lands have numerous untapped resources. Further development in Europe is no longer possible due to overuse of land. The new colonial lands are vital for further growth. The allies hope to weaken Germany and take the land back.

The European power’s main relationship to the colonial land is for exploitation. The people of the land are seen as a vehicle to be used to cultivate the ground. They are not independent/agentic beings. The following quotes are a summary of this aspect of the philosophy.

“To prevent such a fight, one of three things may be done: You may eliminate the fighters, you may remove the thing they fight about, or change the attitude on what they are fighting about.” p.8

“Herein lies the real bone of contention of the world war – darker peoples for cheap labor and darker people for rich lands” p 13

“Before getting into the terms of peace for the darker nations, we wish to observe that incidentally are the darker people’s exploited. It is not because of their color per se, but because colored peoples happen to assume such a low place in the scale of civilization just now as to make such exploitation attractive easy and possible.” p 15

Because you can not eliminate the European nations or the colonial lands, the attitude toward colonial lands must change. That is why the European must acknowledge the colonial’s independence an aid in the march toward self-sufficiency. Global peace and stability will be needed to facilitate this new paradigm.

The creation of a Permanent International Peace Commission will be necessary. The commission will judge international breaches of justice. The ability address grievances in a court setting will make the need for war obsolete. As part of the commission, there will be an International Council on the Condition of Darker Races. This council will ensure profit sharing between the workers and capitalist, proper education for natives, and eventual independence for the native people.

Randolph believes the desire for peace will be the ultimate motivator to accomplish this goal. World War I was so bloody on such a large scale that no one will want to endure any war ever again. If everyone wants peace, then full independence for the colonies is necessary. He extends the desired autonomy to Alsace, Lorraine, and Poland which were controlled by various European nations at that time.

Immigration

Like many other Black Empowerment Thinkers, Randolph was a restrictionist.[D] Restrictionist means a person believes jobs or government benefits should first go to United States citizens. His reasoning is complex.

1. Black immigrants rarely applied for citizenship in the early 1900’s
2. White immigrants worked to bring racist laws into the North to shut down black competition for work. Immigrants from nations that were hostile to the USA displaced black veterans in the job market.

His restrictionist stance came from the general labor dynamic of the early 1900’s. The labor unions shut out blacks. Then the union would monopolize the labor market. When the union would strike, blacks would fill the jobs left behind by the strikers. So blacks were often opposed to immigration and the unions. The racism of the labor unions led to most blacks voting Republican and most immigrants voting Democrat. The following was a quote from Randolph in 1924.

“ Instead of reducing immigration to 2% of the 1890 quota, we favor reducing it to nothing… We favor shutting out the Germans from Germany, Italians from Italy, and the Hindus from India. Negro’s from the West Indies. The country is suffering from immigrant indigestion.”[D]

It is important to note that Randolph took no stance on immigration bills after the BSCP joined the AFL. Specifically, he did not comment on the McCarran-Walter Act in 1952 or the Hart-Cellar Act in 1965.[D]

Worker relations

In a 1919 editorial in his periodical “The Messenger” he detailed his Socialist policy in an article entitled “Our Reason for Being.” Randolph explains how the interest of black and white workers are the same. Specifically, their interests are better wages, shorter hours, and better working conditions. If unions discriminate against blacks, the capitalist will have a bank of workers to use when the union workers strike. The larger the union, the more power it will have. Therefore integrating unions is only logical. He cites the Industrial Workers of the World, which was the largest union and the most powerful integrated union in the 1910’s.

Allowing Blacks in Unions will also stop the spread of communism among black people. Black radicalism was starting to spread in blacks frustrated with the slow pace of racial justice. If black people were financially stable faith would be restored in the government and society. The newfound faith in America would lead to more stability.

Proactive Politics

Randolph gave the opening speech at the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. In the speech, he details how all Americans need to have full employment. Randolph hoped the march would lead to a jobs bill that would reduce national unemployment. Fair hiring practices must accompany the new jobs. He details one of the main hindrances to fair hiring practices is the need for social peace. Opponents will always claim that change will upset current workers and customers and cause a problem. Randolph expresses the need not to be afraid of conflict for the sake of advancement. Randolph demands that federal funding be contingent on compliance was the method of enforcing the new employment laws.

Randolph also makes clear that the march is just the beginning. He calls for listeners to take a pledge to take the call to resistance back home.

“ When we leave, it will be to carry on the civil rights revolution home with us into every nook and cranny of the land, and we shall return again and again to Washington in ever growing numbers until total freedom is ours” [F]

Legacy

Thomas Baker interview Randolph in 1968 on his life and legacy. The Lyndon Baines Johnson Library kept the interview. The interview recounts his dealings with presidents Roosevelt, Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, and Johnson

The first President that Randolph interacted with was F. D. Roosevelt. Randolph had scheduled the 1941 March on Washington to protest segregation in the armed forces and munitions manufacturing. World War II was underway in Europe. The United States would enter the war in December 1941 after Pearl Harbor. The US was supplying the allied war effort. Therefore munitions factories were opening all over the country. Blacks were applying and were not given jobs in munitions factories. For a group of people kept systematically poor, not being allowed in a growing industry was a real problem.

An even larger problem was segregation in the military. There was the moral issue of fighting discrimination overseas when blacks at home suffered and the practical issue of the glass ceiling for promotions for blacks. A black soldier could be in charge of a black division but nothing else. That made the dream of becoming a general unobtainable. All black people in the armed forces had feelings of resentment.

Mrs. Roosevelt was the first to reach out to Randolph to see if they could avoid having the march. The President did not want racial strife to divide the nation when any day the US could be called to help the Allies in Europe. Mrs. Roosevelt asked why had Randolph not come to the President first. After talking, Mrs. Roosevelt set up a meeting between FDR and Randolph.

F.D. Roosevelt explained that he was soon to execute Executive Order 8802 forcing the National Defense Industry to desegregate. Initially, the Executive Order only applied to government contractors. Randolph demanded the addition of federl government work. Roosevelt agreed if Randolph called off the march. Two days before the march, Roosevelt issued Executive Order 8802 and it included the federal government.

Executive Order 8802 did not contain the military. Randolph and other Civil Rights leaders went to work on a national campaign to end segregation in the military. Truman agreed to meet with Randolph in either 1947 or 1948, Randolph could not remember. In the meeting, Randolph explains black were preparing to become insubordinate if the military did not desegregate. Truman did not realize the situation was that serious. Truman got to work and issued Executive Order 9981 desegregating the military.

Randolph says Eisenhower did the least of all the presidents he worked with for the cause of Civil Rights. Eisenhower was sympathetic to the black cause, but would not take public stands. Randolph did commend Eisenhower for protecting the Little Rock 9, but he could have done much more.

Randolph recounts the story of the 1963 March on Washington. Senators Javits and Douglass organized a meeting between Kennedy, Johnson, various congressmen, and Civil Rights leaders. The biggest concern was keeping the march peaceful. There had never been a demonstration of that size before. If the protest turned violent, it would be difficult to contain. The Civil Rights leaders reassured everyone they could keep control.

Johnson is the best president for Civil Rights according to Randolph. He makes sure to say that list includes Lincoln. Randolph lists Johnson’s accomplishments: Civil Rights Act of 1964, 1965, Voting Rights Act of 1967 and the Open House Occupancy Act of 1968. President Johnson is the first man that won the Presidency that received Randolph’s vote. Randolph spent most of his life as part of the Socialist Party, and Johnson was the first mainstream candidate that had his support. Randolph is confident that President Johnson would soon end the Vietnam War.

Baker asks Randolph if Dr. King and President Johnson had any animosity. Randolph says that Johnson and Dr. King had a good relationship. There was no animosity between King and Johnson.

Randolph considers himself and fellow Civil Rights activists Roy Wilkins and Andrew Young the voice of most of Black America. He grouped Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. DuBois together as Capitalist thinkers.He considered Marcus Garvey the voice of more radical separatist. He says Garvey’s Back to Africa movement will not work for the following reasons.

1. Most blacks don’t want to go back to Africa
2. Blacks don’t have enough resources to collective move back to Africa
3. Even if blacks move back to Africa, Imperialist control all the resources.

Ultimately, the Back to Africa movement was not realistic.

Sources:
Books
1. Banks, W. M. 1996, Black Intellectuals: Race and Responsibility in American Life, New York: W. W. Norton & Company.
2. Randolph, A.P 1917 and Owen, Chandler, Terms of Peace and the Darker Race, Poole Press Association (E-book version on Google Play)
Internet
A. Pfeffer, Paula F. (2000). “Randolph; Asa Philip” American National Biography Online. Oxford University Press.
B. “A look at Malcolm X as a mirror for America” New York Times 12-16-1992
Asa Philip Randolph biography on http://www.aflcio.org
C. Scott, Daryl (1999) “ Immigrant Indigestion” Center for Immigration Studies
D. Randolph, A.P. “Our Reason for Being” transcript on http://www.historymatters.gmu.edu
E. Transcript of Randolph’s 1963 March on Washington Speech found on http://www.jacksonville.com

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The Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters

Asa Philip Randolph demonstrates to black leaders how to build coalitions. Randolph was also realistic about the limitations of his organization. The realization of his limitations led him to seek strategic alliances. While in these alliances he was able to keep control of his union and stay focused on his goal.

Randolph also understood that some organizations could derail his union. If he were to ally with a group that was too radical he would not only hinder the Brotherhood, he would also put many porters in danger. Randolph sought alliances with other mainstream organizations.

As most of the readers already know, Asa Philip Randolph organized The Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters and obtained a charter from the American Federation of Labor (AFL). He was successful in his efforts because he made strategic alliances to increase his power. An evaluation of the porter’s previous attempts to unionize will be used to demonstrate how “going it alone” is not realistic.

The first attempt to create a porter’s union was in 1890 with the Charles Sumner Association. Charles Sumner was a Senator that fought for Civil Rights. The Pullman Company threatened to fire all the porter’s and hire white replacements. The 1890 strike never happened. The second strike threat occurred in 1897, and again the company threatened to hire white replacements to stop the strike. The closest any porter got to making an appeal for higher wages was getting an editorial in a local newspaper in 1901.

The porter’s primary barrier to successful organizing was a lack of money. In the 1920’s a porter made $1,200 a year. The poverty line in the 1920’s was $1,500 a year. So most porters did not have money for savings or union dues. In addition to only making $1,200, tips composed twenty percent of the salary. As anyone that has worked for tips knows, tips fluctuate, leaving the porter in an even more precarious position.

Not having sufficient income made porter’s even more dependent on the Pullman Company. The company had a porter rule book with two hundred and seventeen rules. When that many rules are in place, every worker made numerous transgression every shift. Pullman had grounds to fire a porter at any time. In addition to not having income or job security, a porter would have a difficult time finding new employment. Pullman specifically recruited dark-skinned black people for the porter job. The job market discriminated against dark-skinned people. The loss of a porter job could be a setback that a black man would never recover.

In 1925, Randolph was selected to run the Brotherhood of Pullman Porters. His job is to finally give the porters a much-needed raise and change the rules to allow for porters to stand up to abuse. Randolph faces many of the same problems previous organizers will face. Membership fluctuates because people can not pay their dues. Instead of simply berating members, he went out to find allies with deep pockets.

Randolph sought out donations from liberal white churches. Donations from white churches keep the Brotherhood afloat for the tumultuous early years. Many of these churches were concerned with the welfare of black people. They have established wealthy membership that kept a steady stream of money flowing to the Brotherhood.

The American Federation of Labor (AFL) was another organization courted by Randolph. The AFL was the largest federation of unions at the time and had deep connections with the Democratic party. Both the AFL and the Democratic party had a long history of racism. In the North, blacks were not allowed in most unions. When unions went on strike, black workers would cross the picket line and fill the empty jobs. The AFL and Democratic party often conspired to create laws and reduce funding that would help black people as a way to retaliate.

Randolph knew that the AFL was the only union organization that could give the Brotherhood validity. Affiliation with the AFL would also give Randolph inside information on various initiatives in Congress. Most importantly the AFL could supply the Brotherhood with money in the event of a strike.

The Brotherhood received AFL affiliate status in 1929. The Brotherhood would pay the AFL $0.35 per member. A full AFL membership union only pays $0.01 per member. Many critics saw this not only as a “slap in the face,” but a poor use of scarce resources. Randolph understood that the AFL membership would be a long and arduous road. If the Brotherhood could survive this probationary period, they could obtain real government influence.

The Democratic party heavily pressured the AFL to begin to incorporate black members. The AFL had a long history of segregation in its affiliate unions. At one AFL conference, the group stated its official goal was to protect the livelihoods of native-born white men. The pressure came from the Democratic party’s need to keep control of the mayorship of many major cities, which had sharp increases in their black population. Also, the Democratic party wanted to pull membership away from third parties such as Democratic Socialists and Communists. The Democratic party could reduce the threat of a third party by being more inclusive.

Randolph garnered the most criticism for his introduction of AFL president William Green in Harlem’s Abyssinian Baptist Church. He said Green was the second Abraham Lincoln coming to rescue the black worker from industrial bondage. Many critics used this overly enthusiastic introduction as proof Randolph was using the porters as inroads into the AFL. The AFL had a long history of excluding black people and had not allowed the porters to enter as full members.

The election of Franklin Delano Roosevelt 1932 was the jumpstart that both the Brotherhood and the AFL needed to merge. FDR instituted the National Labor Relations Act in 1935 and expanded the Railway Labor Act to include airlines. These laws set specific procedures to form a union, address grievances, and to go on strike. The introduction of a union-friendly administration increased membership in the Brotherhood of Pullman Porters. It is not a coincidence that the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters got an official charter from the AFL in 1935. Having an administration that was friendly to the cause of black liberation had substantial effects. In 1937, the Brotherhood signed a contract with the Pullman company for higher wages and improved working conditions.

Many of today’s black leaders speak of black people becoming independent. Black organizations talk about divorcing themselves from white money and white members. Historically, completely isolated organizations do not work. It would be advantageous to look at what A. Philip Randolph’s alternatives were in the fight against the Pullman Corporation.

The obvious ally would be various black organizations around at the time most notably, the black church. If all these black organizations “pooled their pennies together” they could have serious money to fight injustices. The only problem with the strategy is that all the other black organizations had similar, if not worse money problems. In fact, Pullman gave generous donations to black churches to help in the fight against the Brotherhood. The Chicago branch of the National Urban League fought against the Brotherhood because of a large Pullman donation. The National Urban League funded most of the black politicians. Therefore, many of Chicago’s black politicians were against unionization. The lack of money in the black community hurts black organizations. Most black organizations are more concerned with getting donations to stay afloat and are willing to compromise ethics to get the donations.

The Brotherhood could have enlisted wealthier members of the black community. There were some prominent members of the black community that could have provided money. However, many felt threatened by the prominence of the porter’s in the black community. The few black professionals in major cities enjoyed being the wealthiest black people in town. If the porters obtained fair wages, they could challenge their status in the community. Most black professionals were deeply invested in Orange Meme striving. They were not interested in helping others.

One could say if you were going to ally with white people at least partner with white people that were integrationist from the beginning. The biggest rival to the AFL at the time was the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW). IWW was integrationist from inception in 1905. One of the founding members, Lucy Parsons, was born a slave in Texas. The IWW wanted to do away with the wage system and put workers in charge of the means of production. The IWW put itself in direct opposition to the AFL that wanted “A fair day’s wage for a fair day’s work.” If the Brotherhood joined IWW, they would have to challenge Pullmans validity in running the railroad.

The IWW radicalism also led to scrutiny by authorities. In 1906, the murder of an Idaho Governor implicated an IWW leader. Citizen accused IWW member of rioting in Butte, Montana in 1914. Migratory farmers were also a large part of the IWW membership. Unfortunately, migratory farmers were looked down upon and blamed for many unsolved crimes. Migratory farmers were called hobos in the 1920’s and viewed negatively by the general public. The activity that put the IWW the most at odds with the Federal government was its outspoken stance against World War I.

Many unionist believe the government systematically targeted the IWW to cause its downfall. Numerous high profile cases plagued the organization from the early 1910’s to 1920’s. By 1925, the organization was a shell of itself. The union will recover in 1960’s, but the 1920’s was a dark time for the IWW. Randolph understood what the IWW was going through and was smart to keep the Brotherhood away.

Eugene V. Debs, one of the founders of the IWW, was a hero of Randolph. Randolph wrote about Debs’ philosophy in college and his first years at “The Messenger.” Even though Randolph personally agreed with the philosophy of the IWW, including the IWW’s stance against war, he knew a partnership would not be practical. Randolph knew how to set his personal feelings aside for the good of the group.

Randolph’s life and work demonstrate effective leadership. It is a model that more black leaders should follow. He understood the limitations of his group and worked with organizations that would complement the Brotherhood. Once Randolph determined which organizations could be of service to him, he put aside his personal feelings a pursued the alliance. His efforts ultimately culminated in the first contract between a black union and a major corporation. Randolph’s pragmatism is something to admire.

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What Is a Pullman Porter?

The Pullman Porter had a pivotal role in the Civil Rights Movement. His official job description was to assist the passengers on the luxurious Pullman Sleeping Car. His real job was to create the black middle class and forge countless organizations. The porter is known primarily for the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, which marked the first black labor union to sign a contract with a large company. In addition to all the historical accomplishments of the union, the porter provides vital insight into the black experience.

The first point of business is explaining the Pullman Company. The Pullman Company manufactured luxury train cars for overnight travel. The Pullman Company also contracted out the crew to run the car. The crew members were called Sleeping Car Porters. The founder George Pullman began the company after having to sleep in the train chair on an overnight trip to visit relatives. He started to design a car with rooms with full-size beds called berths. Pullman also elicited help from the government to create favorable laws and obtain funding. Pullman befriended the son of Abraham Lincoln, Robert Todd Lincoln while petitioning the government. Lincoln took over the company after the death of George Pullman. Both men were fiercely anti-union regardless of the race of the members.

In the simplest terms, a Pullman Porter is equivalent to airline stewardess with far more responsibilities. A porter would greet the passenger upon entrance to the train, carry the bags, show the passengers around the car, and cater to the various needs of the passenger. Porters acted as babysitters while parents drank, nurses when the elderly passengers were sick, and safety advisors when the tracks got rocky. The porter was always available with a smile to make sure his passenger’s trip was remarkable.

Pullman preferred to hire dark-skinned, tall, thin porter’s from the American South. They needed to be tall to reach the shelves above the berths. He needed to be thin to walk by passengers in the narrow hallway without touching. Southern to be sufficiently submissive, Northern blacks were often too rowdy. The dark-skin was especially important. Dark-skin marked the division between passenger and porter. The passenger needed to see the porter, but the passenger should never be obliged to consider the porter fully human. The porter was “other,” a servant, and he wanted the passenger to see him as such.

The passengers on Sleeping Cars were known for their rambunctiousness. The Pullman Car was one of the most expensive ways to travel at the time. The liquor flowed freely on the train, so much so, that passengers often “found themselves in strangers beds.” A Pullman trip would be equivalent to a modern day cruise.

In addition to most passengers spending a significant amount of time on the journey drunk, the white passenger treated the porter with very little respect. The most notable feature of the disrespect was referring to all porters as “George.” The name harkens back to slavery when slaves received their master’s last name. Since the owner of the company was named George, all his black workers were George by default. Termination was the penalty for not answering to George. The Pullman Manual had two hundred and seventy rules. A porter could never show and any indication that he was angry or hurt by a passenger’s comment.

Even though porters were not allowed to fraternize with the passengers, many passengers made advances on the porters. Sumner Welles was Undersecretary of State in 1940. Welles was exemplary as a diplomat and was picked to succeed the current Secretary of State Cordell Hull. Welles derailed his career by getting drunk and offering a porter money for sex. The porter told superiors, and other porters said Welles made the same advances on them. Various government officials confirmed the story and Welles was not picked to be Secretary of State. A 1977 tell-all memoir was the first utterance of this story.

Not all advances were turned down. Here is a story of a young porter and a bride whose husband had to disembark early from the train. The account comes from Larry Tye’s book Rising from the Rails.

Watching her husband ride off in a covered wagon, she struck up a conversation with [A porter] “You -you know you’re the first Nig-nigger I have ever talked to. Can I? I? – believe all- believe all my mother and father have told me about you people?” she inquired hesitatingly, with a peculiar smile. Her remarks flashed through my mind, bringing with them thing the boys had told me that white people say about niggahs, and I realized what she was suggesting. It’s sure hard to make white people believe that what they say might be true about some of us, but not about the whole race. Still, as the legend is to our advantage, I left my work for an hour, so that it shouldn’t die with me.

Not all white and black interchanges were agreeable. The porter had to find ways to protect himself that did violate company rules. Larry Tye recounts a story from The Autobiography of Malcolm X. Malcolm X worked for a few years as a Pullman Porter before turning to a life of crime and later conversion to Islam.

I remember that once, when some passengers complaints had gotten me a warning, and I wanted to be careful, I was working down the aisle and a big, beefy, red-faced cracker soldier got up in front of me, so drunk he was weaving and announced loud enough that everybody in the car heard him, “I’m going to fight you nigger.” I remember the tension, I laughed and told him, “Sure, I’ll fight, but you’ve got too many clothes on.” He had on a big Army overcoat. He took that off, and I kept laughing and said he still had on too many. I was able to keep that cracker stripping off clothes until he stood there drunk with nothing on from his pants up, and the whole car was laughing at him, and some other soldiers got him out of the way. I went on. I never would forget that – that I couldn’t have whipped that white man as badly with a club as I had with my mind.”

Relations between blacks on the train was also interesting. Because porters had to suppress their anger toward passengers they often lashed out against each other. Often porters would accuse other porters of “cooning.” Cooning is acting overly obliging to get bigger tips. A charge of cooning could come from having too big a smile for too long or the egregious dancing for customer’s amusement. Ultimately, all the porters had to compromise their pride to work for the Pullman company. An arbitrary line separates following orders and cooning. Cooning was always something the other guy did.

The other large part of the Pullman crew was the kitchen staff. To keep with plantation tradition, the kitchen workers were normally light skinned. Often porters would say waiters were soft and did not work hard. Many people will say that this is a remnant of anger from the plantation hierarchy. Light-skinned slaves, commonly descendant of the master, got “easier” jobs in the house. I think that the animosity between porters and kitchen staff was just another way to expel suppressed anger from passenger’s behavior.

Ultimately, kitchen staff and porters worked together. Kitchen staff would save scraps to make stew. Porters would keep an eye out for empty berths to allow the cooks and waiters to get a good night’s sleep. The kitchen staff could easily sneak out before the passengers awakened. In the end, both kitchen staff and porter were on the same team. If they did not work together, they would sink together.

I will detail the formation of The Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters in later blog posts. As of now, I will say the contract between Pullman Company and The Brotherhood will be the first time and all black union will force a major company to sign a contract. The victory catapults Brotherhood President A. Philip Randolph to national acclaim. He uses his fame to make the National Negro Congress, which is a militant alternative to the NAACP. The National Negro Congress folds due to internal conflict. He learns many leadership lessons from the organization and begins a campaign to desegregate the government and military.

To rally support, Randolph rallies crowds around the idea of a March on Washington. Originally, Randolph was going to get 10,000 people to demonstrate in Washington, DC. Once he started relaying the idea to crowds across the country people from all over the nation and of all political persuasions. Randolph officially set the date of the march on June 27, 1941.

Franklin D. Roosevelt did not want a public demonstration at this time. FDR was attempting to gain support for joining in the fight in World War II. He was also afraid that communist would cause a disturbance in the rally and put American race relations on a world stage. FDR met with Randolph to come to a compromise that would allow for Randolph to call off the march. The result was Executive Order 8802 which desegregated the defense industry government and contractor. Two days before the March on Washington 1941 was to happen it was called off.

Randolph does not just fold up shop and go home. He expands the March on Washington Movement. He builds a March on Washington headquarters in all major American cities. The March on Washington protest take place all over the country for twenty years, and it causes change at the local level. On the national level, the March on Washington Movement forced Truman to sign Executive Order 9981, finally desegregating the military. The last March on Washington was in 1963. Dr. King’s gives his “I Have A Dream” speech at this rally.

Dr. King owes much of his career to Randolph and Ed Nixon. Ed Nixon was President of the Montgomery Branch of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters. Because Nixon was running the Brotherhood and various Montgomery political organization, Ed Nixon recommends Dr. King to run the Montgomery Bus Boycott. The boycott lasts for over a year. Dr. King proves to Nixon he has potential and Nixon introduces him to Randolph. Randolph and his team gave Dr. King the tutelage he needed to lead the movement.

In addition to providing an organizational template and leaders, the Brotherhood provided funding for various organizations in the Civil Rights Movement. Randolph’s motto was, “ Whoever pays the piper calls the tune.” For a black organization to be truly independent, it had to be funded by black people. Malcolm X echoes the same sentiment in later years. Randolph would often invite Malcolm to his personal residence to tell him stories of the Harlem’s socialist movement and talk about politics. A. Philip Randolph and other black leaders including Elijah Muhammad started blacks down the road to self-determination.

The Pullman Porter has a dubious legacy in the minds of Black America. On the one hand, they had a servile role and had to take abuse without fighting back directly. On the other hand, they laid the foundation for the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960’s. I feel the Pullman Porter is the ultimate symbol of the black middle class. Often we work in jobs in which we are under-utilized and treated with disrespect. Not to the same extent as the porter, but disrespect nonetheless. We do that to support the aspirations of our family and those that want to fight white supremacy directly. The fight against white supremacy takes many forms. Blacks have to utilize many methods to fight it. The porter was one of the most cunning soldiers in this battle.

The information for this blog post comes from Larry Tye’s book Rising From The Rails

For more information on the Pullman Porters please vist the official museum. HERE

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Sources for Dopebusters Articles

Sources

  1. Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology  “Black Muslims And The Police” by L. Brown 1965 Spring
  2. Washington Post “Police to Cooperate with Muslims in Mayfair Mansions Drug Patrol” by S. Horowitz and M Abramowitz 04-21-1988
  3. New York Times “Muslims Keep Lid on Drugs in Capital” by W. Stevens 09-26-1988
  4. United Press International “Farrakhan Unveils Drug Program in DC” 12-13-1988
  5. Los Angeles Times “Black Muslims – HUD Security Pact in Doubt: Housing: Farrakhan Group Appeared on Verge of Landing Contract for Venice Apartment Buildings by S. Doherty 01-15-1992
  6. Chicago Tribune  “DC’s Balck Muslim Dopebusters” by C. Page 04-23-1989
  7. Los Angeles Times “Nation of Islam Guards Patroling Crime – Plagued Projects: Housing Group Affiliated with Lousi Farrakhan Will Provide Unarmed Night Patrols for Federally Subsidized Apartment in Venice” by C. Rivera 11-2-1992
  8. Chicago Tribune “As Farrakhan Group Land Jobs From Government, Debate Grows” by S. Holmes 03-04-1994
  9. Wahsington (AP) “HUD To Investigate Nation of Islam Security Contracts” by R. Powers 01-20-1995
  10. Washington Post “Security Firm Found Separate From Farrakhan” 03-03-1995
  11. Jewish Telegraphy Agency “HUD Decision To Cancel Contract with Nation of Islam Wins Praise” 11-12-1995
  12. Washington Post “A Breach In Guards Invincibility” by L. Adams 09-02-1996
  13. New York Times “Nation of Islam Guards Ordered to Leave Project” by R. Hernandez 09-13-1996
  14. Time “Muslims At The Mayfair” 06-24-2001
  15. Racializing Justice, Disenfranchising Lives: The Racism, Criminal Justice, and Law Reader” “Crime Prevention In The African American Community: Lessons Learned From The Nation of Islam” by S. Gabbidon 2007
  16. The Washington Times “To Curb Chicago Violence Bring In The Nation of Islam” by A. Williams 10-11-2015
  17. Los Angeles Times “Nation of Islam Offers To Patrol Housing Crime” by S. Doherty 12-22-1992
  18. Las Vegas Review “Nation of Islam Bids to Patrol Project” 01-04-1992
  19. Orlando Sentinel “Tenants Consider Hiring Farrakhan Group To Patrol” 01-05-1992
  20. Newsday “Muslims Bid or HUD Deal Blasted Jews Oppose Try for Patrol Contract” 01-05-1992
  21. Philadelphia Inquirer “What Do Farrakhan and Followers Do” by C. Lewis 01-22-1992
  22. Los Angeles Times “Farrakhan’s Group In Line For Security Pact Patrol” by K. Ellingswood 07-02-1992
  23. Los Angeles Times “Nation of Islam Security Patrol Hearing Set Sept 15 Permit? by K. Ellingswood 09-06-1992
  24. Los Angeles Times “Nation of Islam Firm Ok’d For Public Housing Patrols” by K. Ellingswood 09-16-1992
  25. Los Angeles Times “Patrols By Nation of Islam Cut Violence Security” by K. Ellingswood 12-27-1992
  26. Los Angeles Times “Islam Security Firm Taken Off Patrols at Venice Housing Complex Safety” by K. Ellingswood 08-13-1993
  27. Boston Globe “Nation of Islam Walks Fine Line with Blacks” by A. Perlman 02-20-1994
  28. Chicago Tribune “Islam Firm Gets CHA Pact” 03-31-1994
  29. Chicago Tribune “State Investigates CHA Guard Contract” 04-01-1994
  30. Chicago Tribune “Vigils Recognize South Side’s Violent Turn” by S. Rhodes 04-04-1994
  31. Chicago Tribune “A Holistic Solution For The CHA” by F. McRoberts 05-05-1994
  32. Chicago Tribune “Muslim Affiliated CHA Guards Accused of Impersonating Cops” 06-27-1994
  33. Chicago Tribune “Guarded Optimism At Rockwell Nation of Islam Force Walking A Fine Line At Troubled CHA Complex” by F. McRoberts 07-06-1994
  34. Chicago Tribune “Four Guards At ChA are Found Not Guilty” 01-04-1995
  35. Sun Sentinel “HUD Checking Discrimination Charges” 01-21-1995
  36. Pittsburgh Post “Hiring of Nation of Islam Patrols Studied by Sub-Committee” 01-27-1995
  37. Chicago Tribune “Law Makers in furor Over Black Muslims” 03-03-1995
  38. Philadelphia Inquirer “Nation of Islam Contracts Examined” 03-03-1995
  39. Washington Post “Security Firms Found Separate From Farrakhan” 03-03-1995
  40. Chicago Tribune “The Business of Security Nation Linked Guards Earn Tenant Distrust” By W. Gaines 03-13-1995
  41. Chicago Tribune “HUD Tired of CHA Failures Lane’s Exit Brims with Irony” by. F. McRoberts 05-28-1995
  42. Chicago Tribune ” HUD Didn’t Probe Nation of Islam Pacts Security Deals Linked to Farrakhan Group” by D. Jackson 10-13-1995
  43. Chicago Tribune “Nation of Islam Losing CHA Contracts” by D. Jackson 02-17-1996
  44. Orlando Sentinel “Nation of Islam Linked Company out of Bidding” 02-18-1996
  45. Austin American Statesman ” Farrakhan’s Tour Sparks Criticism” 02-22-1996
  46. Chicago Tribune ” Security Supervisor Convicted of Murder” by T. Wilson 08-23-1998
  47. Chicago Tribune ” US Drops Bank Fraud Charge Against Ex- CHA Chief Lane” by M. O’Connor 03-06-2001
  48. Chicago Tribune ” Court is Told of Store Plan at Lane Mall But Nation of Islam Aide Concedes No Steps Taken to Launch Project” by M. O’Connor 03-15-2001
  49. New York Times “Questions Shadow New Jackson Advisor” by S. Wax man 01-03-2004
  50. The Baltimore Evening Sun “Muslims’ Security Patrols Urged for Public Housing High-Rises” by R. Hills on 09-28-1992
  51. The Baltimore Sun “Muslims Patrols Proposed For Public Housing” by R. Hilson 09-29-1992
  52. The Baltimore Sun “For The Young, ‘X’, symbolizes the Hip Hints at their Heritage” by R. Hilson 11-17-1992
  53. The Baltimore Sun “Clean Up Blitz at Flag House Courts” by M. Simmons & A. Fletcher 06-02=1993
  54. The Baltimore Sun “Cleanup, better security, Transform Flag House Courts” by M. Fletcher 06-07-1993
  55. The Baltimore Sun “Transformation at Flag High Rises” 06-09-1993
  56. The Baltimore Sun “Flag House Courts Celebrates Rebirth’ by E. Heard 06-13-1993
  57. The Baltimore Sun “Housing Commissioner Operates by His Rules Blunt, Savvy Henson Rejuvenates agency” by M. Fletcher 10-03-1993
  58. The Baltimore Sun “Flag House Court: Suddenly Cleaner, Safer, Nicer” by M. Fletcher 11-01-1993
  59. The Baltimore Sun “The Good Old Days at Flag House Courts Woman, Daughter Remember Fondly” by M. Fletcher 11-16-1993
  60. The Baltimore Sun “Community Respect Arms Nation of Islam” by M. Fletcher 12-12-1993
  61. The Baltimore Sun “For Mfume, A Quick Divorce From The Nation of Islam Would Not be Easy” by S. Baer 02-02-1994
  62. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch “Nation of Islam’s Security Efforts Win Friends with Downtrodden” by A. Perlman 02-24-1994
  63. The New York Times “As Farrakhan Group Land Jobs From Government Debate Grows” by S. Holmes 03-04-1994
  64. Afro-American Red Star “Jewish Group Levels Attack on Muslims Security Contract” by J. Williams 03-12-1994
  65. Austin American Statesman “As Farrakhan Groups Win Contracts, Debate Grows’ by S. Holes 03-13-1994
  66. The Baltimore Sun “Nation of Islam Security Wins Contract for Public Housing, Despite high Bid” by E. Siegel 05-05-1994
  67. Philadelphia Tribune “Baltimore Cancels NOI Housing Security Contract” by T. Spangler 11-14-1995
  68. The Baltimore Sun “Tenant Leaders Say Security Declines In Projects” by j. Jacobson 02-07-1996
  69. The Baltimore Sun “Security Issues Raised in Wake of Boy’s Slaying” by P. Herman & R. Irwin 02-28-1996
  70. The Baltimore Sun “City Fires High Rise Security” by R. Matthews 02-08-1997
  71. The Afro-American Red Star ‘Housing Authority Tells Wells Fargo to Step’ by T. White 02-15-1997
  72. The Baltimore Sun ‘business with Ties to Welch gets Contract; housing security operator includes NOI Aides” by W. Roberts 04-05-1997
  73. The Baltimore Sun “Schmoke Leaving Mixed Legacy” by G. Shields 12-05-1999
  74. The Baltimore Sun “end of a Pubic Housing Era High Rises” by E. Siegel 02-08-2001
  75. The Philadelphia Tribune “Jews divided on Muslim PHA Deal” by B. Wright 08-21-1992
  76. The Philadelphia Inquirer “Nation of Islam guards Bring Some Peace, Some Controversy” by T. Samuel 08-14-1992
  77. Philadelphia Daily News “Project Residents Files Suit” by S. Flanders 04-08-1993
  78. Philadelphia Inquirer “Three Sue Abbottsford Managers, Guards, Alleging Beatings” by T. Samuel 04-16-1993
  79. Philadelphia Tribune “Spread Report: Islam and Black Community” by B. Wright 06-18-1993
  80. New York Times “Muslim Guards: Security Unit Maintaining Pride” by M. Tabor 01-06-1992
  81. New York Times “An Inquiry Spreads Blame For Deaths at a New York Gym” by J. Berger 01-16-1992
  82. New York Times “Neighborhood Report: Coney Island; Islamic Guard Unit Outsed” by J. Steinhauer 11-13-1994
  83. Newsday “Assemblymen Gets some Help Brooklyn Democrat is Joined by GOP in Taking on Muslim Security Group” by B. Russel and M. Parente 02-08-1995
  84. Newsday “Brooklyn in Albany Shaking Up the Capitol” 03-28-1995
  85. New York Times “Nation of Islam Leader Stirs Anger” 09-22-1996
  86. New York Times “Slur by a Nation of Islam Leader Stirs Anger” 09-22-1996
  87. New York Amsterdam News “Tenants in Uproar as partaking Axes X-Men” by A. Sinclair 09-28-1996
  88. New York Amsterdam News “Van Blasts Pataki for Cancelling X-Men’s Pact” by J. Z. Browne 10-19-1996
  89. New York Times “X-Me’s Foe; Spotlight on a Corner” by A. Jacobs 10-20-1999
  90. The Villiage Voice “Truth Justice and the X-Men” by V. Srivastava 10-29-1997
  91. New York Times “dispute Over Guards With Farrakhan Link Moves toCourt” 05-25-1997
  92. Newsday “$200 M Suit Against Rep King Dismisssed” by Y. Ellen 11-07-1999
  93. New York Daily News “Farrakhan Linked Lawsuit Out” by r. Gerry 11-08-1999
  94. Los Angeles Times “Security Firm Taken Off Venice Patrols Safety” by K. Ellingswood 08-14-1993
  95. The Washington Post  ” Nation of Islam Agency Says Jews Forced HUD’s Action” by L. Adams 11-11-1995
  96. Austin American Statesman “Nation of Islam Security Unit Threatens to SUe HUD” 11-11-1995
  97. The Washington Post “Nation of Islam Agency Fights US Decision Court Asked to Rule in MD Housing Cast” 11-16-1995
  98.  Baltimore Jewish Times “Facing Eviction: Nation of Islam Security Agency Blames Jewish Influence for its Ousting From Baltimore’s Public Housing Projects” D. Conn 11-17-1995
  99. Afro-American Red Star “NOI Files Multi-million Dollat SUit Against HUD” A. McCarthy 11-18-1995
  100. Afro-American Red Star “Tenants are Losers” 11-18-1995
  101. The Washington Post ” Ruling Against Nation of Islam” 12-07-1995
  102. Baltimore Jewish Times ” NOI Security Lawsuit Dismissed For Lack of Case” D. Conn 05-24-1996
  103. The Washington Post “Muslim Dopebusters To Widen Patrol; At Rally Leaders Announce They’ll Enter Paradise Manor” J. Rupert 04-30-1988
  104. The Washington Post “The Uneasy Peace At Clifton Terrace; Muslim Guard in NW Draws Mixed Review” G. Escobar 05-28-1992
  105. The Washington Post “Urban Problems, Pastoral Settings” K. Harrison 08-20-1992
  106. The Washington Post “Yo! A Rapper’s Domestic Poliscy Plan; How Clinton Can Bring Hope to Alienated Black America” by Paris (Rapper) 01-03-1993
  107. Afro-American Red Star “NOI Firm Fights King, ADL” 03-11-1995
  108. The Washington Post “DC Hires Nation of Islam Guards for SE Complex; Public Housing Chief Cites Patrols’ Success at Other Developments in Nation” V. Loeb 05-04-1995
  109. The Washington Post “Nation of Islam Guard Stabbed at SE Complex” by R. Cateneda and W. Melillo 05-12-1995
  110. New Orleans Times-Picayune “DC Residents Firght Development Guards” 05-12-1995
  111. The Washington Post “Potomac Gardens Quiet After Fights; Residents Ask City Officials to Keep Nation of Islam Guards on Duty” H. Harris 05-13-1995
  112. The Washington Post “DC Rehires Nation of Islam to Patrol Potomac Gardens” by V. Loeb 05-17-1995
  113. Afro-American Red Star “Nation of Islam Gets Temporary Contract” J.F. Brown 05-20-1995
  114. Afro-American Red Star “Potomac Gardens Contract Up For Bid” J.F. Brown 05-27-1995
  115. The Washington Post “Nation of Islam Security Firm Seeks Backruptcy Protection” by V. Loeb 06-03-1995
  116. The Washington Post “Off-Duty Police Could Patrol Potomac Gardens” By B. Loeb 06-10-1995
  117. The Washington Post “Police Start Round the Clock Patrols at Potomac Gardens” by. R.H. Hamil 06-17-1995
  118. Afro-American Red Star “NOI Security Insecure in USA” G. Gilmore 07-08-1995
  119. The Washington Post “Ex-Guard Convicted in Assault Case” 07-15-1995
  120. New Pittsburgh Courier “HUD Orders NOI Contract Termination” by T. Spangler 12-02-1995
  121. DOPEBUSTER by Richard Muhammad Copyright 2019 printed by 48HrBooks

Dopebusters Drug Patrols

In the Spring of 1965, The Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology published a work on the threat of the Nation of Islam (NOI) to the police. A summary of the NOI of Islam beliefs was given. The religion centers on the idea that the ruling white man is destined for a fall. The members do see whites as the devil, but G-d has predetermined the end of the white man’s rule. Blacks are to separate and become an independent state before the fall to avoid catastrophe. So the movement has no reason to attack the police directly. The NOI was deemed not to be a direct threat to the police as a whole. The security/militia force Fruit of Islam (FOI) my resist police in small incidence, but there was no rebellion planned.

The reputation of the Fruit of Islam grows from the 1960s to the 1980s and residents at the Mayfair Mansions take notice. Violence and the drug trade had enveloped the community that was now nicknamed “Little Beiruit.” The Nation of Islam begins selling their paper in the complex and residents notice the drug dealers leave while the NOI was present. A group of concerned citizens asked the Nation of Islam to patrol the area to stop drug dealers. Abdul Alim Muhammad, leader of DC’s Mosque #4, agreed and the “Dopebusters” were born in 1988.

Police Chief, Maurice Turner, reluctantly agrees to work with the NOI Drug Patrols. The story of the Dopebusters drew national attention and continued violence at the Mayfair would draw negative attention to the city. Council members and many constituents in the Mayfair publically supported the effort. Turner decided that the NOI would only patrol and call authorities when they saw something. The guards were not to use any violence.

The problem in District 6, which included the Mayfair, was a small police presence. They had 235 officers patrolling the district, which led to the smallest ratio of officers to residents. [2] Because of increased attention from media, the chief agreed to concentrate his force at the Mayfair.[3] So those that used to deal at the Mayfair moved to neighboring housing projects.[3] The citizens at the Mayfair were grateful to have peace in their neighborhood, and they praised the guards for granting them peace. The NOI was allowed to fly their flag over the projects, as the Islamic Caliphs did in the old days. [3]

On April 19, 1988, a man with a shotgun confronted an NOI guard. The guard disarms the man by kicking the gun out of his hand. Ten men proceed to beat the man unconscious. An NBC news team catches the melee on film. The guards see that they are being recorded and began to attack the cameraman to ensure the footage is not aired on television. One of the guards was arrested along with the man that welded the shotgun. The story made headlines and Mosque #4 had to issue an apology. Residents of the Mayfair picketed in support of the guards. [17]

Dr. Alim Muhammad gave a press conference on April 30, 1988. Accompanying him were hundreds of supporters of the Nation of Islam patrols. In the speech, Alim Muhammad chastised the media in elevating the one instance of overreach, and not the fact they ended open-air drug sales in less than a month. He invites Christians, Jews, and fellow Muslims to join in the Patrols because they would soon expand to Paradise Manor. The most inflammatory aspect of the speech was the accusation that many police were involved in drug sales. This accusation that could not be proven hurt the ability of the security forces to work with the police.

The beating of a news crew was not the only instance of overreach. An apartment building manager accused the guards of attempting to extort $5,000 from her company.[6] However, the NOI guards would find other ways to finance their patrol in the way of government contracts.

The success from Mayfair made FOI guards a hot commodity in many low-income housing areas. The NOI Security Agency – Washington was incorporated in 1990 to win government contracts in security. In the same manner, other NOI security agencies emerged in Baltimore, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, and Chicago. The DC agency expanded its patrol to Clifton Terrace and Potomac Gardens.

The Clifton Terrace Patrols began in May of 1992. Most of the residents supported the new patrols. However, there was also vocal opposition. A group of men threatened the guards with violence on May 5. In response, a guard allegedly attacked resident James Earl Keech. Later that day, the unarmed guards encountered gunfire. Police were slow to arrive but arrested Taino M. Granum who had a stolen gun on his person. The event shows how cooperation between police and the guards began to break down. Both sides gave different accounts to the police. The public housing authority ended the security contract a short time later.

The American Jewish Committee and the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) both took issue with an anti-semitic group getting government contracts. The ADL published a report in 1995 detailing contract discrepancies in the NOI security contracts. The ADL claimed that the NOI security agencies were directly connected to the NOI. Most of the evidence in the report came from the NOI newsletter, <u>The Final Call</u>. In the paper, the NOI praises the work of the security agencies as a victory for the Nation of Islam as a whole.

The report sparked outrage from the public. Bob Dole and Peter King, both Republicans, launch a senate investigation. If the security firm violated procurement law, Housing and Urban Development (HUD) would have to terminate the contracts. Peter King wanted the NOI listed as a hate group even though the American Civil Liberties Union did not list them as such.

HUD Secretary Henry Cisneros defended the decision to award NOI security firms contracts. Many members of The Congressional Black Caucus also supported the NOI effort. The firms were not legally linked to the Nation of Islam religious organization, and to Cisneros’ knowledge, the guards did not proselytize on duty. Therefore to deny them contracts would be religious discrimination. It is important to remember the Republicans had recently won both houses.

The six-week investigation concluded in March of 1995. There was no evidence of large-scale proselytizing while guards were on duty and the investigation confirmed the security firms were not linked to the Nation of Islam. There was also no evidence that the firms discriminated against non-Muslims or women. Most of the interviews with residents of the areas the security firms patrolled said the guards are more courteous than other private guards. Residents, white and black, both agreed their neighborhoods were markedly safer.

After the investigation Nation of Islam security wins a contract to patrol Potomac Gardens. The original contract was awarded under emergency conditions for two weeks at $30,000. Again most residences wanted the guards, but there was also strong opposition. One woman interviewed by the Washington Post said that she shielded a man from an NOI beating. The guards yelled “Black Power, Black Power” after the incident. [109]

On May 12, 1995 NOI guard James Baldwin was allegedly stabbed in the chest by resident Paul Sparks. The event was the third violent event during the two weeks Potomac Gardens had a patrol. Earlier an NOI guard was struck with a bottle. The guards retaliate by assaulting a resident suspected of throwing the bottle. The incidents sparked City Council to visit the project.

During the visit Councilman Frank Smith had this to say:

“There’s no question about the fact that the people who live over there see this as a form of relief from the drug sales…The sale of drugs around public housing complexes is ultimately a police problem, and it will not be solved in a lasting way at Potomac Gardens or anywhere else until a new police division responsible for public housing is created”.[112]

After the City Council visited they decide to extend the emergency contract another two weeks. The guards did stop open-air drug sales, even with a few instances of over-reach. By June 6, the emergency contract would end and the NOI would need to win the contact under normal bidding circumstances. Unfortunately, the Nation of Islam Security Agency flies for bankruptcy protection in June of 1995. The firm claims $620,000 in assets and $760,000 in liabilities. Of the liabilities, $53,000 was back taxes to Washington, DC. The DC Housing Authority had to take into account NOI Security’s financial state during the contract bid, and they lost their bid.

The Potomac Garden patrol was taken up by off-duty police officers. The officers were paid overtime with the same Federal funds that would have been used for the private guards. Ultimately, the responsibility for reducing crime fell back on the police. With increased police presence, the crime problem in Washington, DC subsided.

Sources for Dopebusters Articles

Dr. Abdul Alim Muhammad Sources

Print Sources

  1. Washington Informer “Fish Program Launched” by Akmal 05-09-1984
  2. Washington Post “Muslim Leader Says DC Police ‘Involved’ in Drug Activity” by S. Horwitz and P. Gaines-Carter 04-28-1988
  3. Wall Street Journal “Frontier Justice” 06-16-1988
  4. The Christian Science Monitor “On the Street to Fight Drugs, These People Wear No Badge” by L. Overbea 07-05-1988
  5. The Washington Post “Complaints of DC Police Misconduct” 09-02-1988
  6. The Washington Post “Farrakhan Visits Mayfair, Pushes Muslim Drug Plan; City Encouraged to Consider His Method” by C. Sanchez 12-14-1988
  7. The Washington Post “Sadly, Reports on Mr. Farrakhan Are Accurate” 11-26-1989
  8. The Washington Post “Farrakhan’s Uphill Candidate; Nation of Islam Spokesman Abdul Alim Muhammad’s Long Road to Traditional Politics” by M.W. Thompson 08-02-1990
  9. The Washington Post “First Black Challenger Puts the Heat on Hoyer” by K. Jenkins Jr 09-01-1990
  10. The Washington Post “Bringing Race and Politics to the Surface in Pr. George’s Series: Campaign ’90; Campaign in Maryland” by M.L. Norris 09-04-1990
  11. The Washington Post “Glendening, Hoyer Sail to Victory” by M.L. Norris 09-12-1990
  12. The Washington Post “P.G. Blacks Rejected Racial Campaigns; Independents’s Hopes for Voter Revolt Failed” by M.L. Norris & E.L. Meyer 09-13-1990
  13. The Washington Post “Resolution for Muslim Leader Scuttled” by R. Sanchez 07-08-1992
  14. The Washington Post ” Thomas Drops Another Nation of Islam Bombshell” by R. Sanchez 07-16-1992
  15. The Washington Post “Kelly Honors Nation of Islam Activist Proclamation Riles Jewish Leaders” by R. Sanchez 07-18-1992
  16. The Washington Post “Mayor Kelly’s Proclamation” 07-22-1992
  17. Washington Informer “Dr. Abdul Alim Muhammad: Deserving, Devoted, Caring” by L. Wiggins 07-22-1992
  18. The Washington Post “Muhammad’s Actions Speak Louder” 08-01-1992
  19. The Washington Post “Blind Eye to Prejudice” 08-02-1992
  20. Afro-American Red Star “The Cheated Me At 15; I Am Still Fighting Today: Muhammad Says” by. A.A. Muhammad 09-18-1993
  21. The Washington Post “Nation of Islam Official Assails Jewish Group; ADL Accused of Conspiring Against Blacks” 09-08-1994
  22. Afro-American Red Star “Farrakhan Calls for 1 Million Men to March on Washington” by G. Gilmore 10-22-1994
  23. Colorado Springs Gazette-Telegraph “Black Leader Focus on Health Care / March Speaker Urges Managed-Care Program” 04-29-1996
  24. Afro-American Red Star “October 16 is World’s Day of Atonement” by G. Gilmore 10-12-1996
  25. Philadelphia Tribune “NOI Official: Hospital Will Soon Release Farrakhan” by M.J. rochon 04-06-1999
  26. Afro-American Red Star “Howard University Shines” 04-10-1999
  27. The Final Call “Nation of Islam’s Zimbabwe AIDS Project Seeks Donations for Treatment Program” 12-04-2002
  28. The Final Call “Interview with Nation of Islam Minister of Health, Dr. Abdul Alim Muhammad” 12-10-2006
  29. The Final Call “Police Checkpoints Return to DC Neighborhood” 08-12-2008
  30. McClatchy – Tribune Business News “Man Sacrifices His Privacy to Help Others” by H. Jackson Jr 08-20-2009
  31. The Final Call “How to Eat to Live: Focus on Food and Well Being” 03-16-2011
  32. The Final Call “Taking it to the Street: FOI Promote Peace Nationwide” 07-25-2012
  33. The Final Call “A Torchlight for American: The Nation of Islam Offers Solutions to Fight Crime” 08-10-2012
  34. The Final Call “The Time and WHat Must Be Done” 06-11-2013
  35. The Final Call “Lies, Spies and Jewish Assault on Truth” by R. Muhammad 06-13-2013
  36. The Final Call “Travyon Martin & The Call to True Black Unity” 08-05-2013
  37. The Final Call “Building Up Young Black Men” 03-12-2019
  38. Dominiquediprima.com “Dr. Abdul Alim Muhammad”
  39. New Journal and Guide “Needle Exchange Ineffective Weapon Against AIDS” by A.A. Muhammad 06-24-1998
  40. yale Journal of Law and Liberation “Black Nation Under Siege” by A.A. Muhammad Issue1 Article 11
  41. Philadelphia Tribune “If Clinton is Truly Sorry, He Should Take Next Steps” by A.A. Muhammad 07-01-1997
  42. New Pittsburgh Courier “Apology Not Atonement” by A.A. Muhammad 07-19-1997
  43. New Pittsburgh Courier “Tuskegee Study: Apology Is Not Atonement” by A.A. Muhammad 07-26-1997
  44. Philadelphia Tribune “Human Rights Entitle Blacks to Healthcare” by A.A. Muhammad 08-19-1997
  45. Philadelphia Tribune “Notion of Civilized Humanity is Hanging in Balance” by A.A. Muhammad 01-20-1998
  46. Philadelphia Tribune “Civilized Humanity is Hanging in the Balance” by A.A. Muhammad 014-27-1998
  47. The Chicago Tribune “Black America: ” The Fattest Nation on Earth” by A.A. Muhammad 06-11-1998
  48. Los Angeles Sentinel “Fake Food Flood Continues” by A.A. Muhammad 06-11-1998

Video Sources

The Youtube Playlist can be found HERE

  1. “My Journey to Allah” on IRONMUHAMMAD68 published 03-01-2016
  2. “Original Food & Human Potential: Dr. Alim Muhammad at TEDxHarlem” on TEDx Talks published 07-30-2012
  3. “The Health & Well Being of Humanity: How to Eat to LIVE – Dr. Alim Muhammad” on Knowledge for Life published on 04-26-2011
  4. “Dr. Alim Muhammad: “The Negro” 04/16/06 Long Beach Ca” on Truth/Controversy published on 07-23-2019
  5. “Dr. Abdul ALim Muhammad – Raw Milk Interview” on beesford published 10-25-2011
  6. “The S.T.E.M. Files: “The Abundant Life Journey”, with Dr. Abdul Alim Muhammad 10/25/18″ on OMSTV published 10-25-2018
  7. “How To Eat To Live Vs The Devil’s Kitchen – Dr. Alim Muhammad Speaks” on Saviours Helper published 05-01-2018
  8. “Raw Milk & Alpha Interferon Treatments for Aids & Many Other Diseases – Dr. Alim Muhammad Speaks” on Saviours Helper published 04-25-2019
  9. “FFA #4 Nation of Islam w/ Dr. Abdul Alim Muhammad” on DCArts90s published on 03-11-2019
  10. “Dr. Abdul Alim Muhammad on The Crossfire Program” on IRONMUHAMMAD68 published 04-18-2015
  11. “Dr. Abdul Alim Muhammad Performs A Unique Body Healing Treatment” on ItsNationTime published 12-10-2009
  12. “Dr. Alim Muhammad MD talks about Nutrition Response Testing (R)” on Ulan Nutritional Systems published 02-22-2012
  13. “Dr. Abdul Alim Mohammad” on bahram heidari published 09-12-2014
  14. “Dr. Alim’s Abundant Life Show: Episode 1 -7” on Dr. Alim’s Abundant Life Show published in 2017
  15. “Alim Muhammad demands all go clear” on The Jandar111 published 10-23-2012
  16. “Scientology Makes whites not devils anymore?” on justiceimhotep published 01-04-2012
  17. “Cokley Vs Rubin” on TheOldFilmArchive on 02-14-2012
  18. “The Successful Practice of How To Eat To Live in 2012 – Dr. Alim” on N.O.I. Buffalo published 07-07-2013
  19. “Haarp Earth Quaked Haiti, Dr. Alim Muhammad – Haiti Now Conference Saviors Day 2010 – Part 1 -10” on Saviours Helper published 03-06-2010
  20. “Swine Flu, Vaccinations and Solutions Part 1 – 11” on Elias Muhammad Published 2009
  21. “Swine Flu, Vaccination and Prevention Guidance Part 1 – 8” on Elias Muhammad published 09-17-2009

Video Sources from Final Call

  1. The Earthquake in Haiti: An Eyewitness Report
  2. My Journey to Allah

Dr. Abdul Alim Muhammad

Accomplishments

  • Graduated Case Western Reserve Medical School in 1975
  • Paratroper in military
  • Minister of Mosque #4  in Washington, DC 1981
  • National Spokesman for Louis Farrakhan 1988
  • Nation of Islam’s First Minister of Health 1992
  • Mayor of Washington, DC declared a day in his honor
  • Has a wife, Alima, and nine children including Kush Amir, Ajane, and Kadira

Dr. Abdul Alim Muhammad was born Maurice Peters Jr near York, Pennsylvania in 1948. From the beginning, Dr. Muhammad and his family were socially conscious. He went to an NAACP convention in Harrisburg, PA at age 6. Muhammad’s father Maurice Peterson Sr organized a protest against police brutality. The family was also involved in the Civil Rights Movement and marched with King. However, racism hit Muhammad in a personal way while going to an all-white high school at age 15.

Maurice Peters Sr was a post office worker. He saved enough money to move his family to the all-white suburb of Shiloh, PA. The whites of the area organized to keep the family out. Their plot was to harass his children to intimidate Mr. Peters into returning to York. One of the black maids in York got wind of the plot and warned them. When the Peterson family arrived, white residents blocked their moving van and demanded they leave. Undeterred Mr. Peterson entered the neighborhood in which he lived until the day he died.

Once Muhammad began coursework at the local high school, his grades fell from straight A’s to C’s and D’s. His parents thought he was not applying himself. When confronted, Muhammad said maybe he is not as smart as everyone thought. Upon hearing that his parents had to get to the bottom of the situation. His parents began reviewing his work and found he got most of the questions marked wrong were correct. After taking the corrected test to the principal, the school changed his grades. After this incident, Muhammad always questioned authority, not his ability.

Due to his intellectual ability and support from his parents, he made grades high enough to win a scholarship at Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio. His original major was poetry. When in college, he was introduced to the philosophy of Elijah Muhammad and wanted to change his major to something that would aid his people in the fight against oppression. He became a Biology / Pre-med major.

After receiving a degree in biology, Case Western Reserve Medical School accepted him in 1975. Muhammad told the Washington Post none of the fourteen blacks that enrolled in the program that year wanted a “Beverly Hills” style practice. All wanted to serve the urban community. While in college, one of his fellow black students faced expulsion because of grades. Muhammad and others were able to organize to keep the student in college.

Muhammad first heard Farrakhan speak in 1974, while in college. After meeting and interacting for a short time, Farrakhan appointed Muhammad assistant minister of Mosque #18 in Cleveland. Once Muhammad graduated, he went to Harlem University Hospital to work as a surgeon. While working in Harlem Muhammad officially changed his name from Maurice X to Muki Fuad Muhammad El-Amin. Farrakhan changed his name to Abdul Alim Muhammad before granting the position of Minister of Mosque #4 in Washington, DC in 1981.

Howard University Hospital and Washington Hospital Center both employed Muhammad for a short period, but Muhammad realized his passion was alternative medicine. He founded Abundant Life Clinic in 1986. The medical approach of the clinic was community-centered, alternative medicine. Muhammad infused Ayurvedic medicine and Yoga into treatment plans. Abundant Life’s drug rehab became nationally known, and Farrakhan’s son Joshua received treatment there. The clinic was the first step in a national black health agenda. From his work at Abundant Life, he became the NOI’s first Minister of Health in 1992.

The Dopebuster’s drug program began in 1988 at Mayfair Mansions. The program was initiated at the request of residents to calm the drug activity that got the complex nicknamed “Little Beirut.” Because the Dopebuster mostly came from Mosque #4, Dr. Muhammad was the unofficial spokesman. The need for a spokesman came on the first day when guards beat a man that approached them welding a shotgun. Not only did the guards assault the man wielding the shotgun, but they also attacked a news-crew filming the beating.

During the press conference created to answer questions on the incident, Dr. Muhammad charged the police department for orchestrating drug sales. The charge was doubling down on comments he made during a radio interview earlier in the week. Muhammad presented no evidence during the interview or press conference. Dr. Muhammad never named any specific policemen. A police spokesman denied the charge. There were never any formal charges brought against the police by the NOI or Dr. Muhammad.

Steny Hoyer first became a Congressional Representative in 1981. His district, Maryland’s fifth, housed in Prince Georges County had a 50% Black population. Because the area had a large black population, Muhammad thought he could have a chance to unseat the incumbent. The campaign was launched in the summer of 1990.

Part of Muhammad’s platform was government funding for the NOI’s Dopebuster’s initiative that had recently spread nationwide. Muhammad was able to gather a respectable following amongst working-class blacks, due to incendiary rhetoric. According to the Washington Post, Muhammad said that white politicians were “slave masters of a white-run political machine” and Prince Georges County was “plantation politics at its worst.” He also said blacks are no more free in America than Apartheid South Africa. Muhammad accused the media of obsessing on his affiliation with the Nation of Islam, but opened his speeches with the Muslim greeting “Al-salam aleikum.” Critics brought up the fact he did not live in the fifth district and only registered to vote a few months before running.

Unfortunately, the Alim Muhammad campaign only raised $35,000. Aid from Farrakhan never materialized. The Nation of Islam leader canceled his appearance at three campaign events. Hoyer was able to raise $230,000, and $115,000 of it was spent on television ads, Muhammad had no chance. Hoyer had a solid lock on PG’s white vote and a respectable track record on black issues. Muhammad only got 20% of the vote on the September 11 primary.

In the summer of 1992, Washington DC city councilman Henry Thomas purposed making a day to honor Dr. Abdul Alim Muhammad. The one Jewish member of the council, Jim Nathanson, opposed the resolution. The resolution was moved to committee which ensured the bill would die. The mayor, Sharon Pratt Kelly, took up the cause. The Washington Post accused her of pandering to poor and working-class blacks by approving the resolution. No matter what the motivation July 11, 1992, was declared Dr. Abdul Alim Muhammad day by the mayor.

Prostate Cancer awareness is another point of advocacy for Dr. Muhammad because he also suffered from the disease. His prostate cancer diagnosis at age 36 was surprising because Muhammad was a vegetarian with no history of cancer in his family. He became a member and spokesman for the Empowerment Network, a group dedicated to spreading awareness about prostate cancer in the black community. His knowledge and personal experience became necessary when Louis Farrakhan afflicted with the disease in 1999. Muhammad served by informing the public on Farrakhan’s condition and helping chose the best hospital for the surgery, Howard University Hospital.

In 2010, Dr. Muhammad became part of a joint effort to provide earthquake relief to Haiti. The Church of Scientology and The Nation of Islam came together to improve the life of those hardest hit by the earthquake. The specific role of Dr. Muhammad was to provide wound care. He also documented the earthquake relief program in a personal blog.

Dr. Alim is currently practicing nutritional medicine in Bowie, MD. He makes few public appearances.

Sources

Dr. Abdul Alim Muhammad Series

Dr. Abdul Alim Muhammad

Dopebusters Drug Patrols

Essay on Untouchability II: Social Undergirding of Caste

When most social analysts study India, they see the chief division as religion, Hindu vs. Muslim. However, it is also essential to understand caste divisions. These divisions are recognized by those that practice all the religions of India. Those in the lower caste, namely: primitive tribes, criminal tribes, and untouchables make up 60% of the population or 79.5 million people. Since the caste system is disenfranchising a larger number of people than the population of Japan, one cannot ignore the division.

As stated early, the lower or avarna castes: primitive tribes, criminal tribes, and the untouchables are unique on the subcontinent. Primitive tribes exist in the wilderness of India, living a hunter-gatherer lifestyle. The criminal tribes earn their name by raiding neighboring villages and committing assisinations. One clan called the Pindharies can muster up to 20,000 in Calvary. The clan of hired assassins is called, The Thugs. The government considers their acts legitimate business, and they pay taxes. Untouchables live observing Hindu culture and law. However, touching them would pollute a Hindu and require him to be cleansed at a temple.

Of the three avarna castes, Untouchables are the only group that has a social condition that cannot be changed. If a member of the primitive or criminal tribes decides to leave his group and enter Hindu society, they would be welcomed with open arms. An Untouchable could become the leader in his industry and would still cause a Hindu to be polluted. Therefore, Untouchable has a unique struggle in society. Ambedkar uses the analogy that Hindus relate to untouchables as a man relates to his shoes. Untouchables are just a means to an end.

The idea of caste causes separation in marriage, dining, and occupation. The specifics of the Caste System has changed as evidenced by records of foreign travelers to India. At the time of publishing of the treatise, Gandhi wanted Untouchables added to the least powerful caste, Shudra (Laborer). The Untouchables would not have permission to change occupations. The only difference would be, they would not pollute a person of a higher caste.

Aside from the fact that Hinduism promotes the caste system, the religion is also invalid because the highest form of religious experience is trance. It is absurd to think an abnormal psychological condition produced by artificial means is the sign of enlightenment. Trance (Samadhi) was just another aspect of Hindu metaphysics that prevented the population from moving toward rationalism. It is rationalism that will advance society and end discrimination.

Caste is a social order made sacred by the religion of Hinduism and enforced by Hindu law. The laws supporting caste are as old as antiquity, but they were rarely invoked. The laws supporting caste ended in 1850 with the Caste Disabilities Removal Act. The Caste system stayed intact despite not having legal bases. The fact the caste system survived without legal undergirding shows that religion served as the caste system’s base.

Hinduism was exceptionally robust in enforcing caste because it was a religion of a book without a prophet. Ambedkar defines his position by referencing Professor Max Muller’s work on classifying religions as natural vs. revealed. In the natural category, he groups the religion of aboriginal people such as Iroquois. The natural faiths classify objects and people as sacred or taboo and don’t use a personified being as supreme. The revealed religions are those that have a book revealed by a prophet. In the revealed camp, one would find most of the Abrahamic religions and Zoroastrianism. The Vedas are Hinduism holy book, but a prophet did not reveal them to the worshipers. Therefore the credibility of the book cannot be questioned by attacking the character or historical validity of a prophet.

The Caste System occupied a scared space in Hinduism. No other religion deemed any social order sacred. There have been those that have fought against the system such as the Buddha and King Vishvamitra. Yet the idea has persisted. Most religions consider economic activity outside the purview of religion. Combining religious/ social and economic disadvantage was a dangerous combination.

Ambedkar objected to Gandhi’s proportion that caste was the ideal form of society. In fact, caste is not founded on the cooperation of various professions, but their antagonism and class war. To justify his position, Ambedkar uses allegories from sacred Hindu texts that show that Kshatriya and Brahmin had a bloody civil war over the right to perform sacrifices. Bloody conflict is the inevitable result of the Caste System.

G-d’s Role for Black People in America

Michaux’s race philosophy can be summed up in the National Memorial to the Progress of the Colored Race in America. The monument established in 1936 served to commemorate the civilization of black people through slavery. The memorial and the resulting organization was centered around a few principles:

Historical – Chronicle notable events in the black race
Memorial- Recognition of exceptional black people
Humanitarian- cooperation to the material advancement of black people
Cultural- progress of blacks in art, music, and wholesome entertainment
Patriotic – not political, but a belief in the founding documents and love for America’s founding
Spiritual- not sectarian, but a general love of G-d and the divine

The memorial was built in Williamsburg to commemorate the first recorded landing of slaves in 1607 and the last slave ship to arrive in 1861. Michaux saw slavery as a positive good. Slavery civilized an otherwise barbarous group of people. Michaux had a ceremony to commemorate the arrival of the last slave ship in 1961.

In the document that explains the purpose of the monument, he defends Robert E Lee falsely stating he freed his slaves before assuming command of the Confederate army.

The memorial was on a 400-acre tract of land with eighty farms. The farms were cooperative, and the profits were split evenly among all the participants. Michaux supplied the farms with equipment and livestock. Plus there was a small farm college started in the area so people could learn the best methods for farming. The farm was established in 1936 and expanded in 1943. Michaux wanted the farm to feed the church in the event of another depression.

Michaux did see the role of the church in America as the watchdog of the government. Only when the church takes its rightful position in America will, including racial segregation end. The clergy was to praise and critique the government, not the congregation.

From the pulpit, Michaux cast Hoover as a modern day Saul. Hoover abandoned G-d’s plan when he attacked the bonus army, a group of WW1 veterans that were protesting for assistance. Franklin Delano Roosevelt was a modern day, David ushering G-d’s plan, which was The New Deal. Those that oppose The New Deal oppose the divine plan. Michaux campaigned with FDR at a mass rally in Madison Square Garden in 1932.

G-d will bring social change through individual hearts. Not by civil disobedience or directly lobbying the government. That is the core disagreement between Solomon Michaux and Dr. King. Many KKK members supported Michaux because his philosophy did not require them to relinquish anything. Whites were able to determine how much freedom black people get. Black liberation is on the timetable of whites under Michaux’s philosophy.

Anti-Black Actions of Solomon Michaux

Michaux’s criticisms of Father Divine were well publicized. Many of these critiques, such as allowing members to refer to him as G-d and disallowing followers to have sex, are rooted in a deviation of orthodox Christianity. However, when agitated, Michaux would refer to Divine as “that little Negro,” “little black devil,” and “hellish black rascal.” Coming from a light skinned black man of mixed race, these comments could be seen as colorist. Here is a quote listed in the Baltimore Afro-American from Michaux on Father Divine in 1934:

“White people don’t love colored people; Jews don’t like Italians, and you blame it on the depression.

Many a white mouth has sucked a black breast – But because it gave forth white milk, they loved it. Colored people loved marse and massa.

It’s different now. Whites hate colored because they think colored shouldn’t be their equals. Colored hate whites because of slavery. Slavery was God’s plan to civilize us.

We could’ve been in Africa throwing cocoanuts at one another if we hadn’t been brought over here and made slaves. All races have had to be slaves at one time or another.

There is no depression in heaven. Fish still swim, flowers still bloom, and the sun needs no National Recovery Act to make it shine or stop shining. It’s you: all the trouble is with you and in you. You don’t love.

Go home tonight and kiss your husband. Wake him up if you have to. It may scare him to death, but do it anyway as your first act to prove you love everybody.”

In 1965, Solomon Michaux bought a 636 Acre Plot near Jamestown for $180,000. He decided to turn this land into a housing development for whites. It was to be named the ” Francis Lightfoot Lee Colony.” Many in the black press believed this was a nod to Confederate General Robert E Lee who descended from Francis Lightfoot Lee. One of the streets was to be named after Senator / Governor Harry Byrd, an arch-segregationist. Even though the plan was to sell the homes to whites, naming streets after slave owners and segregationists was another action that one could view as anti-black.

Solomon Michaux was known for opposing Dr. King in three ways. The first was demanding Dr. King apologize to J. Edgar Hoover for saying the FBI was a tool of white supremacy. The second was defaming King by insinuating he was a communist and that he had affairs. The third was picketing an SCLC event in Baltimore in which King called for a boycott of Alabama, in 1965. His opposition inspired several opinion articles in the Baltimore Afro-American. All the writers felt that Michaux never gave a rational explanation for his opposition to King. We now know that Michaux was working for the FBI.

The Gospel Spreading Church website claims that Michaux referred to King as a “saint” in the church paper Happy News. The use of the word “saint” was satirical, according to Lerone Martin’s article in Religion and American Culture. Michaux would use the term to mock King while spreading lies about him being a communist and having affairs.

The Gospel Spreading Church alleged that Michaux had a protest for Civil Rights in 1961. There was one article in the Baltimore Afro-American that referenced the protest, dated December 9, 1961. The protest was not about Civil Rights, but Protestant / Catholic unity. Michaux sent a burlap sack and hood to John F Kennedy hoping he would wear it during his Thanksgiving meal. The actual protest had 500 participates from the various branches of the Gospel Spreading Church. Churchgoers demonstrated at the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception and two Baptist Churches. The article never mentioned Civil Rights.

Michaux: The Father of Churches

In Newport News, VA, a baby was born on November 7, 1884. The father was of mixed Black and Jewish Ancestry. He wants the baby to be named Solomon. The mother of Black and Native American parentage, wants the baby to be named Lightfoot. They decided on the name Lightfoot Solomon Michaux. The baby was born with a caul, a membrane resembling a veil covering his face. A caul signifies the baby will grow up to be a man of prominence.

John, the father, was a fantastic patriarch for the 1880s. He descended from a Jewish man that immigrated to Richmond before the Civil War. Due to his father coming from a line of merchants John opened a store. Solomon Michaux helped his father run the store and opened his store later in life. However, Michaux had a creative side his father did not have. He decides to open a dancing school as his second venture.

It is through his dancing school that he met his lovely wife. Mary Eliza Pauline was a student at said school and found Solomon to be quite handsome and charismatic. Their relationship began when he saw Mary crying outside the house of her then lover. Solomon felt sorry for her and made a deal. If she agreed to be in a monogamous relationship with him, they could live together. The couple will never have biological children but will adopt a daughter in the 1950s named Ieeda (Aeeda) Martin. The girl was an Eskimo from Alaska.

Mary’s origins were always questionable. She was orphaned at an early age and lived in a room above Gresham’s Bar in the Red Light District. According to the history of the Church of God, she served as a missionary attempting to save the souls of those in the Red Light District. Most people in town believed her to be a prostitute. One of the people believed the rumor was Solomon’s father, John and this rumor led to animosity between Mary and the rest of the Michaux’s. Mary was also seven to fifteen years older, her husband. Despite her flaws, she was extremely religious and encouraged her husband to join St. Timothy Church of Christ (Holiness).

Solomon and John landed a contract to supply the local harbor with vegetables. Part of the reason he won the deal was he obtained green peas out of seasons. Little did the government know he was taking dry peas, soaking them in water and green food coloring. Ultimately, the venture was profitable, and he was able to build a business network.

Mary sees the town of Hopewell as a lost city. As the old testament towns of old, licentiousness has overcome the city. The new army base and factory caused a population explosion. More people were at the gambling hall than the church. Mary wants Solomon to build a new church to save the people of Hopewell.

John likes the idea of Solomon preaching and offered to pay for Baptist seminary. When Mary hears this, she hits the roof. Mary wanted Solomon’s church to be pure, and Baptist preachers were far from pure. Many of them propositioned her even though she was married. Solomon decided to side with his wife in the argument and started the church from a tent. He would find others to preach.

Solomon starts a church in 1917 with a land grant from the DuPont corporation. He built a white frame structure and found visiting elders to preach. The church was called Everybody’s Mission. One of the guest preachers was a man named Brother Diaz. During the Diaz service, a vision comes to the pastor. Diaz tells the congregation that Solomon Michaux was destined to lead them.

Solomon began what would later be known as the Gospel Spreading Church in 1919 from a tent in Newport News. He was able to get over 150 members in three months. By November, he was able to buy the current building on 19th and Jefferson. He would obtain the Lincoln Theater in this town in 1929. The congregation wouldn’t stop growing and a second church began in Hampton, Spring of 1922.

The church had a very charismatic style known for vibrant songs and captivating preaching. The members were also not shy about proclaiming to the world their love for Jesus. In October 1922, Michaux was arrested for leading a parade in the early morning that awoke the residents of Newport News. He was convicted and ordered to pay a fine or go to jail. Michaux chose jail. The judge realizing Michaux would be considered a martyr ordered his car to the confiscated to pay the $25 fine. The judge offered to give Michaux the excess from the sale of the vehicle. Michaux refused.

After World War 1, coastal Virginia experiences an economic downturn. Michaux responds by creating the “Common Plan.” Members that had work would pay into a fund; in return, unemployed members would do basic chores and menial tasks for the paying members. The Common Plan helped some members stay in Virginia until the economy turned around. Others left to find work in different states.

The first group left in 1924 left for the coal mines in Edenborn, Pennsylvania close to Pittsburgh. A church was established in this area in 1930. The group in Pennsylvania expanded and a Gospel Spreading Church was also founded in Philadelphia in 1935.

The second group left to find work in Baltimore with a church established in 1923. Another church was created in the Baltimore suburb of Essex, MD in 1924. The Essex church attracted a white family later found to be part of the Ku Klux Klan. They were attracted to the charismatic and patriotic preaching style of Solomon Michaux. The white family was so impressed with the sermon they ask Solomon Michaux to give a lecture at their home church.

Going to a white church with a heavy KKK presence did give Michaux pause, but he saw it as part of his mission. He agrees to speak at the white church because he feels G-d will protect him from any harm. The church enjoys his sermon and from then on whites regularly attend Michaux’s Essex Church.

In 1926, Virginia passed the segregation laws, commonly known as Jim Crow. He invited his mixed congregation to worship in Virginia. The multi-racial church service violated state law, and Michaux was arrested. He had to pay a fine as punishment, but he continues to speak out against segregated churches. The Church of God had integrated services in any state that would allow them. He held firm to the belief that G-d’s law supersedes any state or national law. In G-d’s house, there was no segregation.

Washington, DC of 1928 was a prime location for a new church, so one was founded on Georgia Ave. A large black migrant population that was extremely poor entered DC. The affluent black community already in the district ostracized the newcomers. Michaux understands many of the new arrivals might not attend church because they feel they can’t dress well enough. To service these people, he decides on creating a radio ministry.

WJSV was one of the local radio stations. It was owned by James Vance who was part of the KKK and published their newspaper. Vance agrees to broadcast from a storefront location in DC, and so began the Radio Church of God in 1929.

The broadcast centered around music, even the sermons had a beat to them. The song the show is most famous for is “Happy Am I.” That is why Michaux is known as the “Happy am I, Preacher.”

Once Michaux became a household name, he hired tutors to teach him theology and other biblical concepts. He had limited literacy, so often the tutors would read to him. Using his newfound knowledge, he was able to build a biblical philosophy that mixed “New Thought” and the “Social Gospel” while being patriotic. The sermons were still simple enough for the average person to understand. Even when political topics were discussed, they were done simplistically.

The Radio Church of God was a top-rated show in the Mid-Atlantic region. When CBS bought WJSV in 1932, the Radio Church of God was the only show CBS kept from the original station. The show was broadcast of 52 CBS stations and in some international affiliates and had a viewership of 25 million people by mid-1930s.

Michaux not only established himself as a prophet but felt the need to expose false prophets. Father Divine was one of these false profits preaching a non-biblical gospel. Divine told his congregants that sex was wrong even within the confines of marriage. He also allowed his followers to refer to him as G-d on earth. Michaux had many revivals in New York at Father Divine’s house and headquarters Rockland Palace October 1934. Denouncing Divine was the focus of the Madison Square Garden Revival on October 7, 1934. Two of Divine’s so-called “Angels” testified against him. The Angels accused Divine of taking all the wages of congregants. A Gospel Spreading Church established a church in New York in 1934. The church’s goal was to stop the spread of Divine’s message.

The fame from radio opened more avenues for Michaux, leading to many multi-racial revivals in Washington, DC, and Pennsylvania. The annual baptism at Griffith Stadium etched Michaux in the minds and hearts of America. A documentary film was created on his life in 1942 “We’ve Come a Long, Long Way.”

Now the notoriety did not come without backlash. Michaux was known for attacking more traditional denominations. The Interdenominational Ministries Union started accusing Michaux’s church with being a cult. Michaux began to raise money to build a monument and farmers co-op in Williamsburg, VA. Many people accused him of misappropriating funds. Even though the charges were never proved in court, they did diminish his credibility. In 1938, CBS canceled the show, but Michaux broadcast independently from Washington, DC until he dies. Making The Radio Church of God the longest running radio show in history.

Solomon Michaux Newspaper Articles

Afro American Red Star

“A National Monument to the Progress of A Race” 10-16-1993

Atlanta Daily World

“Elder Michaux to Probe US Slavery” 08-29-1936

Baltimore Afro American
“Washington Turns to Religion and Mysticism in Tents” 09-24-1932
“Elder Michaux Places Satan’s Body in a Coffin” 04-07-1934
“9,000 Watch Michaux Drive Out the Devil” 06-09-1934
“Man You Have is Not Your Husband, Shouts Michaux” 09-15-1934
“Happy Am I Preacher is Ex-Virginia Fisherman” E.Rouzeau 10-06-1934
“Divine No God, Michaux” 10-13-1934
“Michaux is Still Driving Out the Devil in Harlem” 10-20-1934
“Elder Michaux an Evangelist Not A Preacher,says Ridout” by D.L. Ridout 11-10-1934
“Elder Brings War on Divine to Baltimore” 11-17-1934

“Michaux-Divine War Makes Broadway Columnist Chuckle” 12-08-1934

“Daddy Grace Sings ‘Happy Am I’ Dispite Copyright” 04-27-1935
“Elder Michaux’s Film has Private Showing in DC” 05-18-1935

“Michaux Rips Divine and Gets a Nip, Too” 05-01-1937
“Elder Michaux Spent $1100 in Collecting That Amount” 11-13-1937
“9000 to Hear Michaux Link Hitler with God’s Reform Program” 09-06-1941

“Michaux Terms Father Divine Devil Incarnate” M. Alston 08-24-1946
“Elder Michaux Hurt by Death of Deacon” 02-10-1951
“Michaux Denies RFC Fix Aid From Allen” 03-24-1951

“Bibles Dropped Near Russia” 07-11-1953
“Michaux Acquitted in Richmond Court” 07-23-1960
“Founders Day at Michaux’s Church” 03-11-1961
“The White Man is Trouble” by E. Peeks 09-23-1961
“5,000 to Hear Cult Leaders Debate” 09-23-1961
“Michaux Presents JFK with a Burlap Sack” 12-09-1961

“King-Hoover Issue And Elder Michaux” J.D. Williams 02-06-1965
“Picketting by Michaux Draws Blast” 04-10-1965

“Michaux and King” 04-17-1965
“Michaux Critical” 09-07-1968

“Michaux Happy News Noted for Flair, Style, and Drama” by R. Jenkins 10-26-1968
“Millions at Stake in Church Fight” 05-03-1969
“Minister Wins License; Succeeds Elder Michaux” 05-17-1969
“Secret Will to Lightfoot Michaux’s Millions Filed” by I. Ridley 04-04-1970
“Rabbi Abraham Hires Legal Aide in Michaux Will Case” 04-25-1970

Chicago Defender
“Michaux Victor in $50,000 Suit” 05-18-1935

“Elder Brands Divine the Devil” 05-15-1937
“Michaux to War on Father Divine” 08-19-1939

“20,000 Fete Elder Michaux For 20 Years of Religious Broadcasting” 10-06-1951

Cleveland Call and Post
“Elder Michaux Can’t Remember All About Housing Project Deal” by L. Lautier 10-23-1954

“Cassell Sues Michaux for for $962,075 in Housing Scandal” 11-13-1954

New (Norfolk) Journal and Guide
“Michaux Denies He Assaulted Lucas” 04-07-1934

“Elder Michaux Rose to Present Eminence After Peddling Fish” 04-28-1934
“Between the Lines” by G. Hancock 05-12-1934

“$3000 Restaurant Given to Michaux for Church of God” 07-21-1934
“Elder Michaux Blasts Divine” 05-08-1937
“Suit Seeks Check Up of Monies” 10-16-1937

“Cost $1,100 to Collect $1,100, says Michaux” 11-13-1937
“No Gain Made In Newport News, Evangelist Asserts” 11-20-1937
“Elder Michaux Wins Fight Over Property” 06-13-1942
“Elder Michaux Has Proposal In Collaboration with British Cleric” 09-23-1943

“With a Grain of Salt” by A. Davis 10-11-1947

“Elder Michaux’s Bull Stolen, Cattle Russtling Charged” 11-19-1949
“RFC Loaned Elder Michaux $3 Million” 03-17-1951

“Name Elder Michaux in Housing Scandal” 10-09-1954
“Thousands Pay Last Respects to Michaux” 11-02-1968

“Legal Battle Develops Over Michaux Estate” 05-17-1969
“Peninsula Group Wants to Revover Land Sold by Church to Federal Government” by L. Colvin 04-29-1998
“Church Leaders Silent About Land Issue” 06-03-1998

Newport News Daily Press
“Evangelist Flock To NN” 09-06-1992
“The Happy Am I Evangelist:”It Was Exciting Going to Church” by K. Baker 02-07-1995
“Williamsburg Heritage: The Happy Am I Preacher” M. Kirby 02-29-2008
“Preacher Redefined The Black Church” 02-27-2012

New York Amsterdam News
“Happy Am I: Millions Listen to Elder Michaux Radio Televangelist” by E. Rouzeau 09-29-1934
“Michaux raps Divine in War” 10-13-1934
“Say Michaux Asks New RFC Loan” 03-17-1951
“9000 to Hear Muhammad In Capitol” 09-16-1961
“The Church World; Michaux Revival” 07-02-1966
“Heirs Get Elder Michaux’s Millions not Church” by G. Barner 05-03-1969

“Lewis Michaux Executor” 09-06-1969
“Whites Lose Bid to Grab Elder Michaux’s Millions” by S. Anekwe 04-14-1973

New York Times
“Elder Solomon Michaux Dies; Cult Leader Aided Roosevelt” 10-21-1968

Philadelphia Tribune

“Life Span Shortened by Bathing, Elder Michaux Advises Local Audience” 09-27-1934
“Michaux Sponsors Housing Project” 12-06-1941
“Elder Michaux’s White VA Housing Project to Honor Rebel General” 08-03-1965
“Elder Michaux Crony of Three Presidents” 11-22-1968

South Florida Sun Sentienal
“Dairy Farm a Living Memorial to Slaves of 400 years Earlier” by M. Ruane May 2014

Washington Post
“Michaux Founds Race Memorial On Site of US Slave Origin” 08-21-1936
“Michaux Meetings to Open on Sunday” 08-22-1955
“18,000 To See Religious Potryal” 9-17-1956
“Michaux – Muslim Debate Today” 09-10-1961
“Pastor Wants Church to Reflect DC Air” by K.Dole 11-06-1961
“DC Proposes to Raze Elder Michaux’s Stores” 09-07-1962
“Prayer Rule Critized By Michaux” 09-29-1962
“Michaux Bids DC to Spare His Stores” 03-17-1963
“Michaux Denied Delay on Market” 03-30-1963
“Michaux to Give and Explaination” 01-03-1965
“Michaux to Note Anniversary” 02-27-1965
“Elder Michaux Plans VA Homes” by H. Gardner 07-26-1965
“Michaux Plans Baptismal Rights” 09-17-1966
“Mary Michaux. Religious Singer” 10-29-1967
“Michaux Sees Some Answers In 2 Negro Housing Projects” by M. Well 06-24-1968
“Elder Lightfoot Solomon Michaux Dies at 84” 10-21-1968
“Elder Michaux to Lie in State” 10-22-1968
“Elder Lightfoot Solomon Michaux, Negro Religious Leader, Dies at 84” by K. Dole 10-21-1968
“3000 To Attend Michaux’s Rites” 10-28-1968
“Memories Bind Tenants of Premier Blak Apartment Complex” by J. Mercer 09-19-1991

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