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Black Leadership Analysis

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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

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

Solomon Michaux

November 07, 1884 to October 20, 1968

Notable Events

  • Founded the Gospel Spreading is Church of God
  • Hosted gospel radio show “Happiness Hour”
  • Coordinate with FBI to undermine Martin Luther King
  • Erected a monument for Negro Progress
  • Secured federally subsides housing called Mayfair Mansions
  • Credited for song “Happy Am I”
  • Pioneer in television and radio ministry
  • Real Estate Mogul
  • First Preacher to have his own TV show

Solomon Michaux was born in Newport News on November 7, 1884. His father owned a grocery that young Solomon would work in his younger years. Luckily, Solomon inherited his father’s business savvy and in 1906 he was able to land a government contract to supply the local defense department with groceries.

With the success from his early business venture, he was able to move him and his young wife Mary Eliza to Hopewell, VA. There he and a colleague founded Everybody’s Mission in 1917. The mission was affiliated with the Church of Christ which ordained him. Those tent revivals proved Michaux’s ability as an evangelist.

In 1919, Michaux founded the Gospel Spreading Church of God. This stout bible believing church that thought segregation had no place in the house of the lord. In 1929, Michaux and other congregants were arrested for having an integrated church service. After a short stint in jail Michaux was released with more religious zeal than ever. He went on to found seven more churches.

The revivals of the Church of God were mostly integrated. Michaux was one of the most popular preachers in the country. One revival in Berlin, PA was attended by 10,000 white men. The Washington Evening Star referred to him as a national power. He even packed DC’s Major League Baseball Stadium in 1951. So in many ways he was a pioneer in integration of worship.

Michaux’s business acumen was not satisfied with spreading the gospel. He embarked on a massive real estate venture in Virginia in 1936. At its peak, it encompassed 1,100 acres in a farmers co-op. The goal was to create cooperative complex that would have hundreds of five-acre farms black people could buy. It would be a stand-alone municipality with administration buildings, museums, schools, and entertainment. A monument to the Negro’s loyalty to the white man would be at the entrance. The project was never fully successful, but black farmers operated a few of the farms until early 2000.

His prominence as a church founder lead opportunities to spread the “good news” in many different forms. WJSV of Alexandria Va broadcast a gospel show “Happiness Hour” with Michaux as the host. The show was so successful it expanded to 50 CBS affiliates. His ultimate gospel broadcasting was a television show on the DuMont Television Network from 1947 to 1949. It was one of the first broadcasts hosted by a black man.

Michaux’s show was known for the jazzy gospel tunes such as “Happy Am I”. The show was upbeat and designed to improve the mood of a person going through hardship. A person was to serve G-d through being happy no matter what their circumstances.

A patriotic conservative pro-establishment theology undergrided Michaux’s show and preaching style. As a result of the conservative ideology Michaux came to oppose the March on Washington in 1963 and the 1965 Voting Rights Act. He also lauded FBI director J. Edgar Hoover as a soldier of G-d. Martin Luther King was accused of being godless and a Communist stooge. G-d ordained the current order and man should not interfere with the divine order.

The “Happiness Hour” was popular in black America. However, blacks began to sour on Michaux after two public stunts. The first was an open letter 1964 lauding Hoover and demonizing King. In traditional fashion,Michaux defends the current order and those, like Hoover, work to preserve it. In the letter, Michaux praises the FBI’s work to find perpetrators of violence toward blacks and whites. King is characterized as a rabble-rouser causing more harm than good. Most of the black press defended King against Michaux and he began to loose popularity.

The last straw was Michaux’s protest against the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in 1965. The Baltimore conference was protested by more than 100 Church of G-d members. Black America viewed this protest as largely staged and saw Michaux as a puppet.

Washington, DC owes much of its history to Solomon Michaux. In addition, to owning the “Happy Times” restaurant, he was instrumental in the founding of Mayfair Mansions. This housing development was the only Federally subsidized middle-class housing development in the country. Opening in 1946 , Mayfair Mansions was declared a National Historic Site in 1989.

A stroke claimed Michaux’s life in 1968. Three thousand people attended his funeral. He was loved regionally in the DC area. But nationally he was seen as a sell-out. As the late 1960s made black liberation more militant and conservative preachers were seen as race traitors. Eventually, Michaux faded into obscurity.

Due to a freedom of information act request in 2017, it was discovered that Michaux was part of a FBI program to influence clergy. The landmark work of Lerone Martin was first published in Religion and Politics Fit for Polite Company and Religion and American Culture details Michaux’s role in the FBI plot. The story was also reported in the New York Times and Kolumn Magazine. These articles brought Michaux’s name back from obscurity.

The FBI realized religion is an important tool in social justice. Therefore, those that promoted a theology that supported the status quo needed to be promoted. The Bureau commission clergymen of many faiths and races to promote a conservative political agenda. Solomon Michaux was one of those pastors. His ability at evangelizing through television and radio made him a stand-out. His blackness validated the conservative theology in a way a white pastor could not. The fact a black man agreed that no social movement or change is needed meant that his life and social circle nobody was suffering.

Now it is important to realize Michaux actually was a conservative Christian. His theology before he began working for the bureau in 1939 was also conservative. He believed the Bible did not sanction segregation or discrimination. However, the black man as a group does exist at a lower state. Slavery was one mechanism to civilize black people and bring them up to par with with whites. Segregation and current discrimination was just part of that process. Because Michaux had this philosophy the Bureau recruited him for collaboration.

In Michaux’s theology, the races will only integrate with Jesus comes into the heart of all individuals. The primary unit of social change is the individual. So any attempts to force change on people was outside the will of G-d. All movements for social change including the Civil Rights Movement could only be led by godless communist.

Analysis

To call Michaux a sell-out or Uncle Tom would be too easy. In Spiral Dynamics terminology, he is a Blue Meme Upper Left Reductionist. He sees the entire problem of segregation stemming from individual moral failings. King took a four quadrants approach. Upper Left represented by his spiritual growth. Upper Right represented by Nonviolent Direct Action. Lower Left represented by the foundations and philosophy of the various organizations started by King. The Lower Left represented by the left-wing policies he pursued.

Another difference between King and Michaux was what they believed caused the present racial hierarchy. King believed the present racial hierarchy was the result of the “fall of man”. Michaux saw it as a result of G-d’s divine providence. So both men saw integration as an positive end, but Michaux believed the current situation was needed to develop black people.

Key Take-Aways

Christianity like all other religions is neutral in the fight for social justice. What makes a religion a force in the fight is the way it is interpreted. Giving spiritual leaders a proper political education and political leaders a proper spiritual education is key in proper leadership. The two fields can’t be separated. The general public must understand how all these elements factor into their ability to obtain freedom.

Sources

  1. https://www.thechurchofgodatwilliamsburg.org/eldermichaux.htm
  2. https://www.encyclopedia.com/african-american-focus/news-wires-white-papers-and-books/michaux-solomon-lightfoot
  3. https://blackpast.org/aah/michaux-elder-solomon-lightfoot-c-1885-1968
  4. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/04/02/us/black-evangelist-elder-michaux-opposed-dr-king.html
  5. https://religionandpolitics.org/2018/04/03/new-documents-reveal-how-the-fbi-deployed-a-televangelist-to-discredit-martin-luther-king/
  6. http://www.kolumnmagazine.com/2018/04/05/black-evangelist-opposed-dr-king-new-york-times/
  7. “Bereau Clergyman: How the FBI Colluded with and African American Televangelist to Destroy Martin Luther King” by Lerone Martin Religion and American Culture Winter 2018 Cambridge University Press
  8. https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/mlks-speech-attracted-fbis-intense-attention/2013/08/27/31c8ebd4-0f60-11e3-8cdd-bcdc09410972_story.html?utm_term=.667499fc9dde

What Happened to Black Bookstores?

Often you will hear black people say; blacks don’t support black business because we are brainwashed. We think the white man’s water is wetter and ice is colder. In actuality, black business suffers from some unique external problems and the same market forces that cause other companies to fall. This post will look at the history of black-owned bookstores and why we see so few black-owned bookstores now.

The first surge in black bookstores happened from 1965 to 1979 with the number of black bookstores increasing from twelve to around one hundred. The black book boom did not occur in a vacuum. The innovation of soft cover books in 1930 made books cheap enough for the masses. The number of printed books doubled from 1952 to 1962 and sales went up 83% from 1963 to 1971. So more books were available at a lower price to a market of black people who saw their income rise 140% from 1947 to 1960. Black bookstores were the outer manifestation of a book craze that took over the country.

One of the first black-owned bookstores was Lewis Michaux’s National Memorial African Bookstore started in 1939. The bookstore was not only a business but an epicenter of black politics in Harlem. Many other book entrepreneurs will duplicate this activist business model. The National Memorial Bookstore would host Nation of Islam rallies and book signings by Nikki Giovanni.

Michaux’s main competitor in Harlem was Una Mulzac’s Liberation Bookstore. Mulzac got into the book business while working with Leninist in British Guiana. When a new regime took over in that country, her store was closed, and she was deported back to America, the place of her birth. Her bookstore began in 1967.

Washington, DC had its own activist bookseller Charles Cobb Jr. In the wake of the Dr. King riots in 1968, Cobb opened up Drum and Spear with a grant from the Episcopal Church. Over the years, Mr. Cobb developed a mail-order catalog, publisher, and wholesale operation. Drum and Spear became the largest black bookseller by 1971.

One of the key drivers of the first black book boom was the Civil Rights Movement. As black people began to assert themselves, racist forces also worked to thwart them. FBI documents released through the freedom of information act revealed there was a concerted effort from 1968 to 1973 to monitor the activities of these bookstores. The FBI believed the owners were connected to communist and black nationalist groups committed to overthrowing the American government.

There was no store hit harder than Edward Vaughn’s Vaughn Books in Detroit. Mr. Vaughn was traveling to New Jersey when a race riot broke out in Detroit in 1967. He rushed back to his city to ensure his store was not damaged. On the way home, he is detained in two different states for questioning. Upon his return to Vaughn Books, he sees the words ” Long Live the African Revolution” graffitied on the door.

Mr. Vaughn sees the first order of business as trying to improve race relations in Detroit. He sends a telegram asking to meet with city leaders to discuss solutions. The mayor’s office gives no response. In later weeks the Detroit PD firebombed the store, but Vaughn repaired the damage. The police made a second attempt to destroy the store. They broke in clogged a pipe and turned on the faucet flooding the store. Vaughn again rebuilt and repaired the damage.

Drum and Spear was only blocks away from FBI headquarters, so they were visited frequently. Mr. Cobb was heavily involved with the Student Non-violent Coordinating Committee in Mississippi and often recognized agents. One FBI agent admitted after months of surveillance, he realized that Drum and Spear was no different than any other bookstore. The FBI officials don’t believe him and demanded the agent find proof that the store was involved in communism. The agent bought a copy of Mao’s Red Book from a white bookstore and claimed he got the book from Mr. Cobb to satisfy his superiors.

The core patrons of Drum and Spear solidified around his business after they realized the FBI was attempting to destroy him. A similar phenomenon happened with Vaughn books. However, Cointelpro put too much pressure on the black power movement to keep it viable. The movement as a whole started to falter and wain. Black Nationalist started to leave the movement because involvement necessitated people taking a high risk with little material reward. Many black activists found steady work; others worked for change in multi-cultural movements.

In addition to the black power movement losing steam in the 1970s, Black Americans began to experience an economic downturn. Three years after being proclaimed the largest black bookseller Drum and Spear closed in 1974. Black America was more interested in individual success and not attempting to work for systematic change.

In response to the general change in Black America, a new genre of black books emerged, the black romance novel. The first installment was Entwined Destinies in 1980, followed by Adam and Eva. These books pushed no political ideology. Instead, they concentrated on universal themes of love and heartbreak. The black romance genre was easy to mainstream because anyone could relate to the stories.

Terry McMillan was the largest cross-over black romance novelist. Her first book was Disappearing Acts in 1984. She marketed by catering to black bookstores. The strategy continued to her second book in 1987 Mama. However, once a mainstream audience was able to sample her work, she began to sell at white bookstores.

In the late 1980s, a new development happened in the booksellers market, the megastore. Stores such as Barnes & Nobles or Borders were able to eat up market share by having black interest sections. Also, by having a network of stores all over the country, a customer could order books that were not in stock at their local store. So the megastores offered a better product at a lower price. So small bookstores, no matter what the interest, were on the decline. In 1975, small booksellers had 60% of the market by 1997 the share had fallen to 17%.

In 1992, three black women were on the New York Times Best-sellers list. Possessing Secret by Joy Walker, Jazz by Toni Morrison, and Waiting to Exhale by Terry McMillian. This was the first time three black authors were on the best seller list at the same time. McMillian became a household name and conducted appearances all over the nation.

In 1997 durning the How Stella Got Her Groove Back tour, McMillan was set to conduct a book signing in Missouri. Antoine Coffer owner of Afrocentric Cafe protested the signing on the basis that she should do the signing at a black-owned business. Coffer called for a national boycott of McMillian unless she promised to do more book signings in black-owned bookstore. The book signing was scheduled at Library Ltd which had twenty-five times as many titles. The publisher decided to cancel the event in Missouri to avoid bad press. In reality, most of the black bookstores stayed afloat selling romance novels like Waiting to Exhale. This boycott would not only hurt one of the authors that kept Coffer’s business viable, but it would also only hurt black bookstores as a whole.

In the end, the novelty of black romance novels wained. They became just like any other romance novel in the genre. Most of the black bookstores could not compete with large sellers, and Amazon was a death nail by 2014 only 54 black-owned bookstores existed in the USA.

According to a Publisher’s Weekly article black bookstores are back on the rise. In 1999, there were 325. By 2014 there were only 54 in the USA. Fortunately, the number is back up to 108 in 2018. One of the stores Mahogany Books has a physical location in Washington DC and an online branch. Marc LaMont Hill’s bookstore is also inter-sectional offering queer studies, disability studies, and gender studies. So black bookstores are changing with the times.

Ultimately, there was a government plot to destroy black bookstores, but the larger factors were changing tastes in the Black community and market forces that hinder small niche businesses in every community. In the end, black bookstores adapted like every other industry. Once the company changes customers of all races frequent the store and make the business grow.

It is essential that we end the narrative that black business fails because black people just won’t support black people due to inherent low-self esteem. There is nothing fundamentally wrong with black people and thinking that there is something inherently wrong will prevent business owners from evaluating better business strategies. Customers are not obligated to frequent any business. In a free market, the owners should find ways to entice clients.

A link to Mahogany Books can be found HERE

Sources

From Head Shops to Whole Foods Joshua Clark Davis 2017

The Kojo Nnamdi Show 5-15-2018 “Drum and Spear: How a local bookstore educated Washington about Black Power in the 60s and 70s”.

“Author Bows Out of Book Signing” by Lorraine Kee St. Louis Post Dispatch May 20, 1997

“A New Generation of African-American owned Bookstores” by A. Green on https://www.publishersweekly.com April 06, 2018

Dr King in Four Quadrants

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