In 1913, a man named Noble Drew Ali, (born Timothy Drew) Formed a religious organization called The Moorish Science Temple, based on a supposed lost section of the Koran. Drew's teachings were heavily influenced by Freemasonry, Rosicrucianism, and The Aquarian Gospel of Jesus the Christ, which was written by Levi Dowling in 1908, and flourished again in the late 60's and was an influential precursor to the New Age Movement. [more inside]
How to be black in America was the challenge for spirited young men of colour who found their way to Harlem in the troubled years of the 1940s, when music, poetry, dance and art were giving way to drink, drugs, street crime and sex for money. Malcolm Little’s first impulse was to cut loose in the big city where he found himself soon after his 17th birthday in 1942.
Bean Pie, my Brother? The Muslim Bean Pie is a sweet, custard pie made from eggs, sugar, and beans (usually navy or pinto beans). [more inside]
The Man Who Didn’t Shoot Malcolm X. Khalil Islam, formerly known as Thomas 15X Johnson, was convicted of assassinating Malcolm X and served 22 years in prison. One of the co-defendants later swore Khalil Islam was innocent. "The fact was, I was just the patsy. The perfect patsy." [more inside]
Sure, Louis Farrakhan talks about UFOs. And, yes, some people think he had a hand in the death of Malcolm X. And maybe a case can be made that he isn't the most tolerant of men. Be that as it may, he was a suburb calypso singer.
"White people call them Unidentified Flying Objects." This blog covers the incorporation of contemporary UFO myths into the Nation of Islam's peculiar pigmentational eschatology. It includes a link to a fire-and-brimstone speech by Reverend Farrakhan himself on this topic. (Due to subject matter and racial themes, these might not be the best links for work.)
Sup, G? The Five Percent Nation: A splinter group from the Nation of Islam, they have contributed quite a bit to the hip-hop scene -- and to the English language. Phrases like "Break it down", "word", and even "peace" (as a form of salutation) can be traced back to their teachings. The Wu-tang Clan and Digable Planets are among the artists greatly influenced by the unique, sometimes inspiring, and often unsettling, worldview of this religion. It ain't all smiles und sunshine, but whatever you think of it, one thing's for sure: This is one fit and fecund memeplex.