Remembering Elijah Muhammad On His Physical Day
“My squad is honored like Elijah Muhammad…” – Big Pun on D.I.T.C.’s “Drop It Heavy”
When a pebble is tossed into a pond the effect it makes continues on beyond the few feet the ripples have traveled before eventually physically disappearing from the surface of the water it has just broken. Now imagine a tsunami being created by an underwater earthquake or volcanic eruption.
Similarly, the considerable contributions to mentally liberate Original People by The Honorable Elijah Muhammad are sure to continue to be felt for many future generations.
“Speak the truth, no matter to whom or what!” – advocated Elijah.
He was born on October 7th 1897 in Sandersville, GA to parents who were sharecroppers but had previously been former slaves. As one of 13 children, Robert Poole and his family were subjected to abject poverty and rampant racism in the rural South, only a few decades after physical slavery had been abolished on the books.
This was during the Jim Crow segregation era when Amerikkkanized-Afrikans were still being lynched, castrated, raped, mutilated, burnt alive and hung; by envious crackers.
“We just do not have fear of white people anymore, also we have control of ourselves,” Elijah proclaimed.
He left home at age 16, traveling abroad extensively, and in 1917 married Sister Clara. By 1923 he settled in Detroit, working in the automotive industry before coming into contact with Noble Drew Ali and the Moorish Science Temple of America. By 1930 he had become acquainted with W.D. Fard and they conducted civilization classes which educated Original People about their true place in this world, as they established the Nation Of Islam.
“The once slave Black Man in Amerikkka — enslaved by the white people, his white slave master and enemy, made the Black Man a subject and keeps him a subject by depriving the Black Man of the knowledge-of-self and the doing-for-self. These are the two most hated things which the white man hates to have come to the Black Man — the freedom to DO something for Black-self and the freedom to THINK for his Black-self.
He hates for the Black Man to be a visionary for his Black-self. He hates for the Black Man to control ideas that will produce recognizable, constructive plans and doing for Black-self,” determined Elijah.
The do-for-self doctrine they created helped to restore the high levels of self-esteem which had been stripped away from Amerikkkanized-Afrikans during the enslavement process. They advocated complete separation from Caucasians and taught that Blacks were the “Original People of the Universe,” and that Caucasians were genetically grafted, were weak and wicked devils and had a limited time on Earth.
“The duty of the civilized is to teach the uncivilized,” he established.
Fard disappeared in 1934 and Elijah took over as leader. The N.O.I. advocated: economic independence, Black dignity, Black pride, nationhood and self-empowerment, ala Marcus Garvey’s U.N.I.A.
They bought land and were running fully self-sustained businesses, building schools, and were rapidly growing.
Their discipline regarding alcohol use, domestic violence, fornication, gambling, smoking and other moral wrongs, was well respected in their urban communities.
“Protect your women. Stop allowing the white men to shake hands or speak to your women anytime or anywhere… this practice has ruined us,” Elijah warned.
Its strict moral discipline, devout religious adherence, healthy lifestyle, and seemingly miraculous ability to convert even those individuals deemed “beyond hope”, drew many to its ranks.
“The Black Man’s duty is for the self-preservation of his Black-self. I have given you an example through my own work and I am still giving you an example of how you can do something for self,” he suggested.
Elijah was briefly incarcerated during the ‘40s for his refusal to be inducted into the draft during World War II as a conscientious objector. His teachings reversed the subservient attitudes which had been indoctrinated into Original people for centuries by the propagandizing (mis)education system, therefore dismissing Black inferiority and self-hate complexes.
Many organizations utilized the N.O.I. as a blueprint for their own liberating movements. This influence lent ideas of Black unity, economic independence, health and politics. Elijah’s legacy continues today as his teachings create converts throughout Amerikkka and the Afrikan Diaspora. Is it any wonder that some historians have labeled him as one of the greatest social shapers in Black political thought and ideology of the 20th century.
“Stop our women from trying to look like them. By bleaching, powdering, ironing and coloring their hair; painting their lips, cheeks and eyebrows; wearing shorts; going half-nude in public places; going swimming with them and lying on beaches with men,” he warned.
“The American Black women are ignorant of the real motive behind the so-called birth control schemes proposed and demanded by white officials.
The motive behind these schemes is not designed to promote the welfare of Black families, but to eliminate these families in the future,” he predicted.
No measurement can correctly determine the impact Elijah has made upon the lost and found Original People residing in the wilderness of North Amerikkka. Through his teachings the world was brought – Malcolm X; Allah, The Father; Louis Farrakhan; Muhammad Ali and Dr. Khalid Abdul Muhammad, as well as thousands of others who are nameless to history, yet have also contributed nonetheless.
“A nation can rise no higher than it’s woman!”
R.I.P. To The Honorable Elijah Muhammad As We Celebrate Your Born Day