Several individuals reflected on the legacy of the non-apologetic Dr. Khallid Abdul Muhammad at Harlem’s UCLA, the University on the Corner of Lenox Avenue, on the 13th anniversary of when he became an ancestor, Feb. 17.
“One man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom-fighter!” Muhammad once said. Recollections of his local activism brought back fond memories of the influences he had on Harlem. Mention was made of how he was always a unifying force in his community, whether as a minister at the Nation of Islam’s Temple No. 7 (then located at 2033 Fifth Ave.) during the late 1980s and early 1990s or while he chaired the New Black Panther Party (NBPP) (1995-2001).
Some expressed appreciation for the forceful presence the Black Power general provided when the crack epidemic was ravaging the metropolitan area. “He was speaking to the youth when nobody else was,” said one young man, who recalled seeing “The Doctor” regularly along 125th Street in the 1990s.
His ability to speak truth to power and magnetize the youth was reflected in the art of that time period, as revolutionary hip-hop artists like Ice Cube (“White Cave B—h”) and Public Enemy sampled portions of his lectures to provide definitive statements in their recordings.
“Have you forgotten that once we were brought here, we were robbed of our names, robbed of our language; we lost our religion, our culture, our God… and many of us, by the way we act, even lost our minds!” Muhammad proclaimed on Public Enemy’s “Night of the Living Baseheads.”
His efforts were not confined to the USA, as he traveled abroad as well.
“Khallid stayed with [Ugandan President] Idi Amin and trained the Libyan Army at the behest of Muammar Gaddafi,” indicated Kem-Neter, former minister of defense and education of the NBPP.
Muhammad never hid his disdain for the bourgeois, the sellouts or the weak amongst his people. Venting, he said, “When white folks can’t defeat you, they’ll always find some Negro, some boot-licking, butt-kissing, bamboozled, half-baked, half-fried, sissified, punkafied, pasteurized, homogenized n—a that they can trot out in front of you!”
The “Truth Terrorist” delivered his last lecture, “No More Negro Stuff!” at Harlem’s Harriet Tubman Learning Center, 250 127th St., on Feb. 10, 2001. A few days later, he allegedly suffered a brain aneurism in Atlanta, Ga., and made his transition on Feb. 17.
Although there are many conspiracies regarding his death, with private investigations not fulfilling any solid conclusions, Muhammad’s efforts continue through the many lives he has influenced. Many still embrace his immortal words: “Revolution is the only solution!”
Kem-Neter concluded: “Dr. Khallid was the epitome of Black manhood. An uncompromising Black Nationalist and messiah of our time!”