Ever since 1971, during the second weekend of June, the Harlem-based Five Percenters aka the Nation of Gods and Earths acknowledge their annual accomplishments during the anniversary of the assassination of their founder Allah, the Father, with their Show & Prove event. At 41 years old, he was gunned down in the elevator of 21 West 112th Street in Harlem’s Martin Luther King Jr. Towers during the early morning hours of June 13, 1969.
First, at their national headquarters (the Allah School In Mecca, 2122 Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Blvd.), on Saturday, June 3, several members reflected on the legacy of Allah’s right-hand man, Free Cipher Akbar, aka Justice, who helped guide the group after the assassination.
“Old Man Justice would always give us little jewels about life and how we should live righteously,” reminisced Jamel Freedom Allah, from Brownsville, who recalled often seeing him standing in front of Harriet Tubman Public School on 127th Street, during the mid-1970s, at their monthly parliaments. “He’d tell us about certain things we should, and should not, do. When he told you something you just had to take it to your mind and heart, internalize it, take the best part and make it work for you.”
Then throughout this past weekend, three days of art, educational, musical, as well as scientific fairs were conducted so that the many youths which were present could express their creativity.
“We always encourage our youths to go to school and know the value of an education,” explained Sharqueen Earth. “Because they are the future.”
Gaining knowledge of self, which was not taught in public schools, has always been one of their primary themes.
“The Father said, ‘Never forget who you are son, because once you know who you are no one can take that from you. Know your own self,’” recalled Kaseem Allah, whose whole family was taught by The Father. His younger brother, Black Messiah, was actually the first of the Father’s 9 First Borns who were selected because of their ability to teach other youths. “Study your personal history and whatever else is relevant.”
Although an initial arrest was made, 48 years later his murder remains unsolved.
“Khalil Islam [formerly Thomas 15X Johnson] said he felt bad when The Father got killed,” recalled Brother Rasul Rafiq, who initially met the Father during the Spring of 1963. “He said, ‘They assassinated a good man, but that’s life. Some people get dissatisfied with what you’re doing and they get a hold of other people who have arms and can’t think for themselves.’ It doesn’t matter how many defenses you put up, there’s nothing you can do if they want to assassinate you.”
Professor James Small recalled initially meeting Allah in 1967, before adding, “I was with the group that took over the site where the State Office Building is at now, but we were across the street with Justice, Al Jamel and several others, in front of their headquarters,” he recollected. “We talked well into the night about what were the pros and cons of taking over that site. We woke up the next morning with the word that he had been assassinated.”
First Born Al Jamel Allah reflected on that night, stating, “We knew all the major players in the streets then, and nobody knew anything…that’s how we knew the government did it!”
To support the campaign to name the corner of 127th Street and Seventh Avenue “Allah, The Father’s Way” contact firstname.lastname@example.org.