“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, we even lost our minds!” assessed Dr. Khalid Muhammad.
Wednesday, Jan. 12 marks the 74th physical day anniversary of the undiluted “Truth Terrorist,” Dr. Khalid Abdul Muhammad. For a couple decades, he called Harlem his home and made a significant impact on area youths by nourishing their minds prior to becoming an ancestor on Feb. 17, 2001, at 58 years old.
Whether as minister of the Nation of Islam’s Temple #7 during the mid-1980s til late 1993, then at 2033 Fifth Ave., or as head of the secular New Black Panther Party (mid-90s to 2001), he motivated local youths to be productive leaders in their communities.
His above quote was sampled on the intro to progressive hip hop super-group Public Enemy’s 1989 hit single “The Night of the Living Baseheads.” This track’s music video depicted the crippling effects of the torrential crack epidemic gripping Black communities across the country then. It fit most appropriately with “The Prophets of Rage” social messages and introduced Khalid’s insightful words to millions of hip hop aficionados globally, further immortalizing him.
“Black people have been robbed of a knowledge-of-self, they start to take on the characteristics and the nature of their oppressor and colonizer and his mind by automatic systematic remote control rule of our people,” Dr. Khalid noted.
During the second half of the 1990s the Black History Hitman conducted many speaking engagements at various college campuses and lecture halls nationwide, disseminating empowering information rarely discussed, and often controversial, such as, “Who is that mystery God?” “Is the white man the devil?” as well as religion vs. spirituality, and “the secret relationship between Blacks and Jews,” just to name a few.
He fearlessly walked the streets of a pre-gentrified Harlem dolo, without bodyguards, companions, nor much fanfare, always greeting those who recognized him. He made many optimistic that situations would soon improve, regardless how bleak they seemed to be, he’d breathe life into them.
“Dr. Khalid was the epitome of Black manhood. An uncompromising Black Nationalist and messiah of our time!” reflected Kem-Neter, NBPP minister of information.
“Brother Khalid Muhammad was dedicated and committed to freeing his people from the garnish they were undergoing because he had an undying love for them,” explained documentary photographer Azim Thomas, who initially met Khalid in 1993 at Temple #7.
“He dedicated his whole life to the resurrection of his people.”
In Khalid’s own immortal words: “One man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter!”