Volume 2, Number 2 February 2, 2005
What is Black?
By Dr. Ridgely Abdul Muímin Muhammad
The Honorable Elijah Muhammad said that "When you are looking at the Black man, you are looking at God." Now was he exaggerating, being blasphemous or trying to make the downtrodden once slave feel better about himself?
It is no doubt that back in the 1930ís when Master Fard Muhammad made his presence known in Detroit, Mich. among an illiterate and backward population in the ghetto, talking this type of talk, it caused an uproar. And in fact, within 4 years this stranger from the East had made 25,000 converts. One of them was the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, then known as Elijah Poole, a little Black man born in Deepstep, Ga.
After Master Fard Muhammad left, the Honorable Elijah Muhammad taught that the Black man is God and the white man is the devil. With this teaching he built the Nation of Islam, that by the early 1970ís had developed businesses, farm land and resurrected thousands of Black people to life.
When the Honorable Elijah Muhammad left and his son Wallace took over the leadership of the Nation of Islam, the works of the Messenger was slowly taken down and the teaching of "the Black man is God and the white man is the devil" was thrown into the waste basket as propaganda that was no longer needed by a mature people who were ready for "Al Islam". I, like thousands of others rejected this "old teaching" and went about my "new African-American Muslim" way.
I went back to college and got my masters in Agricultural Economics, then went to Michigan State to get my PhD. While there I began to re-evaluate the teachings of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad by researching the books available on Ancient Egypt and Greece. As I contemplated the reasons for the building of the pyramids in Egypt, a "revelation" came into my head in the form of one word, "water". From this one hint of "water" I produced a new theory about the pyramids which I published in 1988 called "Amen: The Secret Waters of the Great Pyramid."
This train of research reawakened in me the need to understand the teaching of "The Black man is God and the white man is the devil." Now as we move into "Black History Month", I felt that the question of "What is Black?" should be analyzed.
But before I get into the meat of this article, I have got to warn my plagiaristic, short sighted and arrogant brothers and sisters about stealing "light". I give all credit for any light that I may find and share to the source of my "light" and life and that is the Honorable Elijah Muhammad. You might say, why not "God"? Well "God" had no time for a poor Black boy like me until the Honorable Elijah Muhammad explained "God" to me. I thank God (Allah) for him, because I know that I could have never reached the true understanding of God and man without him. I am not so foolish as to think that I could have awakened from this 6,000 year sleep with the power of my own ignorance.
Many of those who were touched by him, directly or indirectly through those who studied under him, would have you to believe that they got their "light" on their own. Let me warn you that the secret to understanding is based in truthfulness, love and respect. If you disrespect your spiritual parent, your work and life is worth nothing and will soon be swallowed up by the "true" inheritors of the light as we come into maturity.
Now, "Black" is neither a color nor a race. From black comes all colors and light. The Honorable Elijah Muhammad taught us that the Black nation has no beginning or ending as does a "race".
The dictionary would have you to believe that "black" is just a pigment. However, the molecule that produces "black", melanin, is being analyzed in the white manís laboratories as a basis for a whole new era of micro chips and computers. Just as they try to make you think that melanin has no useful purpose other than blocking ultra-violet radiation, they would have Black people think that some how we need white people around to have a civilization. In the meantime they hire us at below our market value, steal our ideas and creativity, then call us stupid to the rest of the world. Many idiots accuse the Black Muslims of being "racist" because we tell these truths. They say that we "donít like white people". Those who say this need to come with a list of reasons why we should like a people who have enslaved us, used us and worst of all, lied on us to ourselves, our children and the rest of the world, so that we are the rejected and despised of the planet Earth.
Many of the inventions and developments in math and science have been approbated to the European race while they know that they stole many of them right out of Africa. In particular Kemet which they call Egypt was where everybody went for advance studies. At those colleges which the white man calls "temples" the students were taught geology, astronomy, agriculture, mathematics, medicine, geometry, physics and a high level of chemistry. In fact the word "chemistry" itself means "black science".
Europeans want to give credit to Pythagoras for the "Pythagorean theorem". However, Pythagoras went to school in Africa at the great library in Alexandria. Have you ever wondered why the Greeks had their major library in Alexandria on the other side of the Aegean and Mediterranean Seas? Would it not be more convenient to have their major and only library in Athens or Sparta? Or is it that their "library" was a place where they translated and stole the works of Africans and put their names on it? This is the same thing that they did to their African captives in America during and after slavery.
Now, letís look at the many recent inventions produced by Black people in America after slavery. We donít have a record before slavery because Blacks had no legal rights to themselves or their products. Before emancipation the "massa" took and claimed all. Below is a partial listing of some of them:
air conditioning unit Frederick M. Jones July 12, 1949
almanac Benjamin Banneker Approx 1791
automatic gear shift Richard Spikes February 28, 1932
baby buggy W.H. Richardson June 18, 1899
bicycle frame L.R. Johnson October 10, 1899
blood plasma bag Charles Drew Approx. 1945
cellular phone Henry T. Sampson July 6, 1971
chamber commode T. Elkins January 3, 1897
clothes dryer G. T. Sampson June 6, 1862
door knob O. Dorsey December 10, 1878
egg beater Willie Johnson February 5, 1884
electric lamp bulb Lewis Latimer March 21, 1882
elevator Alexander Miles October 11, 1867
By-pass surgery Vivian Thomas 1944
fire extinguisher T. Marshall October 26, 1872
fountain pen W. B. Purvis January 7, 1890
gas mask Garrett Morgan October 13, 1914
golf tee T. Grant December 12, 1899
guitar Robert F. Flemming, Jr. March 3, 1886
hair brush Lydia O. Newman November 15, 18--
horse shoe J. Ricks March 30, 1885
ironing board Sarah Boone December 30, 1887
lawn mower L. A. Burr May 19, 1889
lawn sprinkler J. W. Smith May 4, 1897
lock W. A. Martin July 23, 18--
mail box Paul L. Downing October 27, 1891
mop Thomas W. Stewart June 11, 1893
peanut butter George Washington Carver 1896
pencil sharpener J. L. Love November 23, 1897
phone transmitter Granville T. Woods December 2, 1884
refrigerator J. Standard June 14, 1891
spark plug Edmond Berger February 2, 1839
stove T. A. Carrington July 25, 1876
street sweeper Charles B. Brooks March 17, 1890
thermostat control Frederick M. Jones February 23, 1960
traffic light Garrett Morgan November 20, 1923
tricycle M. A. Cherry May 6, 1886
typewriter Burridge & Marshman April 7, 1885
Six thousand black Tulsans detained;"
Add to this Benjamin Banneker American astronomer, compiler of almanacs, and inventor. A free black who owned a farm near Baltimore, Banneker was largely self-educated in astronomy and mathematics. In 1761 he built a wooden clock that kept precise time. He began astronomical calculations about 1773, accurately predicted a solar eclipse in 1789, and published annually from 1791 to 1802 the Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia Almanac and Ephemeris. In 1790 he was appointed to the commission that surveyed the site for Washington, D.C. He also wrote essays denouncing slavery and war.
In later articles I will show how his astronomical and surveying genius was at the root of the "New World Order" which the "Founding Fathers" thought that they were establishing in the land of Western Star, "La Merica". Again we have a case of white folk stealing light and running with it, but not knowing how to properly analyzed or use it. The joke is that "white men canít jump". Well, the new joke is "white men canít count" the annals of time.
Have you heard of "the real McCoy"? Elijah McCoy obtained over 51 patents, including an early version of the ironing board and a cup for imbibing medicine.
McCoy patented fifty different automatic lubricators and, at age 77, started the Elijah McCoy Manufacturing Company in Detroit to manufacture his various products. Did Henry Ford learn from Mr. McCoy the process of assembly line manufacturing?
Why are there not more inventors and rich inventors among Black people? Read the story of Henrietta Bradberry. She was a Chicago housewife during the 1940s and received two patents. In December 1945, Mrs. Bradberry designed a waterproof pneumatically operated way to fire torpedoes under water from either undersea installations or submarines.
Before her death on May 17, 1979, Mrs. Bradberry in an interview told that ideas just came to her and as a housewife she had time to work out the concepts to perfection and to the satisfaction of the patent office. She made numerous attempts through the effort and support of her patent attorney to find manufacturers or buyers for her patent rights, but unfortunately, that never occurred. Disenchanted, Henrietta Bradberry abandoned all efforts to gain economic benefit from her extraordinary talent.
In other words, she was Black and not allowed to reap the benefits of her "mental" labor. However, since they can shoot torpedoes from submarines while submerged, I believe that they stole her ideas and gave it to some white boy who tweaked it a little bit and got a new patent.
However, there were many cases in the early 1900ís where Black people were able to take advantage of their own expertise and productivity by setting up independent cities or taking advantage of segregation. For instance take a look at Durham, NC at the beginning of the 20th century. In addition to 150 thriving businesses, Durhamís black commercial district was home to an area internationally known as the "Negro Wall Street," a collection of banks and insurance companies that represented "one of the most dramatic examples of concentrated African American financial might this country has ever produced."
These financial institutions were so sound that they helped virtually every black business in Durham survive the Depression. However, they were not able to survive "Urban Renewal" which ran a highway right through this district and split Durhamís Black neighborhoods from each other.
Or look at Tulsa, Oklahoma. Enterprising blacks turned the Greenwood section of Tulsa into a bustling commercial center also called "Black Wall Street". Numerous service industries thrived, black doctors, lawyers and other professionals maintained offices there and the neat homes of the middle class "lined Detroit Avenue, reflecting their business or professional success." Blacks owned 4 private airplanes.
However, "Black Wall Street" could not survive aerial bombing from the US military in 1921. This could be the first real "terrorist" air strike on a civil population in America. According to a call for "Reparations for the 1921 Tulsa, OK Race Riot" based on information from the "Tulsa Race Riot, A Report by the Oklahoma Commission to Study the Tulsa Race Riot of 1921:
"Around three hundred deaths, according to the official report of the Red Cross,
Forty square blocks burned to the ground including, 1,265 homes, as well as hospitals, schools, and churches,
One hundred and fifty businesses leveled in the district known as Black Wall street, and
No Black could re-enter Tulsa unless they had a piece of paper with the name and address of a white person that they worked for. Tulsa didnít want enterprising Blacks around unless of course they worked directly for them. This is how America was built using terrorism as a political weapon to force Blacks to works as physical and mental slaves.
Two years prior to the Tulsa Riot there was an outbreak of whites rioting or should I say invading and destroying in 26 Black communities in the US. The time period from the 1890ís through the 1920ís not only saw many race riots but America participated in a string of lynching.
Below I have presented a chart plotting the number of Black inventions that I found on the Internet from 1860 to 1939. On this same chart I have plotted the number of Blacks lynched from 1880 to 1929. To get the number to fit on the same graph I divided the number of Blacks lynched by 100. So when you see in the decade of 1880-89 the number 6, that refers to 600 Blacks lynched.
We also have plotted the number of Black owned farm land acreage starting from the first national census data that kept track of it starting in 1900. The acreage data is plotted in units of millions. Therefore, "16" on the graph represents 16 million acres.
When I looked at this graph my mind was blown away with the level of creativity that Blacks exemplified in the decades between 1880 and 1900. This twenty year period accounted for almost 70 inventions compared to less than 10 for the period between 1900 and 1920. What happened to dampen this quick rise of Black creativity? The answer lies in the increased brutality and lawlessness perpetrated against Blacks during this period.
After Blacks were sold out by the Republican Party after the 1876 elections which is known as the 1877 Compromise, the Northern troops were pulled out of the South allowing the KKK to have its way with Blacks. A string of crucifixions called lynching reached a crescendo by the 1890s terrorizing Black people literally out of their minds. The level of creativity dropped after 1900 at the peak of the lynching. After then Blacks that dared to use their creative mind had to come back under the ownership of the children of their former slave masters, now incorporated.