Dr. Khalid Abdul Muhammad anniversary celebration

Dr. Umar Johnson and Yaa Assantewaa Lem Peterkin photo

Dr. Khalid Abdul Muhammad was known for his work as the Black Power General and as a powerful Black activist. Jan. 12, his life, legacy and the 69th anniversary of his physical day were celebrated by local activists, community members and leaders of the House of the Lord Church in Brooklyn. Muhammad were described as a “knowledge gangsta, a Black History hitman, a lie killer,” and “urban guerrilla roughneck.” He was praised by underground grassroots communities for his brutal honesty and unapologetic Black pride. He once said, “The best way to fight an oppressive and alien culture is to live your own.”

At Muhammad’s anniversary celebration, Dr. Umar Johnson was invited to be the keynote speaker at the event. He gave an enticing speech about special education and its detrimental effects on Black children and their families. Johnson is an educator, psychologist, political scientist and Pan-Africanist. After he was introduced by Lorenzo Daughtry-Chambers and the Rev. Herbert Daughtry, he delved into a speech about education and how helpful it is but also how crippling the system can be when it comes to Black families.

“Public education is a hate crime against Black children” said Johnson.

He explained how Black families related to school customs and white teachers through his knowledge and experience with psychological evaluations. As a psychologist himself, Johnson explained the harm and bias that is present within these methods.

Lem Peterkin photo Lorenzo Daughtry-Chambers, Dr. Umar Johnson and Herbert Daughtry

“Psychologists are there to rubber stamp the assumptions of teachers,” he said.

Johnson mentioned the importance of self-love, racial pride and unity. He explained what he believed the Black community needed to be to regain its strength. He spoke about Black money and how important it was to keep the Black dollar within the community as well as reproduction. He spoke about building the Black family and how factors such as gay marriage hinder that goal.

As his speech came to a close he announced his upcoming trip to Africa, San Diego and Atlanta and invited the community to come with him. The trip to Atlanta was specifically designed for young people. The trip would include a tour of historically Black colleges and amusement parks where the children would be mentored by Johnson and his staff.

After Johnson concluded his speech he left the floor open to questions. Some were controversial and others truly begged council. One woman asked why Muhammad was not mentioned in his speech. A 14-year-old ninth-grader from Medgar Evers High School asked what could he do to bring African-American history to his school. Johnson suggested a petition. A father asked how could he do more with his conscious knowledge, and Johnson gave his phone number to not only him but to the entire audience.

When the audience gave their final applause, the focus was brought back to Muhammad and what he had contributed to the Black community. The legacy of Muhammad flourished as everyone moved downstairs to the community area to eat and socialize in the aura of Black unity and pride.

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