December 14, 2022
Donald Trump has been in the public eye for decades, and during that time, he's cultivated a mixed reputation within the African American community. While on one hand, he has helped the community by pledging support to historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and offering clemency to people who were unfairly convicted of crimes, on the other hand, he has regularly made disparaging comments about Black people and other groups who are often marginalized in society.
In NBC's 2020 town hall event, President Donald Trump leaned in close to the camera to repeat a line that became a staple to his reelection campaign: "I have done more for the African American community than any president except Abraham Lincoln." His comment referred to measures such as the criminal justice reform bill he signed into law and the $200 million grant that he directed to HBCUs in 2018.
Trump even got Lil Wayne to help his campaign message by sharing on social media that he had met privately with Donald Trump in 2020 to talk about his plans for criminal reform and the platinum plan.
But what has he done for the Black community?
As evidence of what he's done for African Americans, Trump frequently touts a record-low Black unemployment rate, funding for historically Black colleges and universities, opportunity zones, and criminal justice reform. However, policy experts say that Trump's victories come with caveats and skepticism. They also ignore how his policies contribute to racial segregation and stoke racial divisions and violence. For example, Trump's "Platinum Plan" for Black Americans is only two pages long, a fraction of former Vice President Joe Biden's "Lift Every Voice" plan.
And the morning after a Black man, 27-year-old Walter Wallace Jr., was fatally shot by Philadelphia police, Trump praised officers as "the most incredible people on the planet." Later that day, his campaign released a new ad, "Uphold the Law," a 30-second spot accusing Biden and Kamala Harris of fanning the flames while American cities burned.
At a previous rally in Martinsburg, Pennsylvania, Trump boasted that he was "doing incredibly well with" Black voters because his administration had passed criminal justice reform.
Then in 2020, outgoing President Donald Trump granted clemency to 143 people, including Steve Bannon, Lil Wayne, and Hillel Nahmad, a New York art dealer and collector. President Trump invited State Rep. Sherry Gay-Dagnogo to a Black History Month event at the White House in February 2020. She handed over a letter signed by "several Detroit caucus members, elected officials, and ecumenical leaders" pleading for Kilpatrick's release. The commutation allowed Kilpatrick to be released 20 years earlier, but it did not overturn his conviction.
Trump has had a part to play in shaping racial dynamics in America ever since his presidential candidacy took off in 2015. He has attracted support from white supremacists, made racially charged remarks like referring to immigrants as "rapists" and "killers," and has been accused of encouraging white nationalists' violence through his comments and actions as president. At the same time, he courted the support of African Americans with policies that appealed to them.
Which face are you showing to the Black community, Trump?
December 12, 2022
Everyone knows Carmelo Anthony as one of the best basketball players in history. He's won multiple championships, been named an All-Star numerous times, and even nominated for the NBA MVP. Despite these accomplishments, few know much about the man behind the legend - and what an incredible man he is!
Carmelo is an NBA superstar known for his outstanding shooting abilities on the court, averaging 28.2 points per game. However, few know that he is more than just a star athlete: he is a philanthropist, humanitarian, and community activist with a great heart for helping others.
In 2021 he was granted the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Social Justice Champion Awardfor his dedication over the past year to pursuing social justice and advancing Abdul-Jabbar's life mission to engage, empower and drive equality for individuals and groups who have been historically marginalized or systematically disadvantaged.
Off the court, his speculation of involvement with the Nation of Gods and Earths began after many saw him wearing the flag on a pendant. Some say his brother is a member and that he has dealings with the movement as a result. More recently, in 2021, he divorced his wife, La La Anthony; the pressure of being in the spotlight became too much for his marriage to handle. He and his wife co-parent Kiyan, their 15-year-old son, despite their separation. This says a lot about their love for him.
Song lyrics describe unusual uses of the Bible!
On August 26th, the men of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. welcomed the Minister Lewis Farrakhan of the Nation of Islam to their headquarters outside of Atlanta to award him their Lifetime Achievement Award.
Dr. David Marion, 1st Vice Grand Basileus, started the program stating,
“Minister Farrakhan has been a comforter to Black people for a long, long, long time. Honoring Minister Farrakhan is not an easy task. Some have asked why a Christian organization would honor a Muslim. Why would Farrakhan not deserve this? Has he not earned it?” The Final Call quotes him saying. “The Supreme Counsel of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity concluded he was so worthy and courageously voted to give him this esteemed award unanimously.”
Grand Basileus Tony Knox presented Minister Farrakhan with the Founders Robe, a purple and gold robe, the The Final Call states, stating,
“The men of Omega thought it would be fitting that we drape Minister Farrakhan in a robe because we want to cover a man who speaks the words of God.”
During Minister Farrakahn’s speech to the audience he said the following about Omega Psi Phi, referencing David in the Bible, “The law of God is a lamp under my feet. I dwell on that law night and day. This is what Omega men should always strive for, manhood in the face of an enemy who kills men who stand up. It is better to die standing up than bowing down to your enemy. That’s an Omega man.”
Minister Farrakhan also told the story about pledging Omega Psi Phi Fraternity at Winston Salam Teachers College where he was black balled off line in the 1950s before leaving the school.
“‘No wonder I pledged this fraternity I would be keeping company with giants,’ said the Minister as he passed photos of fraternity members such as Langston Hughes and Jesse Jackson,” The Final Call writes.
Mother Khadijah Farrakhan, the Minister’s wife, was also given a gift from the Omegas.
CHICAGO—Honor, service and brotherhood. These are just a few of the principles Black men representing Masonic jurisdictions strive to embody in their day to day lives. Members of various lodges recently bestowed the highest honors, accolades and respect upon the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan of the Nation of Islam during a special gathering at the Palace, home of the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad.
These are the highest honors that can be bestowed upon a Mason, explained Tony Hawkins of John G. Jones Grand Lodge of California Ancient Free and Accepted Masons.
“Knowing his works, knowing what he has done for the African American community or the Black community in particular here in the United States, this should have been done a long time ago but by the grace of Allah we’re here today,” said Mr. Hawkins.
Masons are a fraternal order or society that grew out of men that worked as stone masons and builders in the 17th and 18th century. It is a society steeped heavily in traditions, symbolism, core beliefs and doctrines. However, a Black man named Prince Hall from Barbados founded a lodge around 1784 when Blacks were not allowed or permitted in White lodges.
Photos from the solemn and unprecedented Sept. 28 gathering soon began circulating on social media.
“This has been a great day for me as a Mason and all the Brothers in this picture, not only did we meet with the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan, we broke bread with him as well,” said Calvin D. Sanders via Facebook.
Rashad Muhammad of South Carolina, Amzi Muhammad of Chicago and Marcus 2X Hill of Baltimore are members of the Nation of Islam and are also Masons. The men were particularly touched to honor the Minister. The Minister was presented with dozens of awards, plaques, certificates and Masonic regalia that have deep significant meaning.
Several Black Masonic jurisdictions came together on one accord for the first time in history to pay homage to the Minister, said Marcus 2X Hill.
Weekend Events Include Internationally Known Author Anthony T. Browder
On September 20th 2019, Bishop John Jamison (J.J.) Moore of the AME Zion Church became Saint Benyamin the Moor through canonization in a surprise Benediction by his 8th generation grandson. Bishop Moore was the 15th consecrated Bishop of the church and the founder of the first AME Zion Church west of the Mississippi river (August 1st, 1852) in San Francisco, California. He was sent there on assignment having proved himself as a missionary of the church and as an itinerant preacher in Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania.
In the early 1800s the AME Zion church broke off from the Methodist Episcopal Church as a response to racist practices, and later became known as the “Freedom Church”. Its illustrious membership includes Frederick Douglass, Sojourner Truth, Harriet Tubman, and the Paul Robeson family.
Bishop Moore founded multiple churches in California and founded the “first negro school on Pacific coast”. After leaving San Francisco, Bishop Moore was raised to the dignified position of Bishop in 1868 and was responsible for territory in North Carolina areas. Bishop Moore was an integral figure in the early progress and development of the AME Zion Church. He documented the church’s history in ’The History of the AME Zion Church in America Founded in 1796 in the City of New York’, published in 1884 in the Library of Congress.
While ministering in San Francisco, Moore published a periodical called The Lunar Visitor. It promoted civil rights and advocated developing institutions for educational, social and political skills useful in working towards a full participation in American society.
On September 19th/20th, 2020 Rev Sharon Cheek (Senior Pastor at First Church AME Zion in San Francisco) hosted a star-studded weekend of online events to commemorate the 168th Anniversary. Events included nationally and internationally known authors, Anthony T. Browder (From the Browder File), Brian McGinty (Archy Lee’s Struggle for Freedom), H.A. Jabar OdoKhan-EL (Becoming a Well-Made Man), Louisville, Kentucky’s Youngest elected Metro Council Official- Jecorey Arthur, and others.
Bishop Moore is the patriarch of a dynasty of clerics that continued in spiritual work for eight generations and counting. The most well-known being Dr. Isaiah Henri Harrison Moore, a founder and Dean of the College of Scriptures in Kentucky.
H.A. Jabar Odokhan EL is a great grandson of Bishop Moore and was chosen by his elders to be the Custodian of the family library. Jabar inherits the custodianship from Peggy Slaughter of Louisville, Kentucky and Thelma M. Foster of Dayton, Ohio. H.A. Jabar is the Premier (Prime Minister) of the Zionst Temple of 1875 ordained by Bishop Moore in 1875 in Philadelphia County Pennsylvania for Orphans and Widows.
You can find out more about Bishop Moore’s legacy and his family at thezionchurch.org, thelunarvisitor.com, and moorzion.com.
The AME Zion Church has taken no official position on the surprise canonization. The denomination will be holding the 51st Quadrennial Session General Conference on July 29, 2021, in Atlanta, Georgia.