As Original Black people, as Asiatics, as Africans, as Moors (or however you choose to self define) we have been robbed our our history, culture, traditions and customs. There are many things that we used to do as a people, traditionally, that we have absolutely no idea about.
We have been lied to in a variety of ways about how great our people were and what all they accomplished. One of our rich traditions that we carried as a people was that of learning (today called education). Not only did we write books and have libraries, but we actually taught the Europeans, whose children run the world we live in.
Our history has been intentionally buried and hidden, such as the nose that was blown off the sphinx in ancient Egypt (Kemet) or the libraries that were burned down in the temple or school of Luxor (Kush).
In an effort to
1. honor my Mothers and Fathers and
2. reconnect with the ancient traditions of my people
I have begun the process of reestablishing our family’s library under the name of my great grandfather Bishop John Jamison Moor ( a Bishop of the A.M.E. Zion church). Knowledge is our birthright and much of it has been stolen from us.
I find many lessons about family libraries and their significance to our culture in Timbuktu, Mali where people came from all over the world to study at the feet of Black scholars. It was families that maintained libraries of manuscripts, documents, maps and the like that created trade and attracted people from all over the world.
It was families that maintained and hid the books when outsiders came to steal and burn what wasn’t theirs. So as we reconnect to our rich history, heritage and culture, I ask that you take a look at the videos that I share about Timbuktu and help me as I try to help us restore ourselves back to our traditional greatness.
Have you ever heard of my great grandfather, Isiah Henri Harrison Moor? Probably not, but I’m here to change that. Some say “if you don’t know where you come from you don’t know where your going”, others say “you don’t know who you are if you don’t know whom you are from”.
The last 10 years or so of my life I became much more acquainted with my family heritage and history, but also to the living presence of my ancestors. On May 12th, Lord willing, I will begin a series of memorial lectures honoring those that went before me.
For now, here is some info on my great grandfather, Isiah Henri Harrison Moor the second Dean at the Bible College, College of scriptures in Louisville , Kentucky.
[IMG] Isaiah Henri Harrison Moore, second Dean of the College of the scriptures was born in about May 12, 1880. He was raised in Knox County, TN. Orphaned early, his mother died when he was two and his father, Henry Harrison Moore, died when Isaiah was three. His father was West Indian. He came to Tennessee from North Carolina. As his mother, Amanda Lucinda Devault, was dying at the age of 27she called little Isaiah to her bedside and said, “I want you to be a preacher. As a result Isaiah would say, “So I’ll go through fire to preach the Word of God. She named me for a preacher.”
His father was a Methodist minister. His grandfather had been Bishop J. J. Moore of the A. M. E. Z. Church. His father took his children everywhere he went following the death of his wife, Amanda. One man wanted little Isaiah but his father replied, “I can’t give you that boy. I promised Amanda I wouldn’t separate them.” Following his father’s death the children were taken to the County Home by a neighbor where they stayed a year until an uncle, John Devault, came to the home and got the four year old Isaiah who said about his uncle, “He led me from the poor house to the pulpit.”
Fifteen years later, as the 19 year old Isaiah sat on a porch of a parishioner, the two walked up asking where they could find Isaiah H. H. Moore. Thus the Church of Christ came into life of young Isaiah Moore. But the challenge of denominationalism was not over yet. Rufus Tipton, school teacher, friend, counselor and good Presbyterian who wanted to help his people became a strong influence on Isaiah. With no books available Isaiah and the other students received most of their information by lectures which they recorded on slate then onto paper. They would buy one tablet per year at a cost of a nickel earned by shining shoes. Isaiah Moore became a preacher at 15.
At 19 he built his first church. He was ordained the third Sunday of October, 1901, by Elder W. H. Dunbar who had been converted from the Baptists to the Church of Christ. Instrumental music was not an issue since the churches were too poor to even have a musical instrument. Later Isaiah found that in some Churches of Christ it was considered a “sin” to have a musical instrument in the church house. Moore replied, “We’ll go hand in hand then. Bowser was about fifteen years older than Moore. In 1902 Moore was attending a Presbyterian boarding school in Knoxville, Tennessee when he wrote to Ashley Johnson, President of Johnson Bible College, The two met by appointment in Knoxville. Johnson made a lasting impression on Moore that day by tipping his hat to the young man as a sign of his respect for him. While the Knoxville Presbyterian College taught a Calvinist course of study they made Isaiah Moore a member of its highest Bible Class due to his proficiency in scripture. Brother Johnson made Moore learn Scripture in quantity. That was Isaiah Moore. He was preaching for $5.00 per month. In 1904 Singleton came to Knoxville and brought Isaiah Moore to the preacher training school in Louisville, KY for which he had taught for twenty-seven years.
So, in 1904, Isaiah Moore came to Louisville to enroll in the Christian Bible School headed by A. J. Thompson, a white man. In 1944 Isaiah Moore was ministering in Paris, Kentucky. Sixty seven years ago Isaiah Moore enrolled in the Louisville Christian Seventeen years ago Dr. Moore became the Dean of the College. Let no man at this late hour in history feel sorry for himself because he is poor, black, or neglected or disadvantaged! Is Isaiah Henri Harrison Moore could do it then, anyone else can do it now! Or might we better say that if God can do it through him, He can do it through you. He is dead, you say? “Yet he being dead yet speaketh!” He is speaking in Oklahoma and in Pennsylvania, in Ohio and in North Carolina, in Indiana and Illinois and in Kentucky. He is speaking in Florida and Texas. He is speaking through his many Sons in the Gospel. He cannot be replaced. But he can be reproduced! I imagine that at this moment Isaiah Moor is bending the lord’s ear asking for funds for the College of the Scriptures.
I am known to some by the work I do around #EducationJustice and working with #BlackYouth. For the last two years, I have been working on a campaign to promote culturally relevant curriculum and culturally responsive schools. We developed a toolkit, got books added to the curriculum in local public schools, and have a culturally relevant curriculum webinar series with some heavy hitters. But as I have a “sankofa-moment”, I want to take a look back at history to review how I got to where I am today.
A few years prior to starting that campaign, at the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama, at the 18th anniversary of the million man march, I witnessed a speech and banner that would change my spiritual life. Due to my mis-education in the American education system (as Dr. Carter G. Woodson would put it) I was not aware of the works and identities of some of our greatest ancestors (here in America and abroad), but on that day I got a thorough introduction to my ancestors….. which was an elevation for me in my thinking and actions!
Just a few years later, who would have guessed that I would advocate for and win mandatory reading of ‘Up From Slavery’ by Booker T. Washington (the illustrious founder of Tuskegee Institute) in Dayton public schools.
This was also around that time that I met Dr. Umar Ifatunde (Johnson) in person and discussed some theological disagreements (involving our ancestors). My wife brought him to Dayton to speak.
To put an end to this “sankofa-moment”, I will share a great quote from the speech I heard that day by Ishmael Muhammad, that really changed the trajectory of my life….
“The little humble city of Tuskegee has given us as a people, America and the world so much to be grateful for,” Mr. Muhammad said.
Booker T. Washington, Tuskegee University’s first leader, was known for his emphasis on thrift and self-reliance, economic development, land acquisition, respect for others, proper education and civilized behavior.
“We must revisit the principles that Tuskegee University was founded upon and ingrain those principles into our very beings for our future is at stake,” said Mr. Muhammad. “This man is not fully appreciated by those who struggle to see our people free.”
He showed parallels between the “immutable principles” outlined by Booker T. Washington and the teachings of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad as represented by Minister Farrakhan.
The Black community is in need of guidance and the greatest gift after life is the gift of divine guidance, said Ishmael Muhammad.
What is now needed is a synthesis of all the great ideas of leaders such as Ida B. Wells, Malcolm X, Rosa Parks, W.E.B. DuBois, Paul Robeson, Sojourner Truth, Marcus Mosiah Garvey, Harriet Tubman, Frederick Douglass, Fannie Lou Hamer, Noble Drew Ali, and Martin Luther King Jr., he declared.
“All of these great men and women are hardly mentioned in the history books,” said Mr. Muhammad. These are all pieces to a puzzle, “and that puzzle is called Black Liberation!”
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Preview our culturally relevant curriculum toolkit
“Education is a Human right, We will not give up the fight!”
This past Sunday I posted this on my personal Facebook page, but thought it was more fit to be a blog post,
“To my NOI family and Daytonians….. how many of you are familiar with the mysterious story of Elijah Muhammad and his travel to Dayton, Ohio by train????
Do any of you know what number he gave to the Dayton, Ohio Mosque and what that # means?
I’m getting to something…..
Dayton, Ohio is not considered a major city by general standards but at one point it was called “a city of a thousand factories”. It was a microcosm of Detroit due to the many automotive supply factories. Good paying jobs were everywhere and there was also a strong defense industry (Patterson Air Force base) that produced jobs as well.
In addition to the abundance of factories, Dayton was also known as a hub of invention and inventors. One invention produced there was the cash register, which brought about the corporation- National Cash Register.
Due to Dayton’s location above the Ohio river, (aka the river Jordan) there is a strong connection and presence of abolitionist history as well as the underground railroad. Blacks, including my Grandparents on both sides, sought out this area as a refuge from racism. What they found was a city that was hyper-segregated and racism popped up in many forms, primarily in the context of jobs and economics.
Although this city is known today to be very conservative, there was once a strong presence of Black thought and organization. Few people know that The Black Panther Party member Rap Brown came to Dayton to speak and gave such a powerful lecture that the location was actually burned down! That is how the community center known as the Wesley Center found itself at it’s current location.
There was also a Nation of Islam Mosque in Dayton prior to 1975 before the departure of it’s illustrious leader, known to many as the Honorable Elijah Muhamamad. I have been told that the Mosque had a bakery and other businesses, but this has only been oral history.
Based on the booming economy and the opportunity that Blacks had to build wealth, no one would have guessed that it would later be a leader in the nation for reverse population growth and have 50,000 people living below the poverty line.
On the contrary, there was a man who predicted the demise of this city’s economy along with others. His name was Elijah Muhammad. This is the same man that made the bold claim that he met with God in person!
Elijah Muhammad advised Blacks to do something for themself and said there would be a day when all the factories would close and white people would not have enough jobs for themselves or others.
I’m building up to something here, bear with me as I lay this foundation…..
Look for my next post.
Here is a clip from the forum: Black Liberation Theology. What is Black Liberation Theology?
The West Dayton Youth Task Force was blessed to host a panel dialogue on the topic ‘Black Liberation Theology’ on April 10th, 2016 at the United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio.
Black Liberation Theology was developed in the 1960s as an interpretation of the gospel of Jesus Christ through a black perspective. The often credited developer, James Cone, was desirous of mixing his Christian faith (like that of Dr. Martin Lither King Jr.) and the militancy of Malcolm X.
This dialogue was a lively discussion among active and retired Pastors, theological instructors, and students of scripture.
Typically, I’m not one to tell all my business, let you know where I’m located at the current time, where I’m eating at, the hotel I’m staying in, and all that. That ain’t me!
What I am willing to do is to share some of my interests. I might be what you call a ‘renaissance man’, or a person with a wide variety of likes and activities that draw my attention. In 2017, my big brother may say that I’m just another product of the MTV generation that has ADD.
Nonetheless, here are a few of my interests: Hip-Hop music, Islam, West African history, robotics, agribusiness, chess, Black Liberation Theology, spirituality, computing, economics, the teaching of the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad, the field of education, sociology, Pan-Africanism, Socialism, engineering, learning management systems, self-improvement, creativity, Moorish science, Yoga, and Kemit to name a few.