The Fruit of Islam,’ a special group of bodyguards for Muslim leader Elijah Muhammad, sits at the bottom of the platform while he delivers his annual Savior’s Day message in Chicago. March 1974.
“….The city is headquarters for the Black Muslims. Their $75 million dollar empire includes a mosque, newspaper, university, restaurants, real estate, bank, and variety of retail stores. Muhammad died February 25, 1975.” – caption by John H. White
UPDATE: Since 1978, Louis Farrakhan has been the leader of a reconstituted Nation of Islam. The Nation of Islam’s headquarters is still located in Chicago, Illinois, and its flagship Mosque No. 2, Mosque Maryam is on South Stony Island Avenue.
according to Wikipedia:
In an interview on NBC‘s Meet the Press, Louis Farrakhan was asked by Tim Russert to explain the Nation of Islam’s view on separation:
“Tim Russert: Once a week, on the back page [of your newspaper] is The Muslim Program, “What the Muslims Want,” [written in 1965]. The first is in terms of territory, “Since we cannot get along with them in peace and equality, we believe our contributions to this land and the suffering forced upon us by white America justifies our demand for complete separation in a state or territory of our own.” Is that your view in 1997, a separate state for Black Americans?”
“Minister Louis Farrakhan: First, the program starts with number one. That is number four. The first part of that program is that we want freedom, a full and complete freedom. The second is, we want justice. We want equal justice under the law, and we want justice applied equally to all, regardless of race or class or color. And the third is that we want equality. We want equal membership in society with the best in civilized society. If we can get that within the political, economic, social system of America, there’s no need for point number four. But if we cannot get along in peace after giving America 400 years of our service and sweat and labor, then, of course, separation would be the solution to our race problem.”
For more on the Nation, click here.
from the National Archives website:
From June through October 1973 and briefly during the spring of 1974, John H. White, a 28-year-old photographer with the Chicago Daily News, worked for the federal government photographing Chicago, especially the city’s African-American community. As White reflected recently, he saw his assignment as “an opportunity to capture a slice of life, to capture history.”
Today, John White is a staff photographer with the Chicago Sun-Times. He has won hundreds of awards, and his work has been exhibited and published widely. In 1982 he received the Pulitzer Prize for Feature Photography.
I am a big fan of John H. White’s photography. He has that magic ability to tell a whole story with one frame. click here for his website
Portraits of Black Chicago: The Beat Goes On
Black bongo player performs at the International Amphitheater in Chicago as part of the annual PUSH [People United to Save Humanity] ‘Black Expo’ in the fall of 1973. October 1973
Chicago’s PUSH Black Expo was a powerful tour de force for Black Businesses nationwide at the time this photo was shot. Time magazine stated in a 1971 article: “When the five-day trade fair opened in Chicago last week, there were representatives of nearly 400 black firms on hand to prove the premise. But before the week was out, Black Expo proved to be more than a display of the products of America’s fledgling black capitalism. It turned out to be an unofficial convention of entrepreneurs and politicians in search of power at the polls as well as in the marketplace.“ Wow. There was even a major motion picture shot to document one year’s occurrence, entitled “Save the Children” (after that year’s theme). So what happened?
Almost exactly twenty years after the above photo was shot, the following was published in the Chicago Reporter:
Black Expo: Taking Care of Business?
By: Ray Quintanilla (originally published in the Chicago Reporter in September 1993)
When about 250,000 people, most of them African Americans, turned out for this year’s Chicago Black Expo, many were offered fried chicken and menthol cigarettes…
(click the link below for original footage of Marvin Gaye at the PUSH Expo)
marvin gaye live at the expo after the jump
4 Comments | tags: Black Business, Black Expo, Chicago Cultural History, Chicago History, Chicago Reporter, economic empowerment, John H. White, marvin gaye, photography, Portraits of Black Chicago, PUSH Expo | posted in Arts & Culture, Chicago Cultural History, Commentary, Jive Culture, Music, Musical Performance, Photography, Staged Affairs, the Goodness