We feel like a “motherless child “ away from our churches and the strength of spiritual worship, the energy of songs and the healing of communion. This deadly and disabling virus has ripped from our family, community and nation some of the most precious African American lives. The pain these valuable members of our community and nation suffered in their demise can not be measured. Many died alone in hospital emergency rooms while some were fortunate to have the hand of their loved ones as they said a final goodbye at home. Yet, their remain are warehoused in refrigerated storage containers with burial rites in the hands of city and state government. Too many lives taken in the cloud of viral death and till today their remains are still gathered far from the reach of their loved ones. Many of those infected remain in hospitals, nursing homes and elsewhere, as the pandemic unfolds an unimpeded march of death and destruction.
Dr Karenga, cultural leader and creator of Kwanzaa remarked .”The damage and disruption the Corona virus has done and is continuously doing to our lives and livelihoods, our health and happiness, our meetings and modes of education, our public and private events, travel, and the Black economy can not be measured.
Dr Karenga stated “Our places and ways of worship have closed down and narrowed the spaces for our relation-building, renewal, work, recreation, relaxation, grounding and the goodness that comes from just being together.”
Each and every life lost is precious, but in the Harlems community our Grassroots heroes are always unsung, and their contribution are unrecognized by government or media. However, their love for their people resonates and is remembered by the residents they served:
Harlem Network News is here to remember these heroes
Harlem and Black America is fighting back. While care is provide for those infected by community doctors like Dr Icy , Dr Michelle, Dr Adebayo and Harlem hospital, alternative healers reach the community by any means necessary to provide food , traditional family therapies and love.
Here is just one of the many angels we have recovered from the ashes of this pandemic:
Minister Abdul Hafeez Muhammad – “straight talk for straight understanding”
His ability to communicate with people from all walks of life began at the age of fifteen on the streets of Brooklyn, New York where he was raised. During his impressionable teenage years he developed a desire to become a teacher and was attracted to public speaking. He honed his oration skills while learning the lessons and imparting his knowledge to anyone who would listen. His name began to circulate throughout the five boroughs of New York as one who could draw a crowd and deliver a powerful message. He parlayed his extraordinary intellect, communication skills, street smarts, and clean cut appearance throughout his days at George Westinghouse Vocational and Technical High School and New York City Technical College into his sojourn as a laborer and as a young assistant minister in training for the Nation of Islam in 1983 at the age of 18.
From the early days of speaking on street corners to the rostrums of colleges and universities Abdul Hafeez Muhammad has developed relationships with churches, mosques, and local organizations in the tri-state region. He has inspired solid relationships with religious and community leaders, celebrities, and everyday folk. He was the first Muslim minister to speak at the historical St. Paul Community Baptist Church in Brooklyn, NY and the First Baptist Church of Crown Heights also in Brooklyn, NY. He was well received at both churches and left a lasting impression on the predominately Christian audiences. He was the guest speaker for many celebrations of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s life. He was the keynote speaker at the African American Male Empowerment: 11th Annual Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Remembrance Ceremony at Suffolk County Community College (New York, 2012) and the guest speak at the Baptist Convention at Convent Avenue Baptist Church (New York, NY, 2010).
The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan
National Representative of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad
in an official statement on Minister Hafeez passing remarked
“But know this, he was not an ordinary man. His service in the
Nation and to his people was not ordinary.
His commitment to the total liberation of our people here and wherever they are on this
planet, was not ordinary.
The fact that he died like the passing of the great pastor from Alabama Reverend Joseph Lowery and those who were affected by to Joe Lowery and those who were affected by Brother Hafeez have no opportunity to express it at this time. But when the indignation of God has passed maybe then we can have a proper memorial service for him, and for some others who have passed that cannot have a proper burial at this time