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Freebase Commons Common /common

  • Sufi Abdul Hamid was an African-American religious and labor leader, and among the first African converts to Islam, accused of Anti-Semitism. He is best known for his role in the business boycotts in Harlem in the early 1930s that were designed to draw attention to discriminatory employment practices of white, mainly Jewish business owners. In Chicago he styled himself Bishop Conshankin, a Buddhist cleric, then moved to New York in 1932, taking up residence in Harlem. Despite converting to Islam, he probably had no connection with the Nation of Islam. He eventually styled himself His Holiness Bishop Amiru Al-Mu-Minin Sufi A. Hamid, and his press man claimed that he had been born in Egypt beneath the shadow of a pyramid. He sported a mustache, and dressed flamboyantly, wearing a Nazi-style military shirt, gold-lined cape, purple turban, and a dagger in his belt. During the Great Depression, unemployment among blacks in Harlem reached 50%. Hamid initiated an effort to encourage white business owners in Harlem to hire black workers, often picketing stores and giving speeches on street corners.

Freebase Commons People /people

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