tomcondit at igc.apc.org
Thu Oct 26 06:02:54 MDT 1995
Below is the full text accompanying a photo essay which appeared
in this past Sunday's San Francisco _Examiner_. The author, Amir
Ibrahim, wrote and photographed the piece as an assignment for a
journalism class at San Francisco State University.
The confusion as to whether Yusuf Bey is Hakeem's brother or
father is in the original text itself. I believe him to be the
Hakeem Bey is a prominent East Bay figure, and ran for Mayor of
Oakland in the last election on a platform which was about as
close to fascism as you can get, although those on the list who
have pointed out that there is no possibility of actually
implementing such a program are correct. I was at a candidates'
forum at Allen Temple Baptist Church, the largest church in East
Oakland and probably the largest in the city, where Bey appeared.
He marched in late with two dozen supporters in military
formation and about another two dozen as a supporting claque, and
made a rousing speech about outsiders taking over the community,
the need for discipline and responsibility, etc. The reception
was merely polite. He got 5% of the vote for Mayor.
(This same meeting had another indicative incident. A nice
Republican lady who was the totally doomed candidate for some
office or another made a speech about how we had to do away with
all this racism and racial conflict and get back to the good old
days when we all got along. People in the mostly-Black audience
regarded her with wonder as they realized that she was totally
sincere. San Leandro, where she was from, had been lily-white
until the 1970s [at least, as people say around here, if you
count Portuguese as white], without a hint of racial conflict,
and she saw all this race stuff as something totally new which
had been somehow stirred up by politicians. She also got a polite
Text of article follows:
Nation of Islam
by Amir Ibrahim
(San Francisco Examiner Magazine, Oct 22, 1995)
It's 4 a.m. as 14-year-old Hakeem Bey wakes up to join his four
brothers to begin work at Your Black Muslim Bakery in West
Oakland. The bakery, owned by Hakeem's brother, Dr. Yusuf Bey,
has provided bread, muffins and pies to the public since 1968.
>From 5 to 7:30 a.m., Hakeem weighs, cuts and rolls the dough that
will be baked into muffins and later sent to the bakery's ten
outlets and other stores throughout the Bay Area.
Working in his father's bakery is only one of the
responsibilities Hakeem takes on in his daily life. As work is
concluded at the bakery, a three-hour school day begins across
the street. The Elijah Muhammad Education Center is a private
Muslim school of about 50 male and female students who study
math, science, chemistry, French, Arabic, home economics and P.E.
As the school day comes to an end, a short prayer is said prior
The work day resumes after school ends, around 1 p.m. Depending
on the day, Hakeem either returns to the bakery's front counter,
or begins work at the family cleaners, located next to the
private school. As the day comes to a close, Hakeem either is
left in charge to close the cleaners or is relieved by another
employee, enabling him to return home and study and rest.
Business meetings are held by Bey on Thursday, Friday, Saturday
and Sunday inside the bakery. Before Bey's arrival, males from
the ages of four and up assemble in two perfectly straight lines
in order to drill. According to Bey, drilling serves to teach
discipline, self-control and the ability to think and follow
instructions. Prior to the meeting, Hakeem is in charge of
setting up a sound board that enables his father to speak to 30
or 40 people at a time. Along with connecting audio equipment,
Hakeem sets up a video camera used for the taping of Bey's "True
Solutions" TV show. The meetings are open to the public and
serve as a forum where issues and problems are discussed,
followed by lectures from Bey that are taped for later broadcast.
The daily life of Hakeem Bey and other Muslim teenagers of the
Nation at Your Black Muslim Bakery is one filled with devotion to
Allah and the responsibilities of becoming a man at an early age.
<tomcondit at igc.apc.org>
1801-A Cedar Street
Berkeley, California 94703
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