The Sister Clara Muhammad Memorial Education Foundation Needs Your Support
Your support today is more important than ever because of various factors. One such factor is the racial wealth gap. The online Journal of Blacks in Higher Education, on Wednesday, August 17, 2016, reported that the Institute for Policy Studies documented the racial wealth gap over the last thirty years as having increased by eighty-four percent for average European American families, which is three times the increase for African American families. They predict that if this trend continues, it will take two hundred and twenty-eight years for the average African American family’s wealth to equal that of the European American family. Another factor is that society has a need for the sober-minded, moderate, critical-thinking students these schools produce. The graduates, many descendants of ex-slaves, are responsible, accountable, dependable individuals with the disciplined moral fortitude for developing and contributing to a shared freedom space for all humankind that in necessary to build a good family and good community life globally.
Recognizing that “all children have a right to an education in a moral environment,” according to Imam W. D. Mohammed, we encourage you to contribute to the Sister Clara Muhammad Education Foundation , which supports the network of schools, providing an excellent education for our diverse Muslim and non-Muslim student population, many of whom would have little to no other opportunity for a quality education.
We thank you in advance for your financial assistance. Please see the form below and support our cause by pledging your donation today.
About Our Foundation
Founded in 1932 in Detroit, Michigan, as the University of Islam Schools, the Sister Clara Muhammad Schools, and the W.D. Mohammed High Schools have been in continuous existence for more than eighty years. Until recently, the schools have been supported primarily by the humble, working class converts to Al Islam in the United States, followers of Imam W. D. Mohammed [RA], who had previously been followers of his father. Out of this association came such illustrious leaders as El Hajj Malik Shabazz/Malcolm X and Mohammad Ali, former heavyweight boxing champion of the world. Because of the contemporary, far-reaching technological advancements utilized in the teaching-learning process in schools, and so forth, it is imperative that we seek financial assistance to support these schools in this daunting task of the education of our children. The Sister Clara Muhammad Memorial Educational Foundation is a charitable foundation with the primary purpose of entreating financial support from philanthropic organizations and others for the network of Sister Clara Muhammad Schools and W. D. Mohammed High Schools under the National Education Council. Such schools follow the established organizational principles and policies set forth by Imam W.D. Mohammed: that is, adhere to the tenets of Al Islam, as set forth in the Quran; the ahadith of Prophet Mohammed ibn Abdullah [PBUH]; the teachings of Imam W.D. Mohammed [RA]. To ascertain financial assistance from the Foundation, an administrator of a specific school in the Muhammad Schools System must present its request in the form of a proposal. Proposals will be reviewed and financial support will be awarded to the Schools, based on the Foundation’s finances at that time. A secondary purpose is to provide assistance in the form of scholarships to individual needy students attending other schools based on the financial ability of the Foundation.
Your financial assistance is much needed because the majority of our students are of African American ancestry, whose descendants, because of their vulnerability in American society, to- date have had little-to-no opportunity to participate in benefits offered by the public and private sectors to develop and grow resources of wealth in our society. Throughout the history of humankind, certain individuals and groups have dominated others through slavery, exploitation, and various other means of control. However, none was as severe as the chattel slavery that enslaved Africans and their offspring, the African Americans, suffered for nearly four hundred years until slavery was outlawed in the United States in1865. Sylvaine Diouf (1998) wrote in Servants of Allah: African Muslims Enslaved in the Americas that a majority of captured and enslaved Africans who were shipped to what were initially the English-speaking colonies that became the United States were, in fact, educated Muslims. Moreover, a majority of the others who were enslaved had been educated and socialized in the traditions of their own ethnic groups in what the late Professor George Bond of Columbia University referred to as bush schools. For example, they learned the arts of their communities, traditional medicines, and so forth- all of which maintained their societies. However, once captured and brought to what became the United States, these enslaved Africans were “re-socialized” to provide free labor and loyalty only to their owners – all of which was necessary for their survival in such a brutal economic system. As an illustration, in the bush schools, they had been taught the roles of adults necessary to maintain good family and good community life. On the other hand, once in the United States, they were not allowed to even marry! Considered sub-human, an enslaved man was used to impregnate an enslaved woman. Once she conceived, he was forced to move on to another woman. Many did not know whom their children were. Once a woman gave birth, she was not allowed time to nurture and socialize her child, for she had to go back to work. All babies and toddlers were kept by an enslaved woman until they were three years old, at which time, according to S. Mintz (2004), who wrote in Huck’s Raft, that they were then assigned to trash patrols, which were children who cleaned the plantations. Eventually, laws were passed, making it illegal to even educate enslaved people.
After one generation, the knowledge of the normal socialization process for parents and children was forgotten and lost by these poor people. The notion of most duties of the family was no longer existent! When the enslaved African Americans were freed at the end of the Civil War, they were simply thrust out into the country without any type of grief counseling, after such a traumatizing experience of being “owned by others!” Another major negative factor in their lives was the organization of the Klu Klux Klan (KKK), a European American hate group, which exists today and has continuously existed in the United States since 1865, instilling fear and terrorizing African Americans. The raison d’etre of the KKK has always been to impede the progress of African Americans by any means necessary. Spike Lee’s film, Four Little Girls, told the story of the 1963 bombing of the Sixteenth Avenue Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama where four African American girls were killed while in Sunday School. One of the male European American interviewees in the film stated that they did not believe African Americans should have what “white people have!”
Having been victims of the abnormal socialization process during slavery, which included serving wealthy European Americans in order to physically survive, once freed, with no place to go, many ex slaves “violated” the new vagrancy laws passed by state governments, and were arrested. Soon, they were again providing free labor for wealthy European Americans, while others were exploited as share croppers. Some African Americans were able to leave the southern states, where the majority lived in order to settle in the northern, eastern and western states, where – although discrimination was against the law - they were still second class citizens.
In the late 1920s, an Indo-Pakistani Muslim who was a door-to-door salesman in Detroit, Michigan, began giving lectures on Islam. He was called Master Fard Muhammad or Master W.D. Fard because he had been the headmaster of a school in Fiji at one point. African Americans readily joined his organization because there are no pictures of the Divine in Islam and Mohammed the Prophet [PBUH], specifically stated that no white is better than a black, nor is a black superior to a white - except because of his or her piety! In 1930, Clara Poole took her husband, Elijah Poole to hear Master Fard. Mr. Poole soon joined the organization and began working for Master Fard.
In 1931, Master Fard told Sister Clara to open the school, the University of Islam [UOI}, because of the need to re-educate the African American children. Two years later, in 1933, the scholar, Carter G. Woodson published The Miseducation of the Negro, in which he clearly articulates why and how public education was not and could not meet the needs of the children of ex-slaves. As the UOI Schools began to multiply in number, the focus was on the re-education and re-socialization of African American children to re-define themselves, learn their own history, and study how to meet their own needs of food, clothing and shelter. These areas of study addressed remnants of the abnormal socialization process, which these children were only three generations away from, with elements of that slave culture still surviving in the culture, as certain features continue to exist today. In addition, they studied mathematics, science, English, and Arabic.
Master Fard left the community in 1933, leaving Elijah Poole, now the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, as the leader of their organization, the Nation of Islam [NOI]. Although Islam was not taught, tenets of Islam were used to re-educate and re-socialize his adult followers needing such instruction. For Mr. Muhammad said that he was helping them “clean themselves up” and the one who came after him would teach his followers Islam. Over the years, although most of his followers were hardworking people, examples of those whose lives were positively redirected by Mr. Muhammad include such illustrious figures as Brother Malcolm X/El Hajj Malik Shabazz, and the champion boxer, Brother Muhammad Ali.
The members of the NOI continuously financed the schools, which continued to multiply (at one time there were forty-five). On the passing of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad in 1975, Imam Warith Deen Mohammed was ratified unanimously by the community as the leader. He promptly introduced Mohammed the Prophet [PBUH] as his leader, in addition to highlighting the Qur’anic Scriptures, for several million of his followers, bringing all to traditional Al Islam. Moreover, he renamed the schools after their founder, his mother, Sister Clara Muhammad, who had passed two years earlier in 1973.
From the initial opening of the school, comprehending the importance of “doing for self” resulted in the Believers making great sacrifices to support quality education for their children because African Americans, in general, have never had the opportunity to amass any resources of wealth of America offered to others. For instance, the enslaved African Americans – property of others, themselves - could not receive any of the land given to European and European Americans to homestead during the early years of the country. Thus, they have never received privileges that assisted other ethnic groups in attaining a certain quality of life. When the UOI Schools were opening some sixty years after slavery officially ended, the federal government had already sanctioned legal segregation between European Americans and African Americans. At that time, African Americans were still unable to benefit in the various programs available to the Europeans immigrating to the United States in search of better lives. Since the beginning of the 1900s, according to Khalil Gibran Muhammad, Harvard professor and author of The Condemnation of Blackness, the mother of social welfare, Jane Addams had been on a mission to humanize and to assimilate the Europeans immigrating to the U.S.A. while concurrently, Frederick Hoffman was publishing the statistics of crimes committed only by African Americans, even though various organized groups of Europeans, including immigrants, had organized mafias to commit crimes that included exploiting their own ethnic groups, many of which still exist today.
Despite the dysfunction from various aspects of ex-slave culture and despite the interpersonal and systemic racism currently in existence, African Americans have continuously developed some of the strongest faith-based programs through the Black Church, the varied religious Temples, the Muslim Mosques – all of which function, in reality, as Social Welfare agencies, as well. President George W. Bush attributed the Black Church, for example, as assisting him with substance problems several years before he became president. The Autobiography of Malcolm X attests to the positive community work of the Muslims.
Relative to education, the Sister Clara Muhammad Elementary and W. D. Mohammed High Schools are excellent illustrations, with such graduates as Imam W.D. Mohammed; Brother Ozier Muhammad, the New York Times Pulitzer Prize winning photojournalist; the Honorable Fatima El Amin, family court judge in the City of Atlanta; Dr. Fatima Fanusie, scholar and so forth. These schools survived for eighty-five years being supported primarily as a result of the sacrifices of the followers of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad and later, Imam Warith Deen Mohammed. However, because of the continuously rising costs of quality education in these United States and globally, our Schools have a great need for your financial support in order to continue to provide an exceptional education for the students.
Post Office Box 170
New Milford, New Jersey, 07646
United States of America
• Atlanta, Georgia
*with an affiliate in Bangladesh
• Corona-Queens, New York
• Hamilton, Bermuda
• Little Rock, Arkansas
• Miami, Florida
• Nashville, Tennessee
• New Medinah, Mississippi
Schools Opening Soon:
• Compton, California
• Detroit, Michigan
• St. Louis, Missouri