M A R I E T T A, Ga., Feb. 17, 2001 -- Khalid Abdul Muhammad, a black militantknown for his harsh rhetoric about Jews and whites, died this morning, according to a spokesman for the New Black Panther Party.
"Minister and Dr. Khalid Abdul Muhammad had made his transitionto the ancestors," Malik Zulu Shabazz said at a news conferenceoutside Wellstar Kennestone Hospital, where Muhammad was takenearlier this week.
He declined to reveal how the 53-year-old Muhammad died, sayingonly that it was of "very serious and natural causes." The leaderhad shown no prior signs of illness, Shabazz said.
He was surrounded by Muhammad's family and eight party memberswearing black uniforms, combat boots and berets. They chanted"Long live Khalid Muhammad!" and "Black Power!"
‘Hearts Are Aching’
"Our hearts are aching. We are sad but at the same time we arehappy because we know that his place is secure," Shabazz said.
Hospital officials were not immediately available for comment. Muhammad attended Dillard University in New Orleans, in the late1960s. It was there that he became interested in the blackliberation movement after hearing Louis Farrakhan speak. Muhammad was named one of Farrakhan's top lieutenants in theNation of Islam in 1981. He served at Nation of Islam mosques inNew York and Atlanta throughout the decade, and in 1991 becameFarrakhan's personal assistant.
It was Farrakhan who gave him the name Khalid — meaning warrior— but he was born Harold Moore Jr. in 1948.
Racial, Religious Controversies
In his own public speaking engagements, Muhammad quickly becameknown for his virulent attacks on Jews, homosexuals and whites. Hewas ousted by Farrakhan after a 1993 speech during which hereferred to Jews as "bloodsuckers" and urged mob murder of whiteSouth Africans.
In April 1994, before a cheering audience of about 2,000,Muhammad denounced Jews as "honkies."
"I am going to be like a pit bull. That is the way I am goingto be against the Jews. I am going to bite the tail of thehonkies," Muhammad said.
He remained unrepentant about his rhetoric.
"I was born to give the white man hell, and I will give himhell from the cradle to the grave," he told an Atlanta crowd in1995.
Members of the New Black Panther Party, who call themselvesanti-capitalist, believe in socialism and nationalism among blacks.The organization has chapters in Dallas, Atlanta, South Carolina,New Jersey, New York, West Virginia and Philadelphia.
Muhammad led the "Million Youth March" in New York City in1998. The rally, attended by about 6,000 people, ended in a clashbetween police and marchers. Dozens were injured.
He organized a second and third "Million Youth March," but themost recent one drew a crowds of about 100, police said. Muhammadblamed the "devil white media" and city officials for the lowturnout.