12.16.2010

Taking On A “Mooz-lum” Name


Have you heard about this film coming out February 2011 titled Mooz-lum?

I had an opportunity to watch the trailer.

“Amid a strict Muslim rearing and a social life he's never had, Tariq enters college confused. New peers, family and mentors help him find his place, but the 9-11 attacks force him to face his past and make the biggest decisions of his life,” reads the official website for the movie.

After watching the trailer, I was taken back to the moment I decided to go forward with legally changing my last name as a student at Prairie View A&M University.

As a member of the Nation of Islam, we’re taught that names like Stone, Rock, White, Washington, Johnson, Anderson, and others are not our original names as Black people. Rather they are the last names of our former slave-masters imposed upon us when we were brought here to be made slaves. If “massa’s” last name was Jones, we carried that same name while picking cotton. It symbolized we were his property.

It was in the NOI that I learned why Malcolm Little became Malcolm X. The “X” represents the unknown in mathematics. This country even refers to the upcoming holiday Christmas as X-mas because in truth nobody knew when Jesus of 2,000 years ago was really born.

As Black people, our true identity was stripped from us and we were robbed of a thorough knowledge of our origin as mothers and fathers of civilization. We didn’t know that we were brought in the holes of ships bearing Muslim names.

After I joined the NOI, I desired to change my name fully after being blessed with the name Muhammad. My name was Jesse Jackson, which brought a lot of attention, but I knew that the name Muhammad would bring a different kind of attention.

On March 31, 2000, I stood before White female Judge Jackson in Waller County to petition to have my last name changed.

[Click Read the full article on my HoustonBelief.com blog for The Houston Chronicle]


(You're welcome to follow Brother Jesse Muhammad on Twitter, "LIKE" his Facebook page, or visit his award-winning site Brother Jesse Blog)