2001 Article from Chicago’s Community News Project (Funded by Woods Fund) Mentions Obama under “Organizing and Islam” Section

Tonight in a thread at No Quarter I spotted this comment:

Comment by Cooper | 2008-10-14 17:59:54

Can somebody tell my WHY this text

“Barack Obama, 773-684-4809, whose work to empower blacks has included his law practice, community organizing, philanthropy and most recently electoral politics: he is a candidate for state senate”

would appear under THIS headline??

“ORGANIZING AND ISLAM”

http://web.archive.org/web/20010723055650/www.newstips.org/blackchicago.html

After seeing this I decided to snoop around myself.  If you follow the link you will arrive at the site of the “Community News Project of the Community Media Workshop.” Guess who funds this publication/workshop?  Foundations like the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Joyce Foundation, and…..The Woods Fund of Chicago. Yes, THAT Woods Fund…

The article in question, which dates from 2001, is:

For African-Americans, struggle and some gains

Eighty years after the Great Migration from the South end nearly a decade after the 1987 death of Chicago’s first black mayor, Chicago’s African-American community is moving in many directions, separated by class and political division.

(SNIP)

Scroll down see this passage down near the end of the page….(they could have used a proof reader…)

ORGANIZING AND ISLAM

Organizing in neighborhoods has taken two paths that reflect historic dichotomy between integrationist and nationalist strategies. Many top conununity leaders collaborate on urban issues through city’s grasgroots network, forging multi-racial coalitions, while others take black nationalist approach, looking only within the African-American community for leadership and resources.

In first category are Ani Russell of community policing network, 312-461-0444; Jacky Grimshaw, former strategist for Harold Washington now working an community transportation issues; 773-278-4800, ext. 133; and Barack Obama, 773-684-4809, whose work to empower blacks has included his law practice, community organizing, philanthropy and most recently electoral politics: he is a candidate for state senate. A quiet leader with broad vision of empowerment and redevelopment in the Grand Boulevard neighborhood is Sokoni Karanja, 773-373-5700, whose nonprofit Centers for New Horizons provides social services, youth programs, education and child care.

Chicago is national center of black nationalist thought and organization. Head of the nation’s largest secular black-nationalist organization, the National Black United Front, Conrad Worrill, 773-268-5658, is a professor at Northeastern Illinois University’s Center for Inner City Studies and was prominent speaker at last year’s Million Man Man March. Another Northeastern professor, Robert Starks, 773-268-7500, heads local Task Force for Political Empowerment, along with Worrill was major organizer in Harold Washington campaigns. Radio commentator and former newspaper columnist and publisher, Lu Palmer, 773-624-0242, holds forth two nights a week on a WVON-1450AM political talk show. He founded the Black Independent Political Orgization and Chicago Black United Communities. Eddie Read, 773-663-0704, is president of both organizations mentioned above; CBUC members have shut down construction sites where blacks don’t get fair share of jobs. Salim Muwakkil, 773-643-3730, is senior editor of In These Times and contributing columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times. He has done extensive coverage of black activism and the black nationalist movement.

Chicago is home base for African-American Muslim organizations. Muslims have been visible forces for organizing and stability in many neighborhoods, only some of them aligned with controversial leader Louis Farrakhan and his Nation of Islam. Organizer Kublai Toure, 773-538-7217, is a member of Jim Brown’s Amer-I-Can youth organization, with projects ranging from helping arrange gang traces to trips to Chicago Cubs baseball Sitines for public housing youth. Mikail Bilal, 773-721-6588, is chek of the Muslim addiction-prevention group Millati Wami, with twice-weekly meetings on South Drexel St. for recovering substance abusers. Abdul Rashid Akbar is the Muslim chaplin at Cook County jail, 773-721-6588, where many incarcerated African-Americans convert to Islam. The Nation of Islam’s contact point for the media and editor-chief of The Final Call newspaper is James Muhammad, 773-602-1230. Ayesha Mustafaa reports on the larger Muslim community as editor of The Muslim Journal, 312-243-7600.

I’m a bit unclear about the sentence that says Obama “is a candidate for state senate.”  In 2001 Obama was already in the IL Senate, having started his first of three terms in 1997 (ending last term in 2004.)  Perhaps the article was trying to say that he was running for another term…

What does it mean?  Well, at the very least, Obama may have chose to organize among Muslims apparently rather than other groups within the black community.  At least that’s what I take away from it…

Also, this tidbit under the section titled “Community Life”…

COMMUNITY LIFE

Segregated physically and emotionally from other Chicagoans, blacks created institutions as backbones of community life. From early migrant support groups and churches grew political and cultural organizations, plus a musical tradition so powerful that Langston Hughes – describing the South State Street “Stroll” in 1918 – proclaimed that ff you held a trumpet up at night it would play itself, such was the activity at the jazz clubs.

Many churches have played dual role of spiritual anchor and center of activism. Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Trinity Church, 773-962-5650, is active on Southern Africa struggles, supports linking local and international issues.

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10 Responses

  1. Organizing in neighborhoods has taken two paths that reflect historic dichotomy between integrationist and nationalist strategies. Many top community leaders collaborate on urban issues through city’s grasgroots network, forging multi-racial coalitions, while others take black nationalist approach, looking only within the African-American community for leadership and resources.

    In first category are … Barack Obama. [THE FIRST CATEGORY — THE COMMUNITY LEADERS that COLLABORATE ON URBAN ISSUES THROUGH THE CITY’S GRASSROOTS NETWORK, FORGING MULTIRACIAL COALITIONS].
    These are the Integrationists …

    the second part is referring to the OTHER group — the Nationalists, which included some of the Black Muslims referenced — which was not at all referencing where Obama was aligned. I don’t want to even say this in a way to give legitimacy to this equating Muslim with something so terrible, but if someone’s trying to make a point, try to read.

  2. Oh just frak me. Everytime I think that maybe, just maybe I might see the end of the tunnel of an article I am writing – somebody leaves another post or comment leading to ANOTHER STRAND in the spiderweb! thanks, really, I need a shot now….

    AAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I thought just maybe this would one article and now it’s turning into the blob!

  3. GRL,

    This becomes even more interesting when coupled with a phone call that Michelle Obama apparently made last night to African Press International:

    On Farakhan and his ministry, Mrs Obama told API that it was unfortunate that Mr Farakhan came out the way he did supporting her husband openly before the elections was over. That was not wholehearted support but one that was calculated to convince the American people that my husband will support the growth of muslim faith if he became the president, adding “even if my husband was able to prove that he is not a Muslim, he will not be believed by those who have come out strongly to destroy his chances of being the next President. Do real people expect someone to deny a religion when 80 percent of his relatives are Muslims?; Mrs Obama asked.

    Things that make you go, “Hmmmm”.

    http://africanpress.wordpress.com/2008/10/15/shocking-development-mrs-obama-decides-enough-is-enough-my-husband-was-born-in-hawaii-and-adopted-by-his-step-father-does-that-make-him-unpatriotic-she-asks-on-a-direct-telephone-to-api/

  4. TheReal Barack Obama blog 2008/09/17 shows the relationship between Karanja and OBama – (involved Ayers as well and the Annenberg money.

  5. Lori V. — Well, if Obama isn’t in the “black nationalist” group, looking only within the African-American community for resources/leadership, where is he? (Aside–Sitting in the Wright church wasn’t involvement in “black nationalism?) So where are the Muslims? One part of the community, I take it.
    Frankly, it seems to me that the distinction may be arbitrary when it comes to Obama, who may have had his fingers in both pies…(I’ve now included the formerly “snipped” paragraph in the section, which talks about black nationalism and comes before the last paragraph on the African-American Muslim organizations.)

    It is just an interesting factoid that apparently Obama, even as he was ostensibly in the “first group”–building broad coalitions–is discussed under a section called “Organizing and Islam” which indicates/implies that his some of his work encompassed Muslim groups.

    Granted, the people who put this newsletter together seemed to have difficulties writing clearly…but that was what the section was about and one has to assume that they wouldn’t put Obama’s name in there unless there were a reason.

    Grail–yes, I saw this piece about Michelle’s chat with API…which is affiliated with an NGO..Did a search on Rainbow, but couldn’t come up with anything at first glance about what all their ties are…And, if you read my prior post about Ayers’ book and the Obama mention, Farrakhan is mentioned as neighbor of both — in a big mansion….

  6. I am sure that HRC had him researched thoroughly.
    I can bet that there is an Obama file as big as an old encyclopedia.
    Why dosen’t she save us from this sham of a man?
    Dosen’t she realize that there are millions of us, PUMA etc that will not go along with the party line?
    She would gain so much respect if she stepped away from the disgraced DNC.
    Bill went up a million points in my eyes by not stumping for that one.

    God help us if those progressives took over all 3 houses of govt.

    Back on Topic, I have no problem with Muslims, I do have a probem with liars and radicals/extremists like
    suicide bombers. Is BHO the ultimate one?

  7. I’m on the same page with you, Michaelene…I think she is damaging her much fought-for credibility…

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