Many people may have heard of the “Five Percenters” or the teachings that stem from this cultural phenomenon born in the ghettos of America, but there are very few who are familiar with the origins of the 5% Nation(also known as the Nation Of Gods and Earths) or that of the founder of the Five Percent, who is best known as Allah. Of all of the religious and nationalist movements of the revolutionary 1960s, his story is always left out of Black History Month recognition, even though Allah met the same treacherous fate as many of the Black leaders of that era.

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Born on this date in 1928, the man known as Allah was born Clarence Edward Smith to Louis and Mary Smith in Danville, Virginia. He moved to Harlem, New York as a young adult and it was from there that he began his lifelong journey in establishing a legacy of pride, righteousness and all-inclusivity among the youth that has expanded all over the globe.

In commemoration of Black History Month, brings you seven facts about Allah and what his 5% Nation has brought to the Black, Latino, Asian and white youth in the United States and around the world.

  1. Allah fought in the Korean War; won several medals including the Silver Star and Purple Heart.
  2. He was a member of Nation Of Islam’s Temple No. 7 under Minister Malcolm X, however, left the NOI in 1963 shortly before Malcolm’s departure.
  3. Allah was given the “Street Academy” at 2122 7th Avenue(now known as Allah School In Mecca) by NYC Mayor John Lindsay in 1967.
  4. Allah was proficient at martial arts, which he learned in Korea and was an instructor to the members of NOI security, Fruit Of Islam.
  5. Allah was not anti-white and taught white 5%ers, including Mayor Lindsay’s assistant Barry Gotterher.
  6. Allah was killed by unknown assailants on June 13, 1969, however, it was revealed in a document de-classified by the FBI in 1981 that he was a target of J.Edgar Hoover‘s COINTELPRO initiative aimed at Black leaders.
  7. The message of the 5% is not a thing of Hip Hop’s past. Artists such as Los Angeles’ Born Allah, Divine of dead prez‘s RBG crew and Freequan Johnson aka Ockey Bama who carry on Allah’s tradition through their music.