Former gang leader Rafiq from the Altgeld Gardens segregated housing project once said:
“If it hadn’t been for Islam, man, I’d probably be dead. Just had a negative attitude, you understand. Growing up in Altgeld, I’d soaked up all the poison the white man feeds us.”
His words tell two important facts. Altgeld Gardens is a poisonous environment due to a history of racism. Secondly, Islam continues to save countless Black lives.
The Black Dawah Network is targeting Altgeld Gardens with our next community outreach. Invest in the future of Islam in the Black community. Your financial support is needed to reach as many people as possible. Whether $5, $10 or $20 no donation is too small, you can impact the life of someone through dawah.
You can donate by clicking here.
History of Altgeld Gardens
Altgeld Gardens is also known as ‘the Gardens’ or ‘the G,’ and the alligator garden. Every name has a background and a history. It was built in the 1940s as a segregated housing unit for Black veterans of World War II. Originally developed by the Department of Housing and Urban Development it was later transferred to the Chicago Housing Authority. The construction resembled that of a military camp. Sadly, there is another infamous name for the Altgeld Gardens, Toxic Doughnut. City planners placed this segregated housing unit near the least desirable and environmentally toxic place in Chicago and the presence of the steel industry ensured the environment remained unhealthy. Factories dumped their waste into the water.
Professors of the Medical University of South Caroline explain:
“Surrounded by landfills, and toxic and hazardous facilities, Altgeld Gardens is located in a toxic doughnut”
The need for Dawah in Altgeld Garden Housing Projects
Altgeld Gardens is an oppressed community that has suffered from an epidemic of gang violence. Many of our Black brothers have been lured into gangs and manipulated by the white power structure into fighting one another
Murdered teenage rapper Lil Jojo tweeted his location on the South Side street where he was killed just hours before he was gunned down in a hail of bullets Tuesday night, the Chicago Sun-Times has learned. JoJo — whose real name was Joseph Coleman — had been feuding with rival rappers Lil Reese, Lil Durk and Chief Keef as well as with the Black Disciple street gang for months before he was fatally shot at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday near 69th. On a YouTube account purporting to belong to Coleman, a video of the rapper and other teens brandishing automatic weapons was posted on May 25. Coleman may have tempted fate, taunting the 300 factions of the Black Disciples gang. “These niggas claim 300 but we BDK,” Coleman raps repeatedly in the video. BDK is street slang for “Black Disciple Killers. “I want justice for my son,” the stunned mother said as mourners gathered at her Altgeld Gardens public housing complex rowhouse Wednesday night. “It’s a stupid and senseless killing.”
It is for this reason, the Black Dawah Network will be going to Altgelds Garden to speak to 100 Black brothers and sisters about Islam, providing those who are interested in learning more about Islam with a free copy of the Qu’ran and the autobiography of Malcolm X.
We want to provide a breath of fresh air in such a toxic environment. We believe this community can benefit immensely from the Dawah efforts to learn about Islam and seek inspiration from the tales of early Muslims as well as from the great Muslim: Malcolm X. Indeed the teachings and tale of Malcolm X remain the most potent means of countering the white man’s racism. Professor Shareef Muhammad explains our mission.
“The inner-city housing projects is an extension of U.S. colonialism. They are veritable negro reservations where blackness is subjected to social death. Islam enables black people to redefine their existence by seeing themselves as part of an international Ummah thereby transcending class and caste.”
The Black Dawah Network desires to promote the virtues and values of Islam to morally and ethically uplift desolated inner-city Black communities impacted by the institutional racism that started in the shape of chattel slavery and remained in practice mainly through the legacy of Jim Crow, redlining, and other manifestations of institional racism. The Black communities of Altgeld Gardens are suffering from deplorable living conditions, environmental hazards and above all sheer poverty.
The Black Dawah Network drives inspiration from the life and work of Malcolm X and above all aims and desires to follow the tradition of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (SAW). The idea is to work towards empowering the Black community of Altgeld Gardens with the message of Islam.
We ask the believers to make dua that our dawah event is a success.