Dar Al Hijrah Islamic Center Community Outreach

April 16, is Emancipation day in the District. It celebrates the day in 1862 when 3,100 enslaved individuals in the District of Columbia were emancipated, including slaves who lived and worked in our community. This occurred nine months before Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation. The District emancipation involved compensating the slave owners – at a total cost of $1 million. It stands as the only emancipation with compensation in the United States. Four years later, after the Civil War ended and after the 1865 ratification of the 13th Amendment to the Constitution officially abolishing slavery nationwide – slaves were freed without compensation to their owners.

The Emancipation Day celebration was held yearly in the District from 1866 to 1901 with a parade. Organized by the black elite of the city, the parades began in 1866 as a demonstration of African American pride and political strength. School children often took a day off in order to watch all the black civic organizations and clubs march in the parade. Militia groups and Civil War veterans marched in full regalia with slogans on banners that called for liberty and equality for all citizens.1 Rain or shine the emancipation parades went on, all throughout the city in stark contrast to the black codes of the antebellum era, which restricted African American movements. Where slave coffles had once passed, free African Americans now marched openly rejoicing their new status as citizens.

In close proximity to the White House, where many of the domestic staff had been enslaved, witnessing scores of free African Americans in elaborate civilian or military dress was an evocative image. Presidential approval helped make the parades a success and acknowledged African-Americans had the right to assemble in Lafayette Square as free people. Presidents Ulysses S. Grant and Andrew Johnson particularly enjoyed the tributes to Lincoln and the Republican Party as emancipators. Presidents usually reviewed at least one of the parades during their administration.

The city revived the parades in 2002 as a result of the research, lobbying and leadership of Ms. Loretta Carter-Hanes. She started her quest to bring back the parades in the early 1980s. She scoured the archives for any and all information about emancipation day and the parades. Starting in 1991, Hanes organized events that would commit the day to public memory. Eventually, Emancipation Day was made an official public holiday in the District of Columbia in 2005. Each year, District residents again celebrate the end of slavery in Washington, D.C.

Among those compensated for their slaves were John Adlum’s heirs. He was the founder of the Springland Farm. In order to secure compensation, they had to pledge loyalty to the Union and would then received up to $300 per freed slaves. (The DC emancipation act also appropriated $100,000 “to aid in the colonization and settlement of such free persons of African descent now residing in said District … as may desire to emigrate to the Republics of Haiti or Liberia, or such other country beyond the limits of the United States as the President may determine.”) This compensation process, plus Adlum family wills where their “property” is listed, gives us precise records of the slaves that lived and labored on the Springland Farm for the Adlum family.

Today is a day to honor these men and women and their children who toiled on the land where we live.

Thanks.

Chuck Ludlam

Chuck Ludlam and Paula Hirschoff live in the UDC area. Thanks, Chuck!

Frank P. Esposito

Administrative Support Specialist

202-633-4633

espositof@si.edu

africa.si.edu

Mailing Address:

P.O. Box 37012

National Museum of African Art 0708

Washington, DC 20013-7012

He was known to wear a large hat that made him look like a scarecrow. His scruffy overgrown salt-and-pepper beard resembled Dumbledoor from Harry Potter. He was an older Iranian immigrant with an accent like a foriegn-born university professor. His large frame cast a giant shadow and his commanding deep voice made some feel frightened. Yet, he always had a pleasant demeanor except when arguing for justice.

On Tuesday, after the night prayers were concluded he was found lying dead by a park bench in front of the mosque. He had passed away during the prayer service. We had lost one of the most regular members of our community.

He was an ever present personality. The kind of talkative eccentric that when you see him coming you kind of hope he won’t try to engage you in some esoteric conversation that will invariably last too long. He often rode a bicycle to the mosque, when he had one. He would deliver bread and fruits from neighborhood shops to make them available to members of the community. He was always present and controversially outspoken at town-hall and community meetings and the community leadership always allowed him to have a voice, even though often times his statements did not make sense in the context of our gatherings.

He was a voracious reader and regular user of the public library. He would often come to me talk about articles which he had read on the internet regarding a wide array of social and political issues.

He was a real germophobe, always concerned about physical contact. He would never pray side-by-side with the congregation and never shake hands. He would always greet me by bumping our forearms.

I found it strange that vehemently criticized the mosque for sheltering homeless people of all faiths in the mosque during the winter months. Although, he was poor we never found him begging or asking for charity.

You see, I believe he was chronically homeless and was probably battling some type of psychological or emotional disorder. He was one of those people who refused to be institutionalized (homeless shelter) even for his benefit or to seek treatment. He tried to find a spiritual home at a number of centers in our region but was not welcomed (or tolerated) until he came to Dar Al-Hijrah in Falls Church, Virginia. Perhaps because of the cultural atmosphere of Virginia and with the resources of Fairfax county he was able to make a life for himself.

After his death the authorities tried to find his next of kin. Finally, they released body to the masjid. He had no other family besides us and although he had no assets when it came time to pay for his burial expenses his mosque family came together and in a matter of minutes raised thousands of dollars for his burial. He was the most well-known and loved homeless person in our community.

Undoubtably he was an ever present part of us. May God have mercy on him and grant the finest home in the highest places in paradise. Those of us who God has given another day need to recommit ourselves faithfully to fight to end homelessness and to provide mental health services to all.

Imam Johari Abdul-Malik
Dar Al-Hijrah Islamic Center
Falls Church, VA

Originally posted on Dar Al Hijrah Islamic Center Community Outreach:

On behalf of the Muslim community in the greater Washington area we extend our sincere condolences to the families of those who have lost loved ones or who were injured in this most recent gun rampage in the Nation’s capital.

Below you will find an invitation to attend our annual program of peace in conjunction with the United Nation’s International Day of Peace, a day that is recognized throughout the world. Thank you for joining us in this program on Saturday morning. We will begin at 10:00 a.m. with light refreshments and fellowship after the program, a time in which we will ask that you share your thoughts on this question – How can we better educate our communities to live in peace? For those of you who need an ending time, definitely we should be finished everything by noon.

Thank you for sharing the invitation below and attached with…

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On behalf of the Muslim community in the greater Washington area we extend our sincere condolences to the families of those who have lost loved ones or who were injured in this most recent gun rampage in the Nation’s capital.

Below you will find an invitation to attend our annual program of peace in conjunction with the United Nation’s International Day of Peace, a day that is recognized throughout the world. Thank you for joining us in this program on Saturday morning. We will begin at 10:00 a.m. with light refreshments and fellowship after the program, a time in which we will ask that you share your thoughts on this question – How can we better educate our communities to live in peace? For those of you who need an ending time, definitely we should be finished everything by noon.

Thank you for sharing the invitation below and attached with your friends, family, acquaintances. Looking forward to seeing you on Saturday for a peace-full day.

Heeding God’s Call of Greater Washington, a grass roots, multi-faith organization which has as its purpose to end gun violence, partners with Faith Presbyterian Church to present a program of peace in conjunction with the UN’s International Day of Peace, which is celebrated throughout the world. Using the theme set forth by the UN, Education for Peace, members of HGCGW and Faith PC invite all to attend the program:

Saturday, September 21, 2013, 10:00 a.m. until noon
Faith Presbyterian Church
4161 South Capitol Street SW
Washington, D. C. 20012

The keynote speaker, Nardyne Jefferies, will share with all present her thoughts and feelings about how the death of her 16-year-old daughter in a 2010 drive-by shooting not far from the church has affected her and how it has called her to ACT. The Step Team from Matthews Memorial Baptist Church will help all learn how to “step into peace.” A representative of the Metropolitan Police Department will share information on crimes in the District related to guns. All people in the Metro area who lost their lives due to gun violence so far during 2013 will be memorialized by audience participation. Two of the speakers will share Words of Peace in Spanish and in English. There will be singing of hymns and prayers representative of the diversity encouraged by HGCGW. Light refreshments will follow the program during which time continued opportunities for fellowship and sharing will focus on the question, “How can we better educate our communities to live in peace?”

For those of you unfamiliar with the location of the church, coming from VA or MD, you probably would want to use the 495 Beltway and exit Indian Head Hwy North. Indian Head Hwy turns into South Capitol Street as you cross into DC. The church is not even two miles north of the Beltway exit and is on the left on the corner of South Capitol and Chesapeake Street. Watch out for the speed limit signs. For those of you coming from DC, find South Capitol Street and just follow it until you reach the church on the right at the corner of South Capitol and Chesapeake. Parking is available at the church. For more information, contact heedinggodscalldc@gmail.com.

Celebrate the 25th Anniversary Celebration of Tikkun Magazine

and the new Greater Washington, DC Chapter of

Tonight! Monday, March 14th
7:00pm
Free
Be inspired by such Progressive Voices as: Rabbi Michael Lerner (via video from California) Rev. Graylan S. Hagler, Plymouth Congregational Church (UCC) Imam Johari Abdul Malik, Dar Al-Hijrah Islamic Center and Medea Benjamin, CODEPINK and Global Exchange. Specially Invited Guest and Honoree: Congressman Keith Ellison *First US Muslim Congressman (D-MN).
RSVP requested to James Lee nspwashingtondc@gmail.com
14th & V St, NW
Metro: U St

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