For 21 years, Munir Muhammad was the host of several Chicago-based, self-produced TV shows on the broadcast arm of his Coalition for the Remembrance of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad. For his show, Muhammad interviewed a wide range of notables, from then-U.S. Sen. Barack Obama to Nation of Islam Minister Louis Farrakhan.
Muhammad’s final show was July 7, 2019. He died on July 9 of a heart attack. He was 69 years old.
“As the host of several self-produced TV shows on the broadcast arm of his Coalition for the Remembrance of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, or CROE, Munir Muhammad conducted more than 8,000 lengthy interviews over the last 21 years, broadcast all over the world,” The Chicago Sun-Times reported.
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“Muhammad served as the executive producer for C.R.O.E. TV. He also hosted several television programs, including ‘The Munir Muhammad Show’ and ‘Muhammad and Friends,’ in addition to radio programs ‘Political Talk’ and ‘The Muhammad Speaks Radio Show,’” The History Makers reported.
Muhammad, who served on the Illinois Human Rights Commission, and was also appointed to the Cook County Board of Corrections in 2004, saw himself as an archivist — not a journalist.
“It was more like a quest for information,” said his son Jamil Muhammad. “There were lots of stories that didn’t make it to the mainstream media, and he wanted to tell them. It was one of the ways he showed his love for the community.”
Munir Muhammad was born in Birmingham, Alabama, in 1950. He moved to Chicago soon after the assassination of Rev. Martin Luther King. He took a job at DeMert & Dougherty, a hair care products and personal grooming company. He later worked as an assistant code enforcer for the city of Chicago. Things changed in 1972 when Muhammad began to hear to the teachings of Nation of Islam founder Elijah Muhammad, and at the age of 22, he became a member of the Nation of Islam. He went on to serve as an assistant minister to Farrakhan on the city’s West Side.
In 1987, Muhammad co-founded C.R.O.E. — a group separate from Farrakhan’s Nation of Islam — along with Halif Muhammad and Shahid Muslim.
“It started as a small organization that met at his home on the South Side but grew into a building…that housed historical artifacts of Elijah Muhammad and a television studio that soon began broadcasting the show ‘Muhammad and Friends,’” The Chicago Sun-Times reported.
Following Muhammad’s death, his son, who was also his co-host, continued the show. “My father was extraordinarily committed to the defense of the legacy of Elijah Muhammad, committed to his family, friends and community. Now I’m committed to keeping the show going and honoring his legacy. It’s what he would have wanted.”