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Remembering The Word, 1st Newspaper Of The Nation Of Gods And Earths

Remembering The Word, 1st Newspaper Of The Nation Of Gods And Earths

word

Images from Starmel Allah's first book, "The Righteous Way." 

Founded in 1964 in Harlem, New York City, by former Nation of Islam member Clarence 13X, the Five-Percent Nation, sometimes referred to as the Nation of Gods and Earths or the Five Percenters, also had its own newspaper called The Word. It was the first publication put out by the organization.

According to the Nation of Gods and Earths, Black people are the original people of the planet Earth and are, therefore, the fathers (“Gods”) and mothers (“Earths”) of civilization. Members of the Five Percent Nation are also taught a Supreme Mathematics and Supreme Alphabet, which are a set of principles created by Allah the Father (Clarence 13X. These tenets are believed to be the key to understanding humankind’s relationship to the universe. The Word newspaper reflected these beliefs as well as covering news and social topics.

Author Starmel Allah’s book “The Righteous Way” delves into the history of The Word, whose core editorial staff included Beloved Allah, Allah Supreme, Man God Allah Mind, and Allah Born. “The Righteous Way” is part of a trilogy of books about the Five Percent Nation.

“We were the ones up late at night sometimes as late as 4am, re-editing, laying out, designing the next edition,” Allah Born is recalled saying in “The Righteous Way.”

He added, “We were the ones conducting the research, sitting in weekly Saturday morning editorial meetings to make sure the next paper would be right and exact.”

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As far as the mission of The Word, Allah Born said, “The Word in the first place, that almost from the outset, it was what would be the content of The Word, and the emphasis The Word. And we had exchanged ideas and brainstormed our mission. And from the brainstorming, we came up with What We Teach and What Will Achieve. And we set forth that for the mission of the paper, but it was really for the mission of the Nation. So we were speaking for the Nation and it came out pretty well.”

The Word was first published in 1987 and it “really put us on the map in a professional way,” noted Allah Born. “As the marketing director of the paper I would sit down and type out letters on my Old Earths old school IBM typewriter and mail to various bookstores and other prospective literary hosts for our paper. And it wasn’t long before I had established several locations around the country who were willing to carry The Word.”

Nation of Islam leader Minister Louis Farrakhan even had a subscription.

The newspaper grew so much, so fast Allah Born noted it was difficult for just four people to handle.

“We petitioned the Gods and Earths to help us handle the weight of the publication; because it had grown more than four brothers could handle,” he is quoted as saying.

But by 1989, The Word was defunct; the organization also had another publication called The Five Percenter.

Images from Starmel Allah’s first book, “The Righteous Way,” https://www.amazon.com/Righteous-Way-Infinity-Trilogy/dp/0692036385