There are many kinds of people in the world. We experience them as we go about our lives during the typical day to day. However, when we come across a special human being, we immediately know it.
There are unique individuals walking the earth who offer great insight, a mountain of inspiration, and loads of divine wisdom. When you’re done speaking to them, you walk away feeling spirited — like a better version of yourself who can conquer the world.
Brother Jesse Muhammad is one of those unique individuals.
A native born southerner, Brother Jesse brings his warm spirit to every encounter he has. He’s constantly feeding your mind and soul, and has a way about him that appeals to young people trying to make it in the world.
As an accomplished writer, artist, and social media warrior, Brother Jesse shamelessly declares his purpose and his mission. He’s unafraid to tell you that he follows the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan and is ready to defend him with not only his words, but also, his life.
Meet a special individual in the world.
Meet Brother Jesse Muhammad.
The Making of a Warrior
Brother Jesse Muhammad was born and raised in a Christian household in a rough neighborhood of Houston, Texas. He and his family survived dark circumstances that were not unique to many Black families, including the crack epidemic, poverty, domestic violence and more. However, his childhood would serve as a womb to give birth to his great love and service for Black people.
“I knew nothing of the greater universal connectivity or divine destiny of Black people,” Brother Jesse shared. “All I knew was we were trying to survive and so were many where we lived.”
During elementary school, Brother Jesse moved in with his grandmother — away from the neighborhood he was used to. This monumental move would prove to be a great turning point in his journey.
“I got introduced to the world outside of our ‘hood,” Brother Jesse said. “[My grandmother] would take me to local conferences, community meetings and political rallies. It was at those times I would learn about the enormous barriers Black people faced, not only in Houston, but around the country and still do. I would watch my grandmother speak strong about issues, especially when it came to women.”
As he got older, Brother Jesse’s world opened to accommodate a new idea. During middle school, his older brother, Deric Muhammad, introduced him to Islam.
“[He] was introduced to The Teachings of The Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad in the early 1990’s while he was enlisted in the United States Marine Corp,” Brother Jesse said. “When I was in the 8th grade at Fondren Middle School, he would write me letters and would mention that he had started changing his lifestyle—not eating pork, staying away from certain vices and reading a lot of books.”
Brother Jesse knew that whatever his brother had been exposed to was serious business — his brother never used to pick up a book. Something had caused him to change.
When Brother Deric returned to Houston in 1993, he allowed Brother Jesse to hear the Teachings for himself.
“One day while taking me to the gym to workout in preparation for me trying out for the freshman basketball team, he played an audio cassette tape of the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan lecture titled ‘I Accept The Challenge’,” he said. “I was first captivated by the sound of his last name. I said to myself, ‘Farrakhan? What kind of name is that?’ And then I was amazed at how strong he talked against his enemies; White people in particular. I had never heard no Black person talk like that and asked my brother, ‘This man is still living talking like that?’”
That tape eventually became Brother Jesse’s “pre-game meal”. He wore it out — playing it on his Walkman while he practiced.
“So, when I stepped on the basketball court, I was in a Farrakhan state of mind,” he said. “It’s still my favorite message of all-time and I actually know it verbatim. I listened to it so much I wore out the cassette ribbon and had to tape it together.”
From then on, Brother Deric gave his brother more audio tapes, a copy of “Message to the Blackman in America” by The Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad and a small black book titled, “Malcolm X on Afro-American History”.
“The more I studied on my own, the more I hungered to be a member of the Nation of Islam,” Brother Jesse said. “I always shared aspects of The Teachings with my classmates and teammates and everyone was calling me the ‘school preacher’.”
But one, seemingly casual moment would move him along on the path toward Islam. It happened when Brother Jesse, his mother and his younger brother went to drop Brother Deric off at Muhammad Mosque #45 for the Sunday meeting.
“The mosque was located then on Cullen Blvd in 3rd Ward and in those days all of the Fruit of Islam [F.O.I] brothers had to be inspected before entering the mosque,” he said. “So, in that quick moment, I got to behold strong, radiant, unified Black men embracing one another in love and standing together unlike I had ever seen in my life. Where and the way we grew up, we didn’t see images of Black men like that. I said to myself, ‘I want to look like those men’.”
Immediately, Brother Jesse wanted to join, but his mother told him he had to wait till he graduated from high school. During his waiting period, he took that time to devour more of the Teachings of the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad, becoming more and more knowledgeable.
Then, the moment came.
Two days after his high school graduation, he happily joined the ranks of the Nation of Islam as a new, beaming F.O.I. His mother eventually joined as well.
“It was and is the greatest decision of my life to become a registered member and student in the ranks of The Nation of Islam under the Divine Leadership of The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan,” Brother Jesse said.
Unbeknownst to him as a young boy, Brother Jesse said the experiences he and his family were going through made them even more inclined to serve Black people through the Nation of Islam.
“Our struggles shaped our heart in a way that we would, and still be, eager to help the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan continue that Mission and not judge the condition of our people because we too know we came from the worst of conditions as well,” he said. “Allah protected us in our darkest moments. Prayers from whence we knew not saved us and we’re still in the process of being saved even though we have accepted Truth. It’s still a process.”
Making Waves on the College Campus
Brother Jesse went on to integrate Islam on his college campus. He attended Prairie View A&M University (PVAMU), a HBCU. Though his desire at the time was to become a world famous artist, he entered as an electrical engineer major.
“I am so glad I did study electrical engineering because I am coming into the realization that what I gained from it shaped me for a destiny that was/is bigger than working a job in corporate America,” he said.
He started making a difference on his campus early on. In his freshman year, he organized and spoke at a leadership summit. He also re-established a chapter of the Nation of Islam Student Associatiton (NOISA).
“By my junior year, we had more Muslims on campus, and we were blessed to expand our reach and impact just by striving to live what we preached and spread the message of The Teachings of The Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad,” he said.
One day, however, his activism had almost gone too far, in the eyes of the college’s administration.
It was spring 2000, junior year. Then Texas Governor George W. Bush, who has now been dubbed America’s “commander-in-thief” by Brother Jesse, was asked to do PVAMU’s commencement address.
“It upset me that the school president denied our request for years to invite the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan to the campus due to a nationwide ban against him at that time yet they had the audacity to invite the ‘commander-in-thief,’” he said.
He didn’t take that sitting down. He decided to lead a protest against Bush, and he wrote a column in the Panther Newspaper calling graduates to turn their backs on Bush when he spoke.
“It got so hot that family members who were not allowed to enter due to secret service limiting the number of attendees, started banging on the windows yelling ‘Bush go home! Bush go home!’ It was beautiful,” he said.
The events of that day led him to almost being kicked out of PVAMU. Almost. He was able to live to see his senior year, where he started to see that electrical engineering wasn’t quite working out for him.
After September 11 caused the job market to plummet, he saw himself working as a teacher then later, getting unjustly fired after working for 30 days at an engineering software company.
The company manager told him, “I hired you not just because of your skills. I hired you because I felt you brought something special from within you that this environment needed. But there are some people who are born to sit behind a cubicle and there are some people who are born to do something greater and help people. You’re not born to sit behind a cubicle.”
He now knows that was Allah speaking through her.
Writing: The Venture Behind the Cubicle
Brother Jesse’s hunger for more led him to writing.
It’s not that he wasn’t acquainted with his way with words.
“Growing up, I have always had a love affair with words. In fact, my mother and I stayed competing in Scrabble,” he said. “Who has the most wins between us is still up for debate! (Laughs) In middle and high school, I was known for having a way with words, and my classmates would actually pay me to ghost write Valentine’s Day cards for their girlfriends.”
Later on in college, after speaking at the leadership summit he organized, his art professor told him, “Young brother, your delivery is poetic.”
“She encouraged me to start writing poetry and gave me my first poetry book, which I still have now,” Brother Jesse said.
It wasn’t until he was out of college that those brief run-ins with writing became something more.
Three years out, in 2004, he started writing for the Final Call Newspaper. He was tired of seeing Chicago continuously highlighted and felt that there were events in the Southwest Region of the Nation that were worthy of being covered.
“I love my Nation, so I wasn’t, as they say, set trippin’. But I took pride in my city and region, and I just desired for our Nation to see the accomplishments of fellow Muslims,” he said. “To my surprise, Sister Dora (then editor-in-chief) called me and agreed. Then, she challenged me to write the stories and send them in. I told her, ‘What?…uhmmm, I didn’t say I wanted to write them. You have writers already, right?’
“Basically, I got scared and that was a lesson for me. Many times, we bring ideas to the table yet don’t want to accept the responsibility to ensure that the idea is executed. If Allah places it on your heart, He may also desire you be the one to make sure it follows through.”
So he accepted her invitation and started submitting weekly articles of 500-700 words for the “Accomplishments of the Muslims” section.
“I was humbled that I was being given the opportunity to write for the newspaper that I fell in love with in 1993,” he said. “I loved that paper so much that I would read it from cover to cover every week and could tell you what person took the photos on page so and so. And here I was being given the honor by the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan to write for the paper that he and his family sacrificed to establish in 1979. Oh Allah!”
Some months went by, and Sister Dora called him with words from the Minister. He enjoyed the spirit of Brother Jesse’s writing.
“I was so elated yet really scared of the thought that he was ACTUALLY reading my little articles,” Brother Jesse said.
He was then offered the position of Southwest Region Correspondent, and soon after, he covered his first major assignment: Hurricane Katrina.
“From that point, I became an official staff writer and I was blessed to cover a lot of historic and unforgettable moments for our paper, from The Jena Six to Trayvon Martin,” he said. “While I may not have majored in journalism, I always kept in mind that the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan pointed out the spirit of my writings.”
Stay tuned for part two of our interview with Brother Jesse Muhammad, where we get into his blog, social media and the Farrakhan Twitter Army and advice.