Hamid, Sufi Abdul
- Thaddeus Russell
Hamid, Sufi Abdul (06 January 1903–30 July 1938), religious and labor leader, was born, according to his own statement, in Lowell, Massachusetts. According to Harlem historian Roi Ottley, however, he was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. At various times Hamid also claimed to have been born in different places in the South. Little is known about Hamid’s early life, including his parents’ identities. According to Ottley, his original name was Eugene Brown. In an interview with writers from the Works Progress Administration, Hamid claimed to have been taken to Egypt at the age of nine, then to Athens, Greece, where he received his schooling through the university level. According to the interview, he returned to the United States in 1923 and began to work for the William J. Burns Detective Agency in St. Louis, Missouri, and Memphis, Tennessee. Hamid soon left that job and moved to Chicago, where he joined the Ahamidab movement, an Islamic organization based in India. During this time he changed his name to Bishop Conshankin. In 1928 he left that organization and formed the Illinois Civic Association, which led several boycotts of white-owned businesses in black areas of Chicago that refused to hire African Americans. Sponsored by the Chicago ...