Honoring our Past with a Vision for the Future the Inauguration of West Philly’s New Freedom District

On the weekend of May 16 and 17, 2015 the ICPIC New Africa Center / Muslim American Museum & Archive located at 4243 Lancaster Ave, Philadelphia Pa 19104 hosted a profound historical event with the theme ‘Honoring our Past with a Vision for the Future’.

On Saturday May 16 at 1pm ICPIC commemorated the late international leaders El-Hajj Malik Shabazz (Malcolm X) 90th birthday and Imam W.D. Mohammed’s 40th year anniversary of leadership by placing a mock Pennsylvania Historical Marker at 4218 Lancaster Ave in their honor.

The Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission have approved the New Africa Center’s request for a PA Historical Marker for Muhammad’s Mosque #12 at 4218 Lancaster Ave in West Philadelphia during the late 1950’s and early 1960’s granting historical status to one of the most important sites in Philadelphia’s black community history. Malcolm X and Imam W. D. Mohammed both were teachers and administrators at Mosque #12 during this period.

The charismatic figures of Malcolm X, Imam Wallace D. Muhammad, and Cecil B. Moore made

Mosque #12 one of the most historic spaces in Pennsylvania.

The occasion also included the Inauguration of West Philly’s New Freedom District. ICPIC have

designated the lower part of Lancaster Ave from 48th Streets to 32nd Street and it’s surrounding

area as the Historic New Freedom District because of the areas rich cultural history of institutions,

organizations, events, and individual struggling to preserver the unity, dignity and humanity of the

African American Community in it’s Quest for Freedom, Justice and Equality.

Mujahiddeen Mohammed Program Manager stated, “Our New Freedom District initiative will

have a significant impact on our communities, inspiring a new sense of citizenship, civic

responsibility, pride and ownership of the community. State Representative Vanessa Brown’s

office presented a citation from the PA Black Legislative Caucasus authorizing the New Freedom

District and City Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell has given her endorsement. David Fattah father

of Congressman Chaka Fattah along with many other community leaders have shown their

support and have endorsed this initiative.

This area has been designated as one of the Promised Zones in the country by President Obama

because of the poverty and urban decay within these communities.

The ICPIC New Africa Center unveiled it’s plans for the New Africa Freedom Square and the

vision for the New Africa Center’s Expansion Plan. Abdul Rahim Muhammad, Executive

Director stated, the term New Africa was introduced to us by the late Muslim American leader,

Imam W. D. Mohammed, he stated, “New Africa: represents a new mind, a new thinking, a new

spirit and a new life for black people in America. We are not from the Motherland anymore; we are

Africans living in America –“New Africans”. Our programs are design to inform and educate all

people about our rich Islamic-West Africa heritage and the culture, history, struggle and spiritual

growth & development of the African American Muslim Community.

“Our long-term goal is to develop an Avenue on the Arts West, Lancaster Ave Historic New

Freedom District. We will utilize the vacant lot and buildings at 4237, 4239, & 4241 Lancaster

Ave. and construct a completely new 5 story multi-purpose facility. The 1st floor will be an

expansion of our 4243 Lancaster Ave New Africa Center/Muslim American Museum & Archive

along with a Cafe, the 2nd floor will be our New Africa- Business, Arts & Technology Centers.

For the 3rd, 4th & 5th floors, we will develop new apartment units for low income or senior

citizens. This multipurpose facility will serve as an anchor for the development of a new mixture

of businesses and apartment units along Lancaster Ave from 4245 to 4255 along with utilizing

the urban green space at 4234 to 4240 as a New Africa Freedom Square”.

The program was followed by a Community Family Day at our New Africa Freedom Square in

partnership with Feed Philly and the Philadelphia Masjid on the urban green space across from

the New Africa Center for a fun filled day with games for children, entertainment, local history

tours, health fair, resource information tables and free food for everyone.

A special exhibit on Malcolm X and Imam W.D. Mohammed designed by ICPIC’s curator

Micheal Muhammad was also on display at the ICPIC New Africa Center’s Museum.

On Sun May 17 from 2p to 5pm ICPIC hosted a Symposium, “Focusing on the Life & Times of

Malcolm X and Imam W. D. Mohammed” at the Sister Clara Muhammad School 4700

Wyalusing Ave Philadelphia Pa.

The guest speakers included Imam Muhammad Abdul-Aleem, Imam Mustapha El-Amin NJ,

Imam Ishmael Qadir, Imam Kenneth Nuriddin, Imam Alford Muhammad and Imam

Mujahiddeen Mohammed.

The ICPIC New Freedom District are looking for business investors, sponsors, proposal writers,

business managers and developers, real estate developers and skilled individual looking for a

opportunity to expand their business and support this New Freedom District initiative please call

Mujahiddeen Mohammed.

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