In the spring of 1995, in response to the growing issue of modern-day African slavery in the black press, black TV talk show host Tony Brown decided to bring the debate his television audience.
On May 26, 1995, he interviewed the trio of journalist Sam Cotton, an associate of the American Anti-Slavery Group who had written a number of powerful articles about slavery, Sheikh Anwar McKeen, a black Nubian Muslim leader and descendant of the last Nubian king before the Arab conquest of the Sudan, and Abdul Akbar Muhammad, Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan’s personal spokesman.*
Muhammad, Farrakhan, and the Nation of Islam had inserted themselves into the controversy because — for reasons not revealed in the national press until the following year — shamefully, the Nation of Islam had a major financial stake in protecting the reputations of slaveholding Arab regimes like Libya and Sudan, and they were willing to deny the facts of slavery in order to maintain their support for those very black slaves’ Arab owners.
In that program, Cotton and Muhammad sparred fiercely over the issue of slavery in Sudan, which Muhammad, in classic NOI fashion, blamed on the supposedly malefic influence of Dr. Charles Jacobs, the American Anti-Slavery Group’s Jewish co-founder.
After that interview, Muhammad complained to Brown that he had not been given “equal time” to promote the Nation of Islam’s version of the facts. Brown accommodated Muhammad, and agreed to a solo interview not long afterward in which Brown politely challenged Muhammad’s callous and warped denial of slavery in Sudan.
* See Tony Brown’s interview with Cotton, McKeen, and Muhammad: vimeo.com/429775402/e68d23dd84.
† See the May 30, 1995, article in the defunct black newspaper “The Daily Challenge” in which Muhammad claimed that the charges of slavery against the Sudan were a “Jewish conspiracy” and that “Tony Brown set me up”: https://bit.ly/2JtKxIp.
Copyright © 1995 Tony Brown Productions.