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Thu, 07.14.1932

Benjamin Karim, Historian, and Activist born

Benjamin Karim (center)

Benjamin Karim was born on this date in 1932. He was a Black Muslim minister, author, and orator.

He was born Benjamin Goodman in Suffolk, VA., the son of Wilbur Bryant and Mary Goodman. Young Goodman was a U.S. Air Force veteran of the Korean War.  After serving in the military, Goodman worked as a recording engineer with a record company when he first heard Malcolm X speak in 1957. His experience caused him to convert to the Nation of Islam (NOI), cease many secular activities, change his diet, and become sober.

A dedicated student of African and African American history, Karim re-educated himself and, over the next seven years, adopted the name Benjamin 2X and became one of the closest aides to Malcolm X.  He supervised an educational program at the NOI temple in Harlem and stood in for Malcolm X at some events held around the United States.  He was the man who introduced Malcolm X to the audience in the Audubon Ballroom on February 21, 1965, the day of Malcolm X's murder.

Karim was involved in civil rights and instrumental in heightening the awareness of all people to equal rights.  Benjamin Goodman Karim died on August 2, 2005.  He married Linda Karim and had five children: sons Tariq, Zaid, Jamal, and Jahlil, and daughters Asia and Khadya and 15 grandchildren.


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