zayid muhammad

Writer in Newark, New Jersey

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Baba’ Zayid Muhammad…A Teaching Artist, A People’s Artist

Biography in Brief…

Zayid Muhammad is a humanitarian and an activist with a public commitment of over 35 years! Mentored by the late poetry legends Jayne Cortez and Amiri Baraka, he is considered a people's artist in their tradition. He is a serious Jazz poet and a community based stage actor.

Currently, he does media for the People's Organization for Progress, arguably the premiere social justice organization in New Jersey, under the leadership of Lawrence Hamm. He is the last founding member and press officer for the Malcolm X Commemoration Committee in NYC, founded by comrades of Malcolm X, the late Herman Ferguson and Yuri Kochiyama. A survivor of gun violence, he is also a founding elder member and media advocate for the Newark AntiViolence Coalition, an incredible formation initiated by Newark Mayor Ras Baraka that conducted 155 straight weeks of protest against the scourge of gun violence from 2009 into 2012.

He is also the resident history teacher for the Popcorn Kidz Monthly Black History Program at the Irvington Public Library, sponsored by the Irvington chapter of the People’s Organization for Progress, a role for which he was cited by NJ State Assembly.

He is probably best known as being one of more well-known 'cubs' of the Black Panther Party, having worked closely with former Panthers Dhoruba BinWahad and the late Safiya Bukhari Alston.

Originally from Roselle NJ and a longtime resident of Newark NJ, he is a graduate of Paul Robeson's Rutgers University with a degree in History. He is an electric speaker who has addressed rallies of all kinds pertaining to social justice all over the country. He has appeared on radio and television for his insight and expertise, including programs such as Like It Is, The Open Line, and Where We Live, among others shows. He has performed in a wide range of settings from local libraries, to the world famous Apollo Theatre and the United Nations.

Young people now call him ‘Baba’ Zayid, which means ‘father’ in the Yoruba language, for his teaching, counseling and fatherly bearing. He is currently working on several volumes of poetry, including a volume poetry based on the music of the 60s through the 90s called 'The Soul Poems-Offerings of Love and Resistance’...

  • Education
    • Rutgers University