Black Hebrew Israelites: New York's Most Obnoxious Prophets

Why do they scream and curse at you?

She began going to classes they held in a building in Harlem. "They just explained Scriptures, but went into them in more depth than they did on the street," she says. But after a year or so of going to classes, its appeal began to wear off: "A lot of the guys, they couldn't get their act together."

She recalls seeing one "go into a White Castle, and he only bought one hamburger. And he looked so pathetic. I thought, 'You are a grown man! I know you can eat more than hamburger! Is that all you can afford?' "

Further dimming the sheen for her was her realization that the tribe wasn't a serious dating pool for a professional black woman: "I looked at them and realized, 'I could never take you to the office party!' "

Guess who's coming to Seder dinner? The Ambassadors of Christ read from Scriptures in their Washington Heights lair.
Michael Premo
Guess who's coming to Seder dinner? The Ambassadors of Christ read from Scriptures in their Washington Heights lair.
Obama is a monkey and a devil in materials that are anything but slick.
Michael Premo
Obama is a monkey and a devil in materials that are anything but slick.

The final straw, she says, was "the clothes. They look ridiculous! It didn't matter what they had to say about Scripture—they just looked ridiculous. Why do they have to dress like that? I mean, a bow tie always looks good. It never goes out of fashion."

She followed her fashion sense and, by the early '90s, ditched the Black Hebrew Israelites for the Nation of Islam.

Another woman who actually dated a Black Hebrew Israelite painted a portrait of him as slightly less than Bachelor of the Year. This lady, from Jamaica, was also a member of that country's Twelve Tribes of Israel.

Though it uses some of the same symbolism, the Twelve Tribes in Jamaica is a very different religion from that of the American Black Hebrew Israelites. The Jamaican movement is quite distinct in style and intensity, and is part of the Rastafari movement.

"Bob Marley was Twelve Tribes," the woman says of the far more relaxed, less militant sect. "We'd never scream at anybody! Or tell them they were going to be slaves!"

Then she happened to fall for a man in the U.S. who became a member. She was bewildered when she went out with some of the guys, and her boyfriend—a "General"—and she sat at one table, while his "Captains" had to sit at another table away from their leader.

"What those brothers do, it's nothing like the Twelve Tribes of Jamaica," she says, a tradition more in line with mellow grooves, dancing outside, being at one with the world—and, of course, smoking good weed. Black Hebrew Israelites insist that impure substances are not allowed. More than once, however, the Voice witnessed regular disciples coming to watch their preaching with bloodshot eyes and liquor on their breath.

Broadway and 44th Street used to be known as "Preacher's Corner." Back when a Midnight Cowboy–style hustler would have been working the scene (rather than the Naked Cowboy playing guitar), this corner was awash with ministers calling out the end-times. (Performance artist Reverend Billy used to preach on this corner, warning about the evils of materialism.)

Those days are largely gone, and the bell ringers of the apocalypse have been replaced by hucksters trying to lure you into comedy clubs. Almost the only prophets of doom left in Times Square—if you don't include the NASDAQ ticker—are the Black Hebrew Israelites.

On any given Saturday night, you can find the Ambassadors of Christ on this corner. (The House of Israel is a block away, on 45th Street. The camps insist they are brothers, but are totally separate, and take on the two corners like two different "borough presidents.") General Hashar and his two captains are joined by about a dozen other apostles, each cutting an intimidating figure.

And their signs draw quite a reaction from people of all hues.

"Obama is not a monkey! He is our president!"

It's a strange thing to witness one black person trying to convince another of this fact. Still, it's not an atypical reaction the Ambassadors get when "so-called black people" see the group's cardboard sign of Barack Obama. The phrases "AfricaCON Monkey Devil" and "Illuminati Puppet" accompany Obama's smiling Senate portrait, along with horns they've drawn coming out of his head.

They see Obama as part of a corrupt system, and cut no slack for the nation's first black president.

On another sign, Charla Nash, the woman whose face was ripped off by Travis the Chimp, is juxtaposed with Emmett Till's mutilated body. But it's the butchered Obama image that gets the quickest rise out of people, and leaves them absolutely bewildered when they realize it's black men putting it out there.

Screaming fits are common with the Ambassadors. Sometimes the exchanges are with "real" Jews, or with wide-eyed white Christian missionary types. Or with onlookers who hurl their own insults right back.

On a recent Saturday night, a Puerto Rican teenager (whom Black Hebrew Israelites would consider a member of the Ephraim tribe) took umbrage with Hashar, who was chewing out his girlfriend for wearing pants.

"What are you talking about she wearing men's clothes? You faggots are wearing dresses!" the boy yelled, to laughs. Around 50 people had gathered at this point to watch the show, about the most the police will allow at any given time to congregate.

« Previous Page
 |
 
1
 
2
 
3
 
4
 
5
 
All
 
Next Page »
 
My Voice Nation Help
17 comments
natalie1311
natalie1311

Black people in America r lost. Look around. Take the scales off of your eyes. Black people just don't want to hear the truth

natalie1311
natalie1311

U people quick to judge the black Israelites. But what sbout the catholic church and their lies and the show they put on. A secret society of gay pedophiles and those outfits their bishops and popes where. There is just money and power there. Don't dare speak of having more than one wife. But it's ok to molest children

quaaludester
quaaludester

All religion is a freak show; Afrolicious religions are freak shows to the max.

Pathetic.

still_smoke_in
still_smoke_in

This is the greatest article ever! LOL. The so-called Black Hebrew Israelites (BHI) are a joke. That is why you only see them on street corners and not in scholarly debates with people who actually study Biblical history, people, texts, etc. as their profession. That's because BHI lack a very important thing that would be helpful to their claims of being the Biblical Hebrews/Jews.....ONE SHRED OF EVIDENCE. #1) Rev5:9 and 7:9 alone destroys their entire theology #2) Edomites are not white Europeans, but were Semites and relatives of the Biblical Jews #3) Edomites were in SE Palestine (modern day Transjordan) when the Jews came out of Egypt #4) the Jews were not negros when they left Egypt nor in the 1st century AD while under Roman rule in Judea = Jesus was not negro; Mary was not negro; the Biblical Jews are not negro, they are Semites. Case Closed.

eliyah
eliyah

Don't you just love the media! this movement is powerful.. They do a lot of good. Enlightening lost souls.. Now surely they could have done a story on the many HEBREW (please exclude the color black since it is a color found in a crayon box and not an identity) People that took a higher road in enlightening. This Great Nation does this often. It is a way of lowering the Morale of Hebrew people.. Broadcasting our shame, and emphasizing our curse while all but burying and burning our accomplishments...... IT IS NOT WHAT THEY ALLOW YOU TO KNOW>> PAY ATTENTION TO WORDS UNSPOKEN..

gabedemaria
gabedemaria

If you read Deuteronomy 28 and watch the great youtube clip entitled "Biblical Israelites were black, and still are today" you will see and understand without a shadow of a doubt, the so-called "American Blacks" are the chosen true Israelites of the Bible!  What these dudes preach though is off.  The Most High, ('God') will accept repentance from Gentile or Jew.  Both can be saved, read in revelation a white robe is given to every nation (race).  Praise Yashayah!

FraudBrothers
FraudBrothers

too many flaws in there ideology. they claim african americans who were enslaved in the "new world" were entirely descendents of the biblical israelites. Anybody with some knowledge on West Africa where the bulk of slaves were taken have a very small traditional community that claim israelite heritage being a minority of Igbos in Nigeria. They base their confiction on biblical texts refering thinking they match all the characteristics of hardships the biblical israelites faced. The only non biblical information to justify that they were actually entirely israelites brough to the new world is a book based on limited facts and more theories entitled from jeruselam to timbuktu. The Hebrew Israelite movement is a judaic christian oriented black nationalist movement that is trying to be the contemporary of the nation of islam. Too bad its like 50 years too late and the idea has already been taken. Dont base your perception on them from this article but rather study them a bit to learn the underlying flaws of their ideology. Some points they have on current world issues are similar to some liberal and left leaning people but thats about it. I personally think that they are a movement funded by the government to create confusion within the conscious African American, Latin American, and Native American community. 

 

FraudBrothers
FraudBrothers

too many flaws in there ideology. they claim african americans who were enslaved in the "new world" were entirely descendents of the biblical israelites. Anybody with some knowledge on West Africa where the bulk of slaves were taken have a very small traditional community that claim israelite heritage being a minority of Igbos in Nigeria. They base their confiction on biblical texts refering thinking they match all the characteristics of hardships the biblical israelites faced. The only non biblical information to justify that they were actually entirely israelites brough to the new world is a book based on limited facts and more theories entitled from jeruselam to timbuktu. The Hebrew Israelite movement is a judaic christian oriented black nationalist movement that is trying to be the contemporary of the nation of islam. Too bad its like 50 years too late and the idea has already been taken. Dont base your perception on them from this article but rather study them a bit to learn the underlying flaws of their ideology. Some points they have on current world issues are similar to some liberal and left leaning people but thats about it. I personally think that they are a movement funded by the government to create confusion within the conscious African American, Latin American, and Native American community. 

 

ACNJ12
ACNJ12

According to scriptures Gentiles will have salvation sadly not all Black Israelite groups follow all of the laws of the Torah. ex...Deut 23:7 You shall not abhor an Edomite, for he is your brother. You shall not abhor an Egyptian, because you were an alien in his land.
exodus 23:9 Also thou shalt not oppress a stranger: for ye know the heart of a stranger, seeing ye were strangers in the land of Egypt.  http://whoaretherealjews.com shalam

jinkhary8
jinkhary8

I was expecting a more balance view from the author of this article. The purpose of this is too hold them up to ridicule but I could laugh at the Hassidic Jews who walk around dressed in black top hats and black clothing. If the author had given both sides of the story instead of the just the negative side maybe it would not appear so biased. The Black Hebrews while their delivery may be wrong are certainly providing a much needed message to Africans in the diaspora. We have been lied to for so long that our people cannot discern any measure of truth. Don't kill the messengers people.

aijahlon12
aijahlon12

It's sad, if it is true, what this article states, and that the brothers sound as if they do not study. I've knowns since 1975 that our Black history is in the Bible. All you have to do is read it to see that. However, no need to be crazy over that fact. Just read the Holy Bible King James Version, get rid of the Talmud, and obey what they Bible says, and all will be well. At least they've learn our history is in the Bible, and receives that. Now all they have to do is lose the crazy part of their knowledge and teaching.

luvlovelatoya
luvlovelatoya

This article is as funny as it its true. And mind you, I almost died with laughter. On thanksgiving my friend and I was walking and as we passed by a BHI, he yelled at us "I hope you choke on a F%^ing turkey bone". I was so annoyed because not only am I a vegan, I don't even celebrate thanksgiving day (I'm from Trinidad and it never catch on with my family). I wanted to tell him this but I knew I would be giving him exactly what he so desperately desired; some attention. 

 

I've learned over the years that its just best to ignore them as they are completely irrational and are in deep darkness. This summer I almost got involved with one. He was a regular guy, educated, ran his own business, dressed nicely, had a nice car (not that these things are important to me). But overall, he seemed completely normal. Then when he dropped the "You know Esau is the white man right?" I started to become suspicious. But when he hit me with the "A man could have more than one wife if he choose and women are to accept it" line and invited me to "The temple", I took him to school on those topics, then ran for the hills. 

 

They have very little knowledge of scripture outside of the ones that relate to hate and separation. The Holy Spirit and knowledge of scripture is the best guard against these poor unfortunate souls. 

 

Kudos on this article! I had a blast reading it.  

zipporahmckenzie
zipporahmckenzie

Yeah... I am an Israelite but I will not agree that we are this way. In every nationality there are bad apples. Some more than others. And being the chosen people, badgerin isn't the way to get your point across. State facts to open minds of the people willing to take heed. But please don't insult people. Even in the bible it says that we should be humble to those who aren't what we are because we were slaves ourselves. Remember the times, because the days are drawing near. Forgive them father. For there intentions are good but there approach is wrong. Oh and lastly, the true Israelites do NOT believe in any deity. Only the true and living Power of Avraham, Yitzcac, and, Yaquov.

hachiman
hachiman

I find this article on the B.H.I.`s very informative( Considering that they`re street crazies anyway). But not surprizing, that the N.O.I. spews the same ranting verbal and writtened rhetoric about so- called enlightned persons they are. But when people like Louise Farrakkhan speaks to  the alleged prophet Elijah Mohammad on the "Mother Ship" in orbit, then he and people like him have serious issues( mentally and physically). We should be aware of these" street nutz". cause they`re dangerous to society and the well being of  humanity. Remember everyone thought the same way when Adolf Hitler wrote his book " Mein Kampf". And you know what happened later in history. "The Final Solution" 

Blessedbrotha
Blessedbrotha

@gabedemaria If you read Deuteronomy 28 in it's proper context, you'll realize it isn't talking about so-called black people in this country, let alone so-called "Hebrew Israelites". Especially since Roman historians Munter and Josephus (himself an Israelite) gave accounts of the Jews being sent on ships all throughout the Roman Provinces after 70 AD, including Egypt. Only the "Hebrew-Israelites" claim Egypt is a metaphor for America. Furthermore, many of those Jews were sent to Spain and NONE of them were ever confused for negros because they weren't black. Ironic, since negro is the Spanish word for black and Spain is next to Africa. Another thing, notice how the combined term "Hebrew-Israelite" appears nowhere in the bible? In fact, the "Hebrew" the so called "Hebrew Israelites" use is fake. Lashawan Qadash was made up by Ahrayah. When the ICUPK split up into different camps (ICGJC, GMS, new ISUPK, AOC, GOCC, IUIC and so on) after falsely predicting Jesus' return in the year 2000, all of them kept using that fake Hebrew. It's why you wrote "praise Yashayah" and honestly thought you were correct. I should know, I'm a former member of the og ICUPK, which later became the ICGJC. All of them are cults. Wake up and distances yourself from them. Their teachings are false and you will see that once you objectively look at things and realize how much of it is distorted and twisted by them. Take it from someone who lost 10 years of his life in their lies.... But I will say this. The only thing you said that was right was god will accept ANYONE who repents, whether Jew or Gentile. Praise be to the Most High and his son Yeshua Ha'Mashiach (Jesus Christ). Only through him can we be saved. Lineage/bloodline (real or so-called) saves no one. The true chosen Israelites are ALL those who believe in the messiah, regardless of their ethnic background, Jew or Gentile. Romans 11:25-32 and Romans 2:28-29 confirm that.

LittleeOnee
LittleeOnee

Wow! Thank you brother! For stepping out of that satanic cult mess & standing up to tell the truth. Soooo many people need to hear your story. Peace & blessings to you!!!

 
Loading...