Dr. Dunya

  • Jamaica, NY
  • 2013

Video Clip of Umi on Dr. Sulayman Dunya and his impact. 3 min.

Notes: I never met Dr. Sulayman Dunya, as Umi says in this clip, he died either before I was born or right after but I have heard his name my whole life because he was beloved by his Black Muslim convert students. To add to what Umi's says in this video. I interviewed her friend and mentor, and my auntie, Kareemah Abdul-Kareem who further clarifies:

"...before I went to Ghana (in 1972)...I was having classes with Dr. Dunya. It was just Mahmouda [Yoba] and I, and another sister. We had sort of a private class with him in the evenings...Well, when I left the class stopped, so when I came back Dr. Dunya asked me: "well, what about the sisters' classes?" By then I had met Aliyah [Abdul-Kareem] and other sisters. So I invited them to the class with Dr. Dunya. In the meantime, your mother, I guess she must've came back from Ohio state, I'm not too sure. And she'd met Aliyah; so Aaliyah brought her to the classes. That's pretty much how we got started.

...with Dr. Dunya's classes...your mother and I were going all the time. Even when he went to Jersey, she and I we went every Saturday to Jersey to his classes. At the beginning, when they were at 72nd Street, they were actually Sunday classes. And it was just the sisters. One brother decided one day — I think it was probably by then 15 or 20 sisters — one brother decided that he will join the class. He came into the class and he asked: "will you sisters please move over?" And Dr. Dunya said "Excuse us, this is a sisters' class." "Oh" the brother said, you know the typical thing. So he sat in the back [but] next thing we knew it was two brothers, [then] three brothers, [then] four brothers. So they ended up doing a brothers class and the sister class. And when he moved to Jersey, it became a Saturday class."