|Herman Benjamin Ferguson|
Herman Benjamin Ferguson|
|Nationality||Republic of New Afrika|
|Citizenship||Republic of New Afrika, United States|
|Education||Bachelor of Science in Health, Physical Education & Recreation , Master of Arts in Health Education|
|Alma mater||Wilberforce University, New York University|
|Employer||US Merchant Marine, NYC Board of Education, Oceanhill Brownsville Community Schools, Guyana Department of Education, Guyana Defense Force, Attica Prison|
|Organization||OAAU, RNA, Jericho Movement|
|Known for||Working in OAAU, RNA|
|Notable works||Dope: An Agent of Chemical Warfare, An Unlikely Warrior|
|Influenced by||Malcolm X, Marcus Garvey|
|Political party||New Afrikan Independence Movement|
|Opponent(s)||United States Government|
|Criminal charge||Conspiracy to Commit Murder|
|Criminal penalty||3.5-7 Years|
|Spouse(s)||Rose Ferguson, Iyaluua Ferguson|
|Parents||Benjamin F. Ferguson & Julia M. Ferguson|
Herman Ferguson was a prominent member of Malcolm X's Muslim Mosque Inc. and later his Organization of Afro-American Unity (OAAU). Malcolm X created both organizations in 1964, after leaving the Nation of Islam. After the murder of Malcolm X, he helped to organize the Republic of New Afrika and was a member of the Revolutionary Action Movement (RAM). As a member of RAM, Herman was arrested for conspiracy to assassinate Roy Wilkins of the NAACP and Whitney Young of the Urban League. Herman was sentenced to 3 and a half – 7 years, but he fled the country and surfaced in Guyana where he lived and worked for the next 19 years. In 1989 he returned to the United States where he was promptly arrested and imprisoned for seven years.
Herman Ferguson was born in 1920 to Benjamin and Julia Mae Ferguson. At the time of his birth, Benjamin worked at a Sawmill as a bookkeeper, and Julia as a home maker. Though they lived in depression era US, they made enough money that they could afford a modicum of comfort, and were able to offer assistance to their neighbors. Benjamin also worked to help his people through his membership in the Prince Hall Masonic Lodge. Julia Mae, according to Herman was "the perfect mate for Benjamin".
|“||"She was hardworking; fiercely loyal and protective of her family; steadfast and brave through whatever tribulations & tragedies life brought, including the premature death of her two daughters....Making it possible for Ben to do his work without worries about what was going on in the home and with the children."||”|
In 1959, an elementary school opened in Fayetteville, and the community agreed to name it in honor of Ben & Julia Ferguson to commemorate their many good works. The name was changed in 1978 to Ferguson Easley Elementary School in honor of Inez Ferguson Easley, Herman's older sister. She was also known as a very active member of the community.
In his early years, he was always known to be getting into something. He played cowboys & indians (always as the cowboy), swung in trees, teased girls, etc. One exception that separated him from his peers is that he was an excellent student. He didn't strive to have good grades, they just were good. He never needed to try much. He could absorb knowledge, retain it and reproduce it at will. During his last year in Newbold Training School, and his last year in middle school, he had perhaps his first defining moment. Toward the end of the year, his teachers began to tell him about a prestigious medal that he could win if he kept the highest grade average, and contributed most to the well being of the school. The medal was awarded by The United Daughters of the American Confederacy. He didn't know, or care who they were, he just wanted to win. It was all he could think of for some time. His mother told him that if he "prayed to God, and was sincere" he would get it. Every night until the award ceremony, he would drop to his knees and pray.
On the day of the award ceremony, Herman was made valedictorian of his class and thus delivered the valedictory address. At the end of the ceremony, the award winner would be chosen. As a state official gave the address explaining how important the medal was, Herman held his breath, getting ready to walk up and accept the award. The winner ended up being a young who's grades were a little lower than Herman's. He attributed this to her being a "properly raised little Black girl, who by her demeanor pleased adults at every turn. Keeping in his young mind that he earnestly asked God every night for this award, he decided that God did not care for him, and looking around him at the state of Black people in Fayetteville, God didn't care about black people either. If God didn't care about Black people, he reasoned, Herman wanted no part of him.
For the rest of Herman's school career, he did the least work he could get away with, keeping his grades at a mediocre level. After graduating, he went to a local Black college called Livingstone College. During his time there, he lost a younger sister to a kidney disease. The loss devastated his family. On return to the school he became serious about education again and did very well. The next school year he transferred to Wilberforce University.
Herman arrived at Wilberforce in 1939. In the campus, he found it to be much larger, with a large diverse population of Afrikans from many different parts of the Afrikan diaspora. He immediately threw his self into his new life as a university student. At this time in Wilberforce, there were many issues causing discontent amongst the students there. Herman saw solutions to many problems like the poor food, dilapidated conditions of the buildings and an administration that was quick to expel students.
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