By day, he's Dr. Harry Jeffries III, Director of African American Studies at Harry Jeffries University in the Brooklyn, New York. The school was named after his grandfather, the first black Principal in Brooklyn. At night, he's avenging the deaths of the Nubian people at the hands of an unjust justice system and racists.
Peace and Blessings,
My name is Zinc Nguvu, creator of Nubian Man. Welcome to the Nubian Nation. I first thought of the concept of Nubian Man the day Tamir Rice was killed. I knew once again that justice would not be properly served and after a few days of marching things will go back to normal.
I became tired of the same senseless and insensitive cycle. Furthermore, I was raised not to complain about any social ills unless I was prepared to do something about it. I created Nubian Man to give us a vicarious form of justice as a means for coping with the injustice that the Nubian community deal with on a daily basis.
I also created Nubian Man to encourage others to use their individual creative talents to address social change. I have often been asked who are allowed to be a part of Nubian Nation. Anyone who are sympathetic to Nubian Man's mission of avenging the deaths of the Nubian people at the hands of an unjust justice system and racists are welcome to be part of the Nubian Nation.
I conduct a popular lecture for communities, high schools and colleges titled Introducing Nubian Man/A Superhero Spawned from Social Injustice. Feel free to ask about my self-publishing workshop as well. Email us for pricing and availability at firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Harry Jeffries had always longed for the day when world peace would finally become a reality and love would, as they say, conquer all. He knew today was not that day, but a man can always dream. Fierce protests started a mere 24 hours after the death of another young Nubian brother had hit the 5 o’clock news cycle. Eric Garner was the name of the murder victim this time. Being choked to death was his punishment for selling loose cigarettes.
It was not the first senseless killing of an unarmed Nubian man to make the rounds and Dr. Jeffries knew that it would not be the last. Garner’s death was just the latest in a long line of killings that plagued the Nubian community.
The video showing brother Eric being choked to death haunted Dr. Jeffries memory as he walked toward the subway entrance outside his Brooklyn apartment.
He wished he could be on the front lines with all the protesters and rioters; crying for justice and railing at the establishment. Though, he knew that would never work. He knew he’d be lost in the crowd without any real progress being made.
Still; he knew progress could be made. It would be slow, it would be frustrating and most likely painful but it would most certainly come. All that was needed was a catalyst; some as yet unknown variable that when thrown into the mix of the current volatile state of society would create a chain reaction that would transmogrify everything from the ground up.
He remembered that the news had been talking about someone recently-a militant who was fighting on behalf of the Nubian people. They had several names for this individual such as outlaw, renegade, savior and even criminal. Nubianites praised him. Oddly, the New York City police referred to him as a reckless and uncontrollable rebel.
What was however plain to see was that the apparent hero seemed to be avenging all Nubian deaths carried out by an unjust justice system and racists. Due to his affinity for the Nubian people, news anchors had taken to calling him Nubian Man. Dr. Jeffries always smiled every time the news anchors spoke about the man.
Some 90 minutes later he arrived on the campus of Harry Jeffries University located at 1650 Bedford Avenue in Brooklyn. He walked to his office building to prepare for his 9:30 am class.
“Good morning Dr. Jeffries,” said his assistant, Queen Amina as he walked through his office door.
“Peace Queen. What’s on the syllabus today?” Queen Amina gave a wry smile.
“It’s the Expansive Genius of brother George Washington Carver.”
Dr. Jeffries’ eyes perked up just a little. “Great, I’m sure they’d learn something about Mr. More Than a Peanut that they never knew”
“I’m sure they will. You have a special knack for imparting wisdom,” replied the smitten Queen Amina. Queen Amina sported shiny black locks that dropped pass her shoulders when she wanted them to and wore colorful kente head wraps when she didn’t.
Moments later, they walked through the doors of the lecture hall where Dr. Jeffries taught African-American History to a relatively small class of twenty. He assumed the position exactly a year before when his father resigned from the post.
The school was named after his grandfather, Harry Jeffries Sr..
Dr. Jeffries said hello to the class stoically as he zoned into teaching mode. He then stood in front of the whiteboard and wrote the following in quotation marks:
“When you do common things in an uncommon way you will command the attention of the world.”
He turned around to the class. “Can anyone tell me who made this statement?”
A couple of the students cast glances to the left and the right, that was followed by silence.
“Anyone?” Dr. Jeffries tried again.
“James Baldwin?” said a furtive voice at the end of the row to Dr. Jeffries’ right.
Dr. Jeffries turned to face the student that spoke and saw it was a young man he only knew as Deon. He seemed quiet and reserved for the most part, even shy. Dr. Jeffries was almost surprised he had spoken up at all.
“Is that a question or a statement, Deon?”
Deon shifted in his seat a little bit and sat up straighter. “Let’s just call it a statement that lacks confidence,” he replied prompting scattered laughter.
“It should lack confidence because it’s wrong.”
Dr. Jeffries began pacing from one end of the room to the other as he began talking.
“It was one of the greatest Nubian minds that ever lived, Brother George Washington Carver.”
The Previous Night
The Nubian Council sat in stoic silence as Nubian Man entered the council chamber. The meeting was taking place in an underground location somewhere in the city. The meetings they had with Nubian Man were always under the cover of darkness. It was early in the morning before dawn and they wanted to meet to discuss the recently murdered young man, Eric Garner.
There have always been four members, with the exception of the Queen Mother Council, who each have a seat on the Council. Each of them is meticulously selected from the community and a private vote is cast by other elders in the communities representing the various minorities.
The general populace is largely unaware of the Council, its members and even the ceremonies that take place in secret, only a select few are privy to its existence and are the ones who are able to vote in the members of the council.
Each person on the Council is selected to represent a faction of the Nubian community. There were two passive members, Passi #1 and Passi #2. They had no other names. Passi #1 was a Nigerian-born male and Pasi #2 was a Haitian-born female. They were both very analytical in their approach.
Then there were two Aggressive members known as Aggi #1 and Aggi #2. Aggi#1 was an African American male and Aggi #2 was a Jamaican-born female.
The Queen Mother Council is known to be of West African descent and is also called Queen Mother Moji by some which is a name from the Yoruba tribe in Nigeria.
The most powerful seat on the Council is reserved for the Queen Mother Moji. No one knows much about her past or even how old she is. What is clear is that she has been Queen of the Council for many years and has never been replaced.
People have been voted into the Council seats around her but she has been the one constant of the Council. Many believe she is immortal but Nubian Man knew she was something more than that, something not from here-A representative of the ancestors.
“Step forward Nubian Man,” said the Queen Mother in a stern gravelly voice.
Nubian Man walked slowly to stand in front of the Queen Mother’s throne. He averted his gaze to the ground in front of him and bowed his head slightly.
“An example must be made of the one who would take the life of one of our own. Do you know of whom I speak?”
Without raising his head, Nubian Man answered. “Yes.”
The Queen Mother glanced sharply at the other members of the Council on both sides of her.
“What says the Council in this matter? Is the offender guilty or not guilty?”
There was the briefest of moments before each member of the Council chimed in with soft declarations of “Guilty” one after the other.
“Those in favor of death say Aye.”
There was a longer pause this time around before two Aggi voices on the Council chimed in with “Aye”
“Those in favor of everlasting punishment with life say Aye”
“Aye”, said the other two.
A heavy silence fell upon the room for what felt like an eternity to Nubian Man.
“I declare the Council as being at an impasse,” said the Queen Mother. “Nubian Man, since it has been discussed before the Council prior to this that you should be trusted with making more executive decisions concerning the rules of engagement, I, Queen Mother Moji, hereby bestow on you the freedom in this matter to choose the fate of this offender. Do with him as you see fit.”’
“It shall be done,” spoke Nubian Man as he turned around and made his way out of the chamber.
The words of the Queen Mother echoed in his head like a taunt over and over, The choice is yours. The choice is yours. The choice is yours.
“We need a new punisher, he wouldn’t kill a fly,” snapped Aggi #1.
“So he doesn’t retaliate with the same insensitivity of those without melanin. We need a punisher with such sensitivity,” replied Passi #2.
“You need to be a damn nun-not a part of this council,” retorted Aggi #2 toward Passi #2.
“And both of you need to be a part of SMOKE,” said Passi #1 looking at both Aggis. “Because neither of you have a conscious.”
“Silence!” Snapped Queen Mother. “The matter has been settled,” she said before creating complete darkness and walking from underground.
Officer Kabir Mayhew knew that he was exhausted and was ready for his shift to be over. He had been patrolling the streets all night in his squad car with his partner of 6 years, Officer Kevin Azcona. All he wanted now was his bed in his cramped Brooklyn apartment and a cigarette. He sighed as he turned the squad car onto another street.
“What’s the problem yo,?” asked Kevin, giving him a knowing look.
“Come on. You know I always know when something’s buggin’ you, so spill it.”
Kabir sighed again, this time with a sad look in his eye.
“You ever wonder if things can get better between the people and the cops?”
Kevin knew what Kabir was asking but decided to play dumb anyway since conversations like this one usually made him uncomfortable.
“If shit like that Eric Garner thing will ever stop happening and people would stop being profiled or harassed.”
Kevin took a moment to think as he looked out his window at the dark street.
“Honestly, I feel like shit’s gonna get worse before it gets better. There’s so much that’s been going on for years now and shit like this Garner situation just threw more gasoline on the fire. You know? We’re good cops bro. You know that.”
“I know we are,” agreed Kabir.
“Then that’s all that matters. Just as long as our hearts are in the right place, you know? We would have let go of the choke hold after hearing a man yell ‘I can’t breath,’ once! Dantaleo heard that guy yell those same words eleven times. Eleven!”
“I would have never had him in a choke hold over a damn loosie to begin with Kev.”
“I know you wouldn’t have. That’s because you’re a good cop,” Officer Azcona said with conviction. “But we know that for every one of you there are ten fuckin’ Dantaleos out there willing to choke out someone for selling loosies. I know it’s fucked up but what are we to do?”
Kabir glanced at Kevin for a moment and then turned to face the street in front of him. He knew Kevin was right. He hated that Kevin was right about this but it was the unfortunate reality. Things were going to get worse, much worse before they got better.
The vibration of a ringing phone startled Kabir for a moment. The phone was in his jacket pocket. It was always on silent because he knew who it was that was calling. He realized that it was inaccurate to think that he knew who it was since he had never met the man face to face but he had come to know the mystery caller as the person they called Nubian Man.
Their chance encounter many months ago had started the oddest of arrangements between them where Nubian Man would call Kabir on a dedicated burner phone whenever he required his services for helping out in the process of dealing out justice.
Kabir knew that if he was ever caught, he would be ostracized by the entire department but he also knew that it was better than letting another Amadou Diallo, Shaun Bell or Eric Garner perish. He did not care about backlash in the slightest.
“These crazy sons of bitches need a taste of their own medicine every once in awhile. Nubian Man is the only one who’s doing anything,” he constantly thinks to himself. “Everytime I think I should simply do my job and put blinders on, the ancestors whispers something different to quicken my spirit,” he also thought.
“We need to stop at a gas station so I can use the bathroom,” said Kabir.
“Cool. You can use that one on Lehman and 89th street,” replied Kevin.
A few minutes later they pulled into the gas station. Kabir went to the bathroom to dial the number back. The phone rang.
“What’s up?,” said Kabir once he knew the call had been picked up.
The heavily computerized muffled sound of Nubian Man’s voice came through the phone with chilling clarity.
“I need the address of Officer Gavin Dantaleo.”
Kabir had learned by now never to question or argue with Nubian Man.
“Ok, give me a second.”
Kabir whipped out his other cell phone and started scrolling through the contacts of PBA members.
“His address is 3234 Elm Street, Howard Beach,” Officer Kabir said.
The line went dead.
Kabir sighed again, this time with relief. These phone calls always made him excited and anxious at the same time and he found himself breathing easier when they ended as abruptly as they began.
He was all too familiar with the name of the officer whose address he had just divulged. It was on the lips of every news anchor and activist along with the name of the slain Nubian brother, Eric Garner.
Kabir knew that part of him should feel sorry for whatever he had just opened the officer up to. Fortunately, he did not care. The fact that he was black before he was blue mattered to him more than any other officer on the force and he wouldn’t have it any other way.
Back In The Classroom
“So we all know that fellow Nubian Brother George Washington Carver was a famous scientist. We also know that he was the peanut whiz so I won’t bore you with the hundreds of peanut-related inventions he discovered. But did you know that his white adoptive parents had him castrated as a young boy?”
Dr. Jeffries paused at this point to look at the faces of the students. He could see that each face had a mixture of thoughtfulness, introspection and on some, sadness. He continued.
“You see, the white couple that adopted him had a daughter. Castration put their mind at ease. That caused Dr. Carver to become known for his signature high pitched voice. Still, He went on to leave his mark on the automotive world. Actually, you can call him the father of modern day transportation.
That’s right, transportation. We know Henry Ford to be the father of the automobile but it was brother Carver who discovered a method of its mass production. Carver’s approach was all based on the process of how plants reproduced life, photosynthesis.
He somehow paralleled it with the mass production of automobiles and this is why car manufacturing locations aren’t called factories but plants. The wonders of the Nubian mind never ceases to amaze me. Term papers due by 3 pm tomorrow. There will be nothing but zeros for late submissions.”
The Previous Night
Nubian Man is sitting indian style atop a roof of an East New York apartment building. His eyes are closed and both his palms are facing upward as he summons the counsel of his ancestors. The address provided to him by Officer Kabir was correct but due to much attention given to it by the media, Officer Dantaleo relocated his dwelling.
An Hour Later
Officer Gavin Dantaleo woke up with a sick feeling in his stomach. He turned to look at the bedside clock on his right and saw that it was 1:34am in the dead of night. He hated waking up at times like this because it meant that he would be awake for the next couple hours.
He also hated the idea of having to be at home at this time since he would have been patrolling the neighborhood in his squad car if he had not been suspended from duty because of that guy he had killed by mistake.
‘The dude was breaking the law and resisting arrest. I had to do something. It’s not my fucking fault that he was asthmatic or whatever.’ Fuck it”, he grunted as he threw the blanket off himself and got out of bed. He turned on CNN and caught a glimpse of protestors in Staten Island where the murder scene took place only days before. ‘I might be on leave but at least I’m getting paid for it.
The NYPD union is the strongest fuckin’ union in the world. I’ll be back on the streets in no time. Let them protest for a few days then they’ll go back to life as normal and as long as no one is selling loosies in the open as if it’s not a fuckin’ crime then no one would get choked out,” he said with an audacious swag.
He walked over to the bathroom in his small Howard Beach apartment. He glanced at himself briefly in the mirror and saw the bags under his eyes and his disheveled hair and shrugged his shoulders. ‘Beauty is for pussies.’
His frumpy body was far from a picture of health or the athlete that he once dreamt of becoming. Memories of his childhood bullies alternated in his head with memories of the choke hold that he had on brother Eric. A wry smile cracked at the thought of it.
He felt like David did after killing Goliath but he knew David didn’t have an army of cops helping him but he was never one to let the truth get in the way of a good story, a heroic one in his eyes.
‘That was for all the bullies that fucked with me at P.S. 207,’ he thought as he opened the cabinet above the sink in his bathroom and grabbed one of the pill bottles in it.
‘Hello Perky, my old friend,’ he said as he looked down at the bottle in his hand labelled Percocet.
He started using them due to an injury he had sustained during an arrest two years earlier while arresting a jaywalker. Yes, a jaywalker. His use for it had gone past the point of needing it for pain and more just needing it to function throughout the day.
The day he had killed brother Eric, he had been unable to take any of his pills that day since he ran out the day before.
He was in a foul mood that day and he knew someone was gonna pay for it whether it was a jaywalker or someone selling loosies. “Fuck it,” he said as he closed the cabinet door. He looked up from the Percocet bottle in his hand and froze when he looked in the mirror.
He had no time to react before the person standing behind him hit him on the back of the neck and he felt his legs and arms suddenly lose all function. He felt himself fall to the floor in a crumpled heap as he hit his head on the bathtub edge on his way down.
He attempted to scream but he could not. His words seemed to catch in his throat as if a bunch of cotton balls had been lodged in his larynx.
‘What the fuck is happening to me?! What did this guy do to me?!’
He found that all he could move was his eyes as he darted them around the part of the bathroom he could see, struggling to catch a glimpse of his assailant. Every three seconds his arms and legs would twitch just like all others that took a Nubian life. He could not remember exactly what the man’s facial features were. All he had seen before he had come tumbling down was two angry eyes staring at him through the mirror.
‘What did he do to me?! Oh god, what did this guy do to me?!’
He knew it was the vigilante he had heard so much about from the various news channels on tv, the one known as Nubian Man. Officer Dantaleo had never been scared of much in his life as an officer but in that moment, he was terrified to his soul.
“For your crimes against the innocent life of one of our own, you are sentenced to live out the rest of your days locked within your body, alive with the knowledge and regret of what you did. Think upon your sin and be at peace with your punishment. Let you be an example to anyone foolish enough to take a Nubian life.”
The voice had come from behind Dantaleo and he was somehow grateful he could not see who it belonged to. It was deep, heavy and full of purpose and steely determination. He wanted to beg for forgiveness but his lips refused to move. As he heard the footsteps of the vigilante fading away, he felt a tear fall down his cheek just as brother Eric’s loved ones did.
‘I’m fucked.’, were his last words before Nubian Man's footsteps faded into silence.
Meanwhile on a rooftop some five buildings away stood the three members of Smoke sporting jet packs. Smoke is a rogue vigilante clique that share Nubian Man’s affinity for the Nubian people.
However, unlike Nubian Man and the council’s diplomatic process, they have a strict eye for an eye policy. Smoke had been dealing its form of justice long before Nubian Man started his crusade. They feel Nubian Man is far too soft on those that have taken Nubian lives.
“Check that GPS again. We gotta be close,” said Shaka Black, an actual descendant of the Zulu tribe. Born in South Africa, he migrated to the U.S. at age 4 in 1980. Upon acquiring his Master’s degree in African Studies from NYU, he was recruited by the CIA to spy on African delegates within the United Nations.
When he refused, they tried to deport him to no avail. He’s been underground ever since. A trained black belt, he is also a master of ancient African weaponry.
“We are close. Just a few buildings further down on Spruce,” said Nyla Stone, a former Spellman University professor of Genealogy, she has traced her roots back to the early 1600’s in Timbuktu.
She was the most sought after female Nubian speaker in the world who inspired many to learn about their roots. She is a master bow and arrow markswoman who can shoot an arrow in a bullseye from 100 yards away.
She won a gold medal in the 2004 summer Olympics in Athens, Greece for the United States but was not celebrated due to her outspokenness of the United States’ lack of interest in helping several impoverished African countries. She found out her father was assassinated by the U.S. government in 1990 for findings he discovered while working for the FDA, findings detrimental to the Nubian community.
“Nubian Man’s gotten to him already. I can feel it,” said Smiley Killer, a short but compactly built man in his early 50’s but fit as a soldier. A Five Percenter, he broke out of jail after witnessing Larry Davis’ murder inside Rikers Island and knew he was next on the list for the very same reason Larry was. He vows to take revenge on every racist or unjust person that dares to take the life of a Nubianite.
“It’s the next building across-fourth floor apartment in the rear of the building,” said Nyla Stone carefully analyzing her GPS’s every move as they hovered over the bathroom window of officer Gavin Dantaleo.
“Looks like someone has been rendered motionless,” Shaka Black exclaimed immediately upon seeing Dantaleo’s motionless body through his window. “ Lemme see if the window’s locked.”
“It’s not.” Shaka Black said as he let himself in the small window while the others followed. The three of them stared at Dantaleo like fifth graders staring at a frog they were about dissect for the very first time.
“So, here’s the punk that continued to choke the dear life outta brother Eric long after he yelled ‘I can’t breathe, huh,’ said Nyla Stone. Officer Dantaleo could only listen as he laid there motionless and bewildered. They looked unlike anything he had ever seen or heard of before.
“Who, who, who are you guys?” He asked nervously. He could only see the boot of Nyla Stone from his view as he continued to lay stiff on the floor.
“Your worst fuckin’ nightmare,” said Smiley Killer. “No, really we are. I know it’s typically used as a cliché but not today. You see, we share Nubian Man’s desire to avenge the deaths of the Nubian people. Thing is, we disagree on how to punish those who take a Nubian’s life.”
“That’s right, and as you can see by your current immobile state, Nubian Man elects to punish by merely paralyzing.” Nyla Stone spoke as she stared into the officer’s eyes without a care in the world.
“What is your form of p, p, punishment.” Dantaleo asked after swallowing a lump of air.”
Smiley Killer obliged him with an answer. “We kill, motherfucker! Just like you did.”
Seconds later, all three of the Smoke members are seen flying out of the bathroom window. On the bathroom wall reads R.I.P Eric Garner, written in the blood of Officer Danataleo.
EPISODE #2 Dealing with Dylann
It was Saturday June 20th, 2015. Three days earlier nine blacks were murdered in a Charleston, South Carolina church. They would become known as the Charleston Nine. Their killer is a white-racist by the name of Dylann Roof, another terrorist attack in the U.S. not labeled so. The pain of their deaths reverberated all the way to the Bedford Stuyvesant YMCA. That was where Dr. Jeffries stood in front of a podium.
He was named Man of the Year by The Concerned Black Dads of Brooklyn. The outstanding work he does mentoring young men in the community was the evening’s focus. He was giving a keynote for the group’s annual fundraising luncheon. As always, he had the crowd riveted with his passion and strong mic presence.
“So we now know that the murderer was a white racist and that after killing nine people, the police allowed the killer, Dylann Roof, to stop at Burger King before booking him. So, how can we not feel like our lives are devalued when something like this happens?”
Dr. Jeffries panned the eyes of every single person in attendance as he paused for a couple seconds for effect before continuing.
“This reprehensible act is the very reason why we need people such as Nubian Man, if he truly exists.” Heads nodded in solidarity.
“There’s only so much a people will take before lashing out at their oppressor. Seems like if it’s not the police then it’s white racists and their sick doctrine that convinces them that it’s okay to terminate a Nubian life. But this too shall pass. It shall pass because I am looking at a room full of difference-makers destined to change the world. It shall pass because I see a room full of people sick and tired of asking why. You, my brother and sisters shall be the ones to provide our people with solutions of their own to empower our own.”
Nyla Stone sat at a table sponsored by her beauty salon, Roots of Africa, located just across the street from Harry Jeffries University. On her face was an appreciative dimpled smile as she hung on every word out of Dr. Jeffries’ mouth, just like everyone else. Her afro wig was her hair choice of the day.
“This too shall pass because we as Nubian people are instilled with a special trait of resiliency that cannot be found in any other people. It is because of that trait that enabled us to overcome slavery. That trait also enabled us to overcome Jim Crow. And yes, it will be that same trait will enable us to rise up and take control of our own destiny even in the eyes of oppression. Thank you. Peace and blessings.”
The audience gave Dr. Jeffries a lengthy and gleeful standing ovation. Nyla Stone was the first to greet him from the podium.
“That was a captivating speech Dr. Jeffries.”
“Thank you Miss?”
“Nefertiti, Nefertiti Capri. Most of my friends call me Nefi. You can too,” Nyla said with batting eyes that captivated Dr. Jeffries momentarily.
“I’m flattered to be promoted to friend status so soon,” joked Dr. Jeffries.
“Consider it a reward for that great speech you just gave. You uplifted the souls of the entire room,” Nyla gushed admirably. “Anyway, I know you have many others who’d like to congratulate you so I’ll bid you ado, for now.”
Nyla walked away generating a curious stare from Dr. Jeffries which was disrupted by a picture request from a young admirer.
Later that Night
Members of Smoke are in an abandoned uptown warehouse overlooking the George Washington Bridge. Shaka Black is standing atop a steel drum and speaking with conviction. The only light around them was supplied by their cell phones.”
“I say Koon ass Clarence Thomas should be next on our list.”
“That sounds good but you know the rules say anyone we take out must have taken a Nubian life,” Smiley Killer reminded.
“How isn’t it clear that Dylan Roof should be the next on our list?” Nyla Stone asked sternly. “This devil executed nine Nubian brothers and sisters. NINE!”
“You’re preaching to the choir Nyla,” Shaka said.
“I thought of it but I thought going to South Carolina would be a bit outta the way. We don’t leave Brooklyn often and when we do it’s usually no further south than Philly,” said Smiley.
“Nubian justice is not limited to BK fellas,” reminded Nyla. “We need to hop on I 95 toward dixie as soon as we lay out a plan. Yes indeed a most goriest example must be made of Mr. Roof.” She said with a soulfully sexy yet heinous smirk.
The Next Monday Morning-Harry Jeffries University
Dr. Jeffries is addressing his students as he lectures them.
“Idealization people is the psychological or mental process of attributing overly positive qualities to another person or group of people or their things. They feel a special fondness of that person’s things and dwellings, so much so that they put them on a pedestal. We have idealized every product and service created by our oppressors.” A special intrigue blanketed the minds of the young students as Dr. Jeffries dug deeper.
“This is the very reason why you would never see a successful high-end line of products put out by African Americans. We have convinced ourselves that high quality can only come from people other than us. FUBU could never be Prada and Sean John could never by Armani, least we believe. It is only so because we believe it is so. People all over the world idolize our culture. They break their necks to get a piece of it. We, on the other hand, cannot see the value in it. Then when we do see it, we undervalue it.”
Silence still filled the air as the good doctor paced the room.
“Talley and Twine has some of the finest watches you could find in the world. Its craftsmanship is unparalleled but because it is a black-owned company, they fetch about only 20% of the revenue of the average high end watchmakers even though their watches are marked down far lower. If you were to find 100 black watch wearers that owned watches valued at $200 or more, hardly any of them would be a Talley and Twine.
It’s called idealization, people. Once you fall for it you have planted an invisible seed of self-hate that will eat at you and any child that learns the same poisonous lesson. Don’t drink the Kool-Aid. You’re too black. You’re too strong and you’re too smart. Peace and Blessings.”
Twenty Minutes later Dr. Jeffries is reading a letter in his office that he just received in the mail
Hello Dr. Jeffries, AKA Nubian Man, AKA Mandrill. Ever since you’ve come on the scene some two years ago, we wondered if you could be Mandrill. We have tracked you. We have studied you. Most of all, we recall you as one of our own.
Yeah, we know you had plastic surgery done, so did we; we are fugitives after all. My ancestral spirit has told me this is true. We know you were intercepted by someone else before the NYPD was able to reel you in.
We got caught but I’m sure you heard that we escaped. It’s not your fault and we hold no animosity whatsoever. We lost Grid. He was gunned down by prison guards during our escape from Rikers.
You’re clearly being governed by someone, someone who seemingly isn’t interested in real justice, Smoke justice. You remember Smoke justice, don’t you Mandrill? We’d love for you to return to your family, the only family that understands the level of love that you have for the Nubian people.
Your Smoke Family
Dr. Jeffries then folded the letter slowly with a distracting thought. He removed his reading glasses then walked to his office window that overlooked McDonald’s on Fulton Street. He stared blankly at McDonald’s giant yellow M for at least ten minutes before placing his glasses on his ears.
He then started staring at the wall in front him where he could only see flashes of the face of Nefertiti Capri, the lady he met at the banquet just two days earlier.
The ancestors often speak to Dr. Jeffries, sending him mental pictures, directions and quotes that help him navigate life as a professor and a peoples’ savior.
He snapped out of the momentary trance wondering why her face appeared to him. “There was something about her.” Dr. Jeffries barely murmured to himself and “Why the hell would they assume such a thing?” He said sliding his hands across his chiseled jaw-line while in deep thought.
Minutes later across the street at Roots of Africa Salon, Nyla Stone is talking to Shaka Black and Smiley Killer. There’s a CLOSED sign on the door.
“So you actually think Dr. Jeffries is an old teammate of you guys merely because you believe in this spiritual hunch of yours?” Nyla Stone asked.
“When the ancestors talk to me it’s far more than a hunch. It’s guidance, the compass of the elders,” said Shaka.
“Ok, so what’s the basis of this? I mean there is no resemblance between Dr. Jeffries and Mandrill at all based on the pics you’ve shown me. I should know. I was only inches away as I stared into his eyes, his dark brown eyes.”
“So what. He could have gotten plastic surgery just like we did. Damn girl, it sounds like the good doctor got you moist.” Smiley said, evoking a burst of laughter from Shaka Black.
Just as he finished his statement, Nyla noticed Dr. Jeffries getting into his car from her window.
“I swear, this is the best part of my day. That’s one fine specimen of a black man there. Yes indeed. I thank God the ancestors sent him my way.”
“How can you be so sure that he’s not Mandrill?” Asked Shaka.
“I don’t know for sure. Hell, I never met Mandrill but this guy is cut from a different cloth. He doesn’t roll like you guys do. He has this sick intellectual swag about him. You don’t see that shit everyday,” Nyla said sporting a dreamy blush.
“I don’t know Nyla. Every time I come to your shop I feel some kinda special presence,” Smiley Killer said.
“That’s because Mandrill is right across the street,” Shaka said emphatically.
“You have that feeling anywhere else you’ve been Smiley?”
Smiley simply stared at Shaka for a few seconds before shaking his head no as if he was a reluctant witness in court.
“I think that’s all bullshit and your man crush on Nubian Man has poisoned your thought process. I don’t think Dr. Jeffries is Nubian Man to begin with and I don’t think he’s that Mandrill guy either.” Nyla said as she peeked through her blinds to watch Dr. Jeffries drive away in his BMW SUV.
“I’ve heard him speak. He has the same verbiage as Mandrill, diction too. Anyway, I pinned a letter to him. He should have gotten it today,” Shaka said.
“A letter? Saying what?” Nyla screeched.
“Saying that I know he’s Mandrill and to return to home base.”
“I’m sure that letter made a good balled up basketball for his wastebasket,” she heckled.
Minutes Later, Dr. Jeffries is pulling into the garage of his Crown Heights condo. As soon as he enters his condo the sound system turns on J-Cole’s Forest Hill Drive CD. Dr. Jeffries mouths the lyrics of track #1, Hello, as he picks his way through a few healthy options in his fridge before settling on a kiwi.
He grabbed a peeling knife then headed to the living room where he lowered the music to a near mute volume. He turned on the evening news. The leading news story shocked him. He listened intently as Nubian Man was being described as a vigilante gone mad.
There was a white family court judge out of Brooklyn who was murdered the day before. A couple weeks earlier the judge removed a pair of Nubian twins from their mother’s care after neighbors falsely reported her as an abuser. Both twins were eventually viciously assaulted by their foster parents assigned to their care. One of the twins died due to internal bleeding.
Even though there was overwhelming proof that the twins’ parents weren’t abusers, Judge Haskins delayed returning them. Branded in the center of the judge’s forehead were the letters N and M. Dr. Jeffries couldn’t believe the closing words of the field reporter who stood outside of Judge Haskin’s brownstone in Harlem.
“So at the end of the day we don’t know if Nubian Man is a super hero who may have turned more radical or simply a cold-blooded killer. What we do know is that for the first time his target was killed, not merely paralyzed which is the punishment that had become a staple of his. Also, for the first time, his target wasn’t directly responsible for taking a Nubian life.
There’s also the belief that there may be a copycat out there, one who may feel that Nubian Man’s approach is too lenient on those guilty of taking a Nubian life. After all, that had been a criticism from a small group of those in the Nubian community.
On the other hand, there is merit for it turning out to be a copycat of Nubian Man. Nubian Man has never left anything behind indicating he’d been on the scene other than his victim being paralyzed. The N and M marked on the judge’s forehead had not been his MO. That still hasn’t stopped the rumors of this being the work of a “new” Nubian Man.
“Excuse me sir, what do you think of the judge’s death. Do you think this could be the work of Nubian Man?”
“Not at all. The media just can’t stand seeing a Nubian person becoming a hero for the community. This is the NYPD’s attempt to tarnish the image of Nubian Man. First, they accused him of killing the officer that choked out Eric Garner. NOW THIS! It’s a setup. I could smell it from a mile away. It’s the NYPD MO."
"Well, I see someone has an opinion. Reporting from the 125th street this is Trish Major, eyewitness…” A female Nubian passerby chimed in with an opinion of her own, albeit unsolicited.
“Maybe it was Nubian Man. Hell, even MLK was about to turn radical before he was assassinated. It’s about time our oppressors got the exact same treatment they’ve dished out. Brother Malcolm said it best ‘by any means necessary’.”
“Well, thank you. I’m gonna send it back to you in the studio Stan.”
Same Night @ 9 pm
The members of Smoke are all gathered at a cheap motel just off Interstate 95 South and only minutes away from the Kirkland correctional Institution in Columbia, South Carolina. It is the new home for Dylan Roof. Smoke was hoping to soon make it his mausoleum. Nyla Stone sharpened her iron death stars.
Shaka Black was practicing his roundhouses on an imaginary opponent. Smiley Killer was in the middle of knocking out 100 push-ups. Nyla rolled out a large white sheet of paper showing the blueprint of the prison as she passed a lit blunt that was almost as long as the locks she sported.
“Huddle up guys,” she said in a coach’s tone. “It’s almost game time. The guards shift changes at 10 pm on the dot. Smiley, their main power source is here, off the prison ground. A mere two sticks of the low noise dynamite sticks should do the trick but only if it’s placed correctly.”
“Don’t worry about me. This is a walk in the park,” Smiley said.
“So how much time of darkness would we have to work with before power returns?” Shaka asked.
“Approximately 90 seconds. They have an antiquated backup system which requires them to run to the same building where Smiley would be. They’d turn on the emergency generator. We should be done by then,” Nayla assured.
“He’s on this tier here, the C tier. This is his cell. We should be able to scale the roof, detonate our own sticks and do what we have to do with Roof and be out all in 90 seconds. Smiley, when I flash you a red beam, cut the power off. You should see someone heading your way to restore power shortly after. Stall him if you don’t get a text from me before he gets there. Remember, I want you in the truck how far away?” She asked Smiley.
“A quarter mile away with the engine already running.”
Shaka, you check the fuel on your jet pack?” She asked.
“Sure did and it’s fully charged. I’m dying to kill Nyla let’s go,” Shaka said before taking flight.
“Remember Smiley, when I flash the red beam from my phone on the rooftop cut the power,” she reminded before taking flight behind Shaka.
“Check.” Smiley replied.
A couple minutes later, Smiley stood by the generator as he stared at the prison’s rooftop waiting for the red beam. Then finally Nyla flashed it. Seconds after detonating two sticks of dynamite frantic murmurs could be heard by the security staff and loud commotion was heard from inmates in pitch blackness.
Nyla and Smiley made their way down a vent that led to Tier C, and directly in front of Dylann Roof’s cell. Nyla flashed her flashlight in the cell of the nine-time murderer.
“You look like you just saw the devil,” Shaka said with a heinous smile that resembled a hungry hyena.
Nyla flicked an iron star between Roof’s eyes with extreme precision as it traveled between the cell bars causing a frightening wail from the mouth of the white supremisct. She opened the cell door with another iron star as blood gushed down Roof’s face.
Shaka Black followed with a round house that sent Roof’s head crashing against his cell’s cement wall. Nyla then followed with another iron star to the throat of Roof.
“Time check,” Nyla said.
“We have 45 seconds left.” Shaka shouted.
“That’s plenty of time,” Nyla said as she hurled nine consecutive iron stars into the chest and turso of Roof. It was eleven stars in all, the same amount of times brother Eric yelled I Can’t Breathe. Each iron star was three inches wide and long. The last star landed directly in his heart. The Charleston Nine murderer took his last breath.
“Hey we have intruders on tier C!” Yelled a prison guard from the bottom floor as others made their way to tier C.
“Before we go let’s add a little intrigue to this,” Nyla said before etching the letters N and M into the forehead of Roof.
Immediately after, Nyla and Shaka had made it back to the prison’s roof where they flew off with their jet packs to meet Smiley a quarter mile away. Smiley pulled off like a bat out of hell. Shaka lit up a fatly rolled Backwood spliff filled from end to end with Brooklyn’s finest cannabis. Smoke always lit a blunt after a successful mission.
“Another successful mission carried out by Nubian Man,” Nyla said, drawing a curious look from Smiley Killer and hardy laughter from Shaka Black.
“What’s so funny Shaka?” Smiley asked.
“Watch the 11 o’clock news, you’ll see what’s so funny.”
At the same time in Queens, New York
Nubian Man is seen atop a bridge that overlooks the Sunnyside station train yard. He is eyeing organ thief Heinrich Leestrum. Leestrum trolls inner-city nursing homes before planting himself inside them then killing those already close to death, least he claims they’re close to death.
Leestrum was once an executive at the United Network for Organ Sharing so he has access to who needs organs and his medical background enables him to draw blood to see if they’re a match.
Nubian Man boarded a train without being seen. The train’s first stop is Penn Station midtown New York. Nubian Man already had his itinerary and had plans of meeting Mr. Leestrum in his sleeper car.
Thirty minutes later as, the 10 o’clock train departed Penn Station, Mr. Leestrum was face to face with Nubian Man in his sleeper car.
“You’re probably thinking about yelling but if you do I’ll crush your larynx and that’d be unfortunate, for you that is. Especially since my plans didn’t include taking your life. What’s in there?” Nubian Man asked, pointing to a cooler being held by Mr. Leestrum.
As Nubian Man stared at the box he started to develop scenes in his head that were sent by his ancestors.
“It’s something that’s gonna save the life of a beautiful college valedictorian in Philadelphia.”
“I know. You ripped it from the body of Mr. Inis Breeland, a Nubianite you killed at a Hollis nursing home.” Nubian Man said with a stern conviction. “I can see him still laying in his bed with a whole in his chest.”
“Who are you?” Leestrum asked, perplexed at the fact Nubian Man knew such information.
“I am one who avenges the deaths of the Nubian people. Deaths like Inis Breeland.”
“Mister Breeland was on life support for an entire week. He was 95 years old. This heart is going to a 23-year old that’s just starting life.” Leestrum said as if to justify his actions.
“I know, Laura Keyes of King of Prussia, Pennsylvania. Her father’s a bank president who paid you $100,000 to get her a heart at the expense of a Nubianite.”
Nubian Man then grabbed Leestrum’s pressure point on his right shoulder. With one squeeze he hit the floor like a sack of potatoes. He laid motionless as Nubian Man opened the window of the sleeper car and disappeared in the dark of the night.
Dr. Jeffries was sipping his hot green tea as he sat in his living room. The lead story floored him.
“Good Morning America. Overnight huge news broke out in Charleston, South Carolina. Convicted White-supremist and murderer of the Charleston Nine was killed in his jail cell and of all people, by Nubian Man. This would mark the second time Nubian Man has killed someone in the span of a week.
There are no videos to support the fact that it was indeed him but once again the letters N and M were left on the forehead of Roof but this time it was etched with a sharp razor-like object. Apparently the super hero of the Nubian people has gone from hero to vigilante.”
At the same time in a different cheap hotel but in Hampton Virginia, the members of Smoke are watching the very same show. They erupt in laughter.
Najee Farmer wasn’t always an introvert but he had become one through tragedy. Sure, he has feelings and emotions but they rarely surfaced. He made sure of that. He kept them buried in the hurtful and dark bowels of his heart. It has always been easier for him that way. This approach helped him mask the pain of his father being shot dead by a racist police officer by the name of Shon Courter of the Bloomfield Police Department in Bloomfield, New Jersey on June 11, 2012.
It was the eve of Najee’s eighth grade graduation from Science Park Middle School in Newark. He was waiting for his father to return home from work to hit him up for a few bucks before going to a pre-graduation party inside the school’s gym. His father never returned. Four bullets from officer Courter’s nine-millimeter ended the life of Bernard Farmer, a social worker, husband and father. The officer claimed Mr. Farmer disobeyed his “freeze” command as he reached in his glove compartment which triggered him letting off four rounds. Of course there were no videos of the tragedy presented by the department but that didn’t stop Mrs. Farmer’s lawyer from getting hold of video tapes from a nearby bodega which uncovered the coverup.
Bloomfield is a small suburban town on the outskirts of Newark. More and more of the city was becoming “colorful” much to the chagrin of the elderly white residents as well as their sons and grandsons who grew up to be town police officers. Like most of their officers, Courter sported an unwarranted swag and allowed his badge to elevate his ego far beyond the confines of the law. He demonized every black man that drove a luxury car down Bloomfield Avenue. That day was Mr. Farmer’s turn to be harassed and callously killed in his 2011 Range Rover.
Corruption and the city of Bloomfield always went hand in hand. The city was sued for discrimination by black officers in a class action suit. It settled out of court. Najee’s father’s killing prompted a federal investigation into the department which led to the resignation of the police chief and the mayor who appointed him. Mr. Farmer left behind a son Najee 17, daughter Briah 14 and daughter Amirah 10. He was 41 years old.
Courter was later convicted of a host of wrongdoings by a New Jersey court in 2013 and sentenced to five years in prison. He had served his time but in Najee’s eyes he had gotten away with murder and he was determined to do something about it. His release date was at hand and the murderous officer’s family wasn’t the only people waiting for his release from the Essex County Prison downtown Newark.
Najee was also waiting in the cut between two vans in the court’s parking lot. He had embarked on a violent but just in his eyes, vigilante spree after his father’s killing to the delight of many Nubian people. He idolized Nubian Man and always longed to be accepted by his hero even though the hero knew nothing about Najee’s existence, least he thought. That was before but things were seconds away from changing.
Strapped with a 40-magnum tucked in the small of his back and a black stocking cap that covered his face, he took one step from between the vans with plans of avenging his father’s death. Then from nowhere appeared his hero, Nubian Man. Najee stopped in his tracks. “Nubian Man?” Najee uttered softly. Nubian Man placed the palm of his hand on Najee’s chest and slowly pushed him back between the vans while speaking in a soft but authoritative tone.
“I know why you’re here Najee. You’re seeking revenge for your father’s death, least you think you are. What you’re really seeking is the removal of pain. The same pain caused by his death that has been festering ever since you were fourteen years old.”
Najee removed the black stocking cap from his head. His eyes were filled with tears.
“How’d you know?” He asked. I was alerted by the spirit of my ancestors. It’s my job to know. It’s also my job to maintain an upstanding image for the Nubian community and to not kill judges for what I believe to be unjust decisions-like you did Judge Haskins.”
His comment drew a, how did you know that look from Najee. The ancestors showed me that as well Najee. Yes, it was his decision that ultimately led to the death of those Nubian children but even he deserves a day in court, in Nubian court before the counsel.”
“It’s a long story. I’ll explain later. On another note, you etched the letters N and M on the forehead so people would think it was me, why would you try to frame me?”
“I wasn’t trying to frame you at all. I was merely paying homage to you for all that you do for the Nubian people. After my father died I was looking for a mentor. Unbeknownst to you, you became that to me, vicariously at least. Then before I knew you became my hero. I felt like I found my purpose avenging the deaths of the Nubian people just like you but I didn’t kill Dylan Roof. I saw on the news that his killer left an N and M on his forehead too. That wasn’t me.”
“Well, I shed no tears for him,” Nubian Man commended.
“He must have been done in by SMOKE.”
“SMOKE?” Najee replied.”
“They’re a vigilante clique outta Brooklyn. They share my love for the Nubian people but we have different approaches. As for you, I can use an understudy.”
“Really,” Najee said perking up. “What’s the first step?” He asked just as Nubian Man pinched his brachial plexus causing him to pass out in Nubian Man’s arms.
An hour later he slowly awoke stretched out on a couch in the council chambers. He was groggy but he could hear Nubian Man speaking to the council as if he was a defense attorney giving his closing arguments.
“This young man’s father was a victim of the same unjust system that is responsible for the lack of due reciprocity for the Nubian people. We have enough of our young Nubian kings being raised without a father figure," Nubian Man stated with conviction.
“Yes but making him your understudy? I really feel like we’d be compromising the secrecy of our mission.” Queen Mother insisted. “Plus he’s only 18 years old. He’s just a baby.”
“I may be young but I’m ready.” Najee said rising from the couch still groggy.
“Did he just quote R. Kelly?” Aggi #1 said giggling. “That’s one strike against him right there,” followed Aggi #2.
“Be quiet you two,” snapped Passi #1. “I can see him playing a vital role for the Nubian community.”
“Role, what role might that be?” Queen Mother inquired.
“Prosperity,” answered Passi #2. “We need more than one person to carry out Nubian justice for years to come. There are far more wrongdoers of the Nubian community than we have heroes.”
“What does he bring to the table? We can’t be sponsoring any dead weight. Is the boy soft?” Aggi #1 asked.
“I am a third-degree black belt and a state wrestling champ,” Najee rebutted causing a chuckle from both Aggis.
“Our enemies aren’t wrestling or kickboxing anybody. They’re dropping physical and intellectual bombs young man, grenades too!” Retorted the Queen Mother. “I see you’re still in high school. What’s your GPA?” She asked.
“4.0 Ma’am,” Najee responded.
“You can call me Queen Mother.” She said causing Nubian Man to crack a tiny smile of satisfaction knowing that Najee was being accepted, though he didn’t know just how much.
“What are your collegiate plans?” Passi #1 asked.
“I have been offered a full academic scholarship from Syracuse, Morehouse, NYU, North Carolina A&T and Harry Jeffries University in Brooklyn. I’d be majoring in Black History.”
“Which way are you leaning?” Passi #2 asked.
“Well, it was Morehouse but I really wanna be close to home. That’s why I’m really thinking it’s gonna be Harry Jeffries U.”
His response pleased Nubian Man’s soul for obvious reasons. It caused the Queen Mother and Nubian Man to lock eyes. It was a look that said this was meant to be.
“Ah, Harry Jeffries U, one our newest HBCU’s.” Aggi #2 said. “Good choice.”
“Very well Nubian Man. We’ll give this a shot. I would need a detailed description of his role within the Nubian community as well as targeted milestones regarding the impact he will have on the community.”
“It shall be done Queen Mother.” Nubian Man said as the cracked smile he sported earlier became even wider.
“We will put him on probation for six months but month to month though; and see how things go from there. You’d be entrusted with supreme secrets Najee. This isn’t a game you’re about to embark on son.” She said staring deeply into his eyes, walking his way until they were face to face. “We cannot afford to let those secrets be compromised. Don’t you understand?” Queen Mother instructed.
“Yes Queen Mother.” He replied.
“Let him know there are no second chances,” Screamed Aggi #1. “And that if he is snatched up by SMOKE he is sworn to secrecy.”
“Silence!” Queen Mother snapped. “I have spoken all the words necessary. Govern yourself accordingly Najee.” Just as Queen Mother uttered those words she blew a palm full of Nubian dust into his face, causing him to be rendered unconscious.
1 AM Next Morning/Sunnyside Queens
All three members of Smoke are assembled in the back of the old Amtrak train yard. Nyla Stone is leading the talk.
“As I stated in our last meeting, I think it’s time to increase our leverage outside of the Nubian community.”
“Nyla, what are you talking about now?” Shaka asked, unsure if he truly wanted to know.
“That’s the problem. We don’t need an army. With too many members comes the possibility of being infiltrated.” Smiley Killer insisted.
“There’s always a threat of infiltration. All it takes is for the wrong person to get hemmed up by authorities. We’ve all been there but we all stayed true. That’s because we believe in the cause and we know that our destiny is within this cause. Thing is, we’re only as strong as our reach and right now our reach is limited. That has to change, not just for us but for the entire Nubian community.”
“And what do you have in mind for expansion?”
“Well it starts right here in New York. We have to put the word out that we’re looking for recruits, offline though. We can’t fuck with social media. The feds monitor that. Put the word out in the barber shops and salons in all five boroughs. I wanna hit up the larger cities in Jersey too like Newark, Jersey City and Trenton too.”
“Fine, I’ll put the word out in the Bronx and Harlem.” Shaka said.
“Cool. Smiley and I would work BK. I’ll reach out to my contacts in Brick City to get the ball rolling there.” Nyla instructed. “This conversation was far less aggravating than I thought it would be. You seem to always push back against growth Shaka. Thanks for rolling with the punches this time.”
“Anything for the Nubian people my Nubian queen.” Shaka said.
“Yes indeed. Anything for the Nubian nation,” said Smiley in support.
The three of them all yelled out Nu three times as they pounded their balled right fist atop their chest three times.
The following morning at Harry Jeffries University Dr. Jeffries is addressing a class as he lectures them on the role of the Tuskegee Airmen and other black soldiers in World War II.
“The Tuskegee Airmen flew 1,578 successful missions and destroyed 261 enemy aircrafts. These were some of the brightest black men in the world at that time because Tuskegee University was the cream of the crop when it came to black intellectuals. Enduring racism from the very men they served aside, they blocked that out and carried out their mission like soldiers do. Then they returned home and was treated like second class citizens.” Dr. Jeffries voice elevated as he spoke with conviction.
“After the war the United States helped rebuild Germany and Japan as our black heroes weren’t even allowed to get Fanny Mae loans in the south until the late 1960’s. Then, after all that, we’re told we must stand for the flag of a nation that has failed to recognize the heroism, killing and oppression of our people? Fuck no!” Dr. Jeffries snapped.
Dr. Jeffries’ language startled no one. His students were use to it. His passion and candor were the very reasons why so many students looked forward to his classes. He continued as he paced the lecture hall scanning his students with his eyes.
“We must constantly remind this country of the labor of our ancestors. It’s their labor that has enabled this country to flourish. Never forget about our ancestors. Never, ever forget. Essays due tomorrow. No excuses!”
30 Days Later
It was New Year’s Eve 2018 and Najee Farmer had finished 90 days of training with Nubian Man. His training had to do mostly with cardio and African and American history. He is sitting Indian style in front of the council and just endured one hour of quizzes. He is awaiting a name to be given to him. The dimly lit underground space where the ceremony was being held was made a little brighter when Queen Mother Moji appeared with her glistening emeralds that hung below her neck.
“Najee you have been recruited by one of our own. Not just anyone one of our own but one who we’ve entrusted the love of our people to. Nubian Man has brought you to us and have implored us to give you consideration to be a part the Nubian Council. You have been diligent over the past few months and although you will still be on probation for the next few months, I have come up with a name for you.”
Queen Mother approached Najee as she fanned herself with an ostrich feathered fan. She began walking around Najee slowly, as she spoke.
“Considering the fact that you were specifically recruited to be Nubian Man’s helpmate and potential predecessor, I now bestow on you the name Ojo Iwaja. You may be called simply Ojo by the council. It is Yoruba and it means for the future.We welcome you to the Council young king. We ask that you be humble but confident, tender but strong and most of all be cognizant of the ancestors when they speak to you. It is their voice that will guide you.”
Each member of the council rose from their seat and began walking around Ojo while at the same time chanting "Aabo Olorun, Aabo Olorun."
The next day in Vineland, New Jersey, Nubian Man is staking out the home of one Kevin Haley, a white supremist who has galvanized hundreds of other white supremacists in South Jersey. He wasn’t born by that name but changed his birth name from De La Beckwith to Haley after his father, Byron De La Beckwith, was jailed for the murder of the great civil rights leader, Medgar Evers.
The murder took place in 1964 but De La Beckwith wasn’t convicted until 1994. His father was a white supremist as well and resented Evers’ efforts of pushing for blacks to vote. He hid behind bushes at Evers’ home and shot him in the chest one night as he approached his front porch. His wife and children saw a hole in Medgar’s chest and witnessed him take his very last breath.
The ancestors led Nubian Man to a small VFW lodge where 200 white men awaited a speech from Haley. Haley was preparing for his speech in a back office of the lodge when all of a sudden things went pitch black for three seconds before the light returned along with Nubian Man standing in front of the very desk where Haley was working on his speech. They stared at each other for a few seconds before Nubian Man pulled up a chair to the desk.
“I know you. You’re super nigger ha, ha, ha, ha.” Haley said with a weird confidence as he reached for his nine millimeter from the bottom right drawer of his desk to no avail.”
“The gun’s gone bro. Or should I say De La Beckwith? Yep, the ancestors hipped me to the fact you’d be packin’.”
Haley rose from his seat where his six feet six nearly three hundred pound frame would have intimidated many men but not Nubian Man who stood several inches shorter. Haley took a swing just as he began to rise from his chair. Nubian Man caught his right fist and crushed it, breaking every single finger. When Haley fell to his knees in pain, Nubian Man pinched his brachial plexus and began to speak.
From the cries of Emmett Till
To the tears of brothers and sisters, still
There is one who shall take a stand
Justice shall be served
A second later Haley collapsed onto his office floor. All he could move were his eyes.
It was November 9th 2021 and a night like no other for the Nubian community. Dr. Jeffries had just received another award. This one was for being the Most Progressive Nubian Man of the Year. The vote was unanimous and it was the second time winning in the span of three years. During the previous 12 months he managed to open three additional Lean on Me male mentoring programs in Brooklyn. That brought the total to six from Bushwick to Bed Stuy and he also started a $5,000 scholarship at Boys and Girls High School, his alma mater. His fifteen-minute speech electrified the crowd and left them with a zeal that only the good doctor could cook up.
The Times Square Marriott Hotel didn’t look as stuffy as it usually did on that Saturday night. The celebratory mood of the Nubian crowd that had gathered had everything to do with it. Every who’s who of the Nubian community was in attendance. Smiley Killer and Shaka Black of SMOKE were also, on the low of course. Nyla Stone was too in attendance and needless to say, almost every Nubian male took notice of her, their dates did as well.
Dr. Jeffries got an uncomfortable feeling from the two male members of SMOKE. He wasn’t intimidated, just uncomfortable. Seconds after he spoke, he witnessed Nyla Stone walk to the podium with a regally feminine and sexy strut reminiscent of the most beautiful African queens. She was introduced as Isis Cole then welcomed the crowd with “peace and blessings.”
The crowd responded in like fashion. Ms. Cole owns four Brooklyn salons and was recognized for the mentoring of the community young Nubian queens. The eyes of Nubian women in particular were fixated on the strong yet beautiful image in front of them that demanded the attention of everyone. Her disposition was as powerful as her beauty.
“I thank God that he allowed me to wake this morning and be amongst the Nubian community. Every day that comes in which I am privileged to serve my community is truly a blessing. I feel the spirit of our ancestors here today. I see the genius of our ancestors as well. Their genius lies in all of the Nubian kings who have spoken already; Dr. Kunjufu, Mr. Dyson and of course the Dr. Jeffries, the man after every available queen’s heart in the Nubian community.” She said causing light laughter and blushes as she stared Dr. Jeffries way with a smile.
Dr. Jeffries was caught off guard by Nyla Stone. Although he swore they met before, he couldn’t remember where he remembered her from. Still, that didn’t keep him from zoning in on her. Her beautifully wrapped kente clothed skirt was in perfect step with her matching head wrap. Dr. Jeffries cracked an appreciative smile right back at Nyla.
Nyla Stone was the first Nubian woman to speak of the evening and she was in rare form. “When I think of strong Nubian women I think of names like Madame C.J. Walker, Harriet Tubman, Shirley Chislom, Angela Davis but most of all Assata Shakur.” The crowd erupted with a thunderous applause and its intensity seemingly doubled as did the volume of Nyla Stone.
“Nothing has changed from a Nubian sister’s perspective. We are still at the bottom of the affirmative action totem pole but that doesn’t mean we’re the weakest. We are the lowest paid in corporate America but that doesn’t mean we’re not the brightest. We have been stepped on and over when it comes to advancement but that doesn’t mean our day won’t come. My past is littered with the bones of those who’ve doubted me and I’m ready to add to my bone collection. Are you?”
“That’s right sister!” Several female voices uttered.
Passer-byers stopped in their tracks. They couldn’t help but to take notice of the reverence Nyla was receiving from the crowd. Najee Farmer was working as a hostess for the night but his eyes were fixated on Nyla too. Dr. Jeffries’ presence somewhat startled Najee.
“Put your tongue back in your mouth son. That’s not a good look,” Dr. Jeffries kidded causing a chuckle from Najee.
“She’s an absolute vision of beauty isn’t she?” Najee asked somewhat in a trance-like state.
“Indeed she is. Indeed she is Najee.” Dr. Jeffries said. “You may not have noticed but we have some visitors here with us tonight but look straight ahead. Don’t get spooked.”
“Okay. Can you tell me more about the visitors?
“They’re the Federal Bureau of Investigation.” Dr. Jeffries retorted.
“Lower your voice Najee,” Dr. Jeffries cautioned.
“Sorry. Now, how exactly did you come to find out that they’re here?” Najee asked.
“I was alerted by the spirit of the ancestors. Plus none of the four sitting at the bar were on the list.”
“You mean the two couples sitting at the bar closest to the bathroom?” Najee asked.
“Why would they be here?”
“That’s an easy answer. They’re here to stop the progress of the Nubian people. I imagine they may be looking for opts to infiltrate the community’s movement,” Dr. Jeffries said.
“I don’t understand it. All we do is good for the community. Why would they use taxpayers money to come after us?”
“For the same reason they came after Huey Newton, Stokey Carmichael and others. Progression and togetherness in the Nubian community is a dangerous combination for those that oppress us Najee. That’s empowerment and they know that as long as they keep us on our knees and without power, then we cannot rise up against them.”
“What do you plan on doing?”
“Watch me.” Dr. Jeffries began walking toward the bar where the FBI agents sat sipping their drinks. All four noticed him walking their way as the each of them pretended not to see him. “Good evening agent Swanson. Yes, I know who you are. You’re a Princeton grad who also played point guard on the basketball team but you couldn’t hit an elbow jumper so you quit the team after your playing time was reduced to three minutes a game.”
The other three agents looked on in shock but did their best not to give away their cover. “I’m sorry but you’re terribly mistaken,” said Swanson.
“Sure I am. I guess I’d be mistaken about your date agent Freeman too huh, a Spellman grad who joined the agency after 2 years on the Columbus, Ohio police force and let’s talk about the second female in your clique, agent Byers, a former navy seal with a master’s degree in Psychology. You didn’t make the cut for med school at Johns Hopkins so you settled. And last but not least is agent Ross, a former wrestling champ at the University of Washington. You were determined to be an FBI agent ever since you found out that your father had been. He was killed in the line of duty when you were only 2 years old.”
No one spoke for an entire five seconds. “I’m sorry, Dr. Jeffries is it,” agent Ross asked after taking notice of Dr. Jeffries name tag. “Though you speak in such a definitive tone, I have to disappoint you and let you know that you’re wrong about all your assumptions.”
“So now you wanna play games huh motherfucker. I don’t give a fuck that I’m looking at four black FBI agents. It was black undercover agents that did in the original black panther movement in the early 70’s. Just because you’re black doesn’t mean that you’re righteous you know. So this is what I’m gonna do. I’m gonna give you guys 30 minutes to leave or else I will have the gooniest of goons come in this motherfucker and rip you all to pieces and I can guarantee that you cannot count on a single soul here tonight to recall how the four of you got the very life stomped out of you in front of a jury. You now have 29 minutes.”
Dr. Jeffries walked away from the foursome sporting a confident strut full of swag as if he had just cracked a code. Najee Farmer witnessed the entire exchange as he was serving a table near the bar. Seconds later, all four agents walked out of the hotel and onto Times Square. About that same time Nyla Stone was bringing her speech to an end.
“So you see my Nubian kings and queens, the struggle continues and as long as we allow ourselves to be led by the spirit of our ancestors, we cannot go wrong. So I say to you, go in peace. Walk in strength. Take note of everything beneficial but say nothing until you are ready to put all of your knowledge to work for the Nubian community. Ibukun!” She concluded her speech with. “Ibukun the crowd retorted.”
Just as Nyla made her way from the podium, Shaka Black decided to follow Dr. Jeffries outside to take in a bit of fresh air of his own. Shaka donned a grey dashiki that had Nelson Mandel’s face stitched in the very center. He walked up to Dr. Jeffries with an unlit cigarette in his right hand.
“Excuse me my brother, you have a light?” Shaka asked.
“I’m sorry but I don’t smoke.” Dr. Jeffries replied.
“Good. That’s real good. We need healthy Nubian men such as yourself to step up when men like me fall victim to the finest Cohiba cigars in the world. This very cigar was a gift from Assata Shakur when I visited her last year. That’s one sister who’s down for the cause. Peace king, would you happen to have a light?” Shaka asked a passerby. The stranger obliged.
“I’m sorry. My name is Shaka, Shaka Black and you are?” Shaka said with a hand extended for a shake.
“Dr. Jeffries, Harry Jeffries.” He said extending his hand.
Shaka gripped Dr. Jeffries’ hands very tightly and pulled him toward him as he whispered in his ear.
“Pleasure to meet you Dr. Jeffries. Or should I say Mandrill. Yeah, you’ve clearly had surgery but you’re the same height, same build. You even have the same energy too. Still progressive and shit and still about inspiring the Nubian community. Cheers for all of that.”
Dr. Jeffries snatched his hand from Shaka’s grip before giving him a cold stare and a warning.
“I don’t know who Mandrill is but he’s certainly not me. Now, I suggest we both leave this place on a positive note. It would be a shame to have to kick another Nubian man’s ass on the eve of such great pride for the Nubian community.”
“Dr. Jeffries, should I pull your car around for you?” A valet asked.
“Thanks. That’d be much appreciated. You enjoy the rest of your evening Mr. Black.”
Later That Night in a Bed Stuy loft just off Eastern Parkway
All three members of SMOKE were taking turns throwing back shots of Tequila. Nyla Stone had traded in her kente cloth skirt and head wrap for her classic dreadlocked wig. The wig looked just like what would be her real hair. Along with the wig she sported skin tight black leather cat suit. Shaka Black and Smiley Killer were often distracted by her seductive apparel.
“Eyes on me Shaka!” Snapped Nyla.
“That’s right and not on her cleavage.” Smiley Killer said.
“How would you know where he was looking if you weren’t doing the same?” Nyla asked Smiley prompting laughter from all three.
“Come on guys let’s stay focused. This meeting is about Timothy Loehmann, the devil that snuffed the life out of Tamir Rice. May the young king rest in peace.”
“Only twelve years old, Damn!” Smiley replied.
“I wanted to fillet his ass in 2014 but Smiley and Mandrill talked me out of it. Talkin’ ‘bout, ‘let’s see what the court system decides first’. Shit, I knew he was never gonna be held accountable for that boy’s death.” Smiley Killer said. “Mandrill was always slow to kill, sometimes it seemed he hated it. I still think that Jeffries guy is him.”
“Your recollection is all fucked up Shaka,” said Smiley. I wanted to do him too. I just wanted to see where they were hiding Loehmann. We needed more intel on him before we could plot. Mandrill and I were two different people but we both loved the Nubian people. I was checking Jeffries out tonight. I just don’t feel any Mandrill vibes from him, not like I use to anyway. He used to kick some ass with us though.”
“He sure did!” Shaka agreed.
“If you two are finished your man crush I’d like to continue. Loehmann lives in a small town called Lakewood. It’s a suburb of Cleveland, Ohio. Every Sunday morning he takes his small fishing boat onto the Cuyahoga River to seek out large steelhead trout. I want to make his next fishing trip his last.”
The Following Night, Just Before Midnight
Nubian Man is at the residence of Officer Timothy Loehmann. He’s waiting in the back of his garage for him to return home from his second shift duties with the Cleveland Police Department. Just like clockwork, the murderer’s garage door opened and before it could close, Nubian Man crawled beneath it. He hopped in the back seat of the officer’s hunter green Jeep Wrangler before he could remove the key from the ignition.
Nubian Man grabbed the killer of Tamir Rice in a tight head lock but lose enough for the officer to offer a response to upcoming questions. The officer peered into his rearview mirror and saw Nubian man’s eyes. He knew exactly who he was. He knew he was the avenger of the Nubian people and he knew he was next on the list to be immobilized.
“Do you know who I am?” Nubian Man asked.
“Ye, ye yes. You’re Nubian Man.”
“Then I don’t have to tell you why I’m here do I?”
“No but it was a mistake. I mean he had a gun.”
“Yes a FUCKIN’ TO GUN!” Nubian Man snapped. “A toy gun that was never ever pointed at you.”
“I, I, I told him to drop it three times but he didn’t listen.”
“You shot him within three seconds after stopping your patrol car you lying asshole.”
The officer wanted to plead for mercy but Nubian Man had heard enough.
“For the murder you have committed against the Nubian community I sentence you to live out the rest of your days locked within your body, alive with the knowledge and regret of what you did. Think upon your sin and be at peace with your punishment. Let you be another example of anyone foolish enough to take a Nubian life.”
Nubian Man pinched Loehmann’s brachial plexus causing his body to become limp, sliding down the driver seat of his jeep. As Nubian Man disappeared in the night, the kitchen lights in Loehmann’s house came on. It was his girlfriend wondering what was taking him so long. Her calls to his cell phone could be heard ringing but he had no strength to answer.
The following Day at Harry Jeffries University
Dr. Jeffries is standing at the podium addressing his students. As always, they hung on his every word.
“So you see inclusion doesn’t always mean progress. Hell, we were included in the Civil War because they needed us as soldiers. We were included in World War I and II for the same reasons. Then when the heroic Tuskegee Airmen returned home they were called nigger by their own comrades who’s planes they helped escort on bombing missions. There was a time when we weren’t included in the NBA or NFL but after they included us, they controlled us.” Dr. Jeffries removed his glasses. He always did so whenever he delved deeper into a topic.
“Basketball and football are the only two sports where you have to attend college for a minimum amount of time before playing professionally. You can turn pro at 15 in tennis and golf which are white dominated sports. In this country we’re suppose to have the right to seek employment at age 18 if you’re qualified but that doesn’t count for basketball and football. No, inclusion does not necessarily mean progress.” He said as he wiped the beads of sweat from his forehead.
“The NCAA is the biggest plantation in the world. Duke University sold more than $7 million dollars worth of Eric Manno’s jersey in 2018. Manno received nothing! NOTHING! My grandmother was a school teacher in Richmond Virginia. She has always said that the worst thing that ever happened to the black student was desegregation. She said when there was segregation you knew you were sending your child to school to be taught by a black teacher that had their best interest at heart. They were loved. They were inspired. They were driven. Desegregation changed all of that.”
The Following Morning
The members of SMOKE are sitting around in a Brooklyn loft. African artwork can be seen all about the walls. The art stemmed from slavery time to the Harlem Renaissance to the Black Lives Matter movement. They are watching the news as they talk.
“Whatever happened to the Nubian Man wannabe?” Shaka asked. We haven’t heard much about him since he did away with that devil Dillon. They exploded in laughter in unison. Their laughter was stopped a special report.
“We have breaking news out of Lakewood Ohio,” said the news reporter. “Let’s send it out to our field reporter Candice Daye.
“Wait, Lakewood is where that devil Loehmann lives. Fuck, I bet Nubian Man has gotten to him.” Smiley Killer exclaimed.
“Thank you Steven. We are here at the home of officer Timothy Loehmann. At approximately 1 am this morning 911 responded to a distress call at Loehmann’s house. The call was placed by his girlfriend. Nora Feinstein. When police arrived they found Loehmann apparently paralyzed from the waist down. This is clearly the work of Nubian Man. You may remember that in 2014 officer Loehmann killed 12 year old Tamir Rice as he played in a local Cleveland playground. He was never charged with his murder and that enraged the Nubian community. Well It appears Nubian Man has somewhat revenged Tamir Rice’s death. Back to you Candice.”
“He ain’t no fucking hero and that ain’t no fuckin revenge either. That devil still lives. Tamir Rice is dead! If he’s for the Nubian people it has to be an eye for an eye. Not that paralysis bullshit!” Shaka Black snapped as he slammed the door of the loft behind him.
By day he's Dr. Harry Jeffries III. By night he's Nubian Man avenging the deaths of the Nubian people at the hands of an unjust justice system and racists.
They are SMOKE, a rogue vigilante clique outta Brooklyn. They share Nubian Man's affinity for the Nubian people but takes exception for what they call Nubian Man's lenient approach toward those guilty of taking a Nubian life.
Nyla Stone: (Member of Smoke) A master of disguises, Nyla Stone received her PhD in Genealogy from Spellman University. One of the world’s leading authorities in Genealogy, she is also an extremely accomplished archer, having won a gold medal in the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, Greece. Her victory was not celebrated due to her tongue lashing of the United States' government silent stance on African atrocities. She found out her father , a scientist for the FDA, was assassinated by the government for incriminating evidence he uncovered detriment to the Nubian people. She fears she’s next on the list.
Shaka Black (member of Smoke) was born in South Africa and migrated to the US at the age of 4 with his parents in 1990. An actual member of the Zulu tribe and a master of the African form of martial arts called Dambe. He is also a master of ancient African weaponry.
Smiley Killer: (Member of Smoke) Is a stocky built man in his late 40’s. He broke outta jail after witnessing Larry Davis’ murder inside Rikers Island and knew he was next on the list. He vows revenge on every racist or unjust person that dares to take the life of a Nubianite. Neither of the other Smoke members has even seen him smile. He was facetiously given the nickname Smiley Killer.