By Aswad Walker
Deric Muhammad is a Houston-area activist and member of the Nation of Islam who has garnered the respect of thousands far beyond the Bayou City borders and outside of his own faith community through the positive and powerful work he has done over the years. Muhammad has not only spent a lifetime advocating for the mistreated, he has also mentored legions of Black boys and young adults through the Smart’n Up Black Male Summit he founded in 2010. That summit has not only taken place in Houston, but is several other cities around the country including Austin, New Orleans and Miami.
Now Muhammad is posed to make an impact in a different way, with his new book “New Rules.”
“It’s a book that deals with my perspective on the most critical issues that we face, particularly in Black America. ‘New Rules’ represents our pivot points. It represents those things that I believe that we have to set in motion and set in place if we are to achieve freedom, justice, equality, and independence.”
The book speaks on many topics, including education, economics, fatherhood, generational wealth, the hood and more.
“There’s a chapter in the book that deals with politics. And I talk about the importance of local politics versus national politics. How local politics actually has an impact on the quality of our everyday life. So, that’s one of the pivot points that I think we need to make. If we want political power, then we have to start local. But more than anything else, if we want any kind of power, be it political, educational, economic, any kind of power, it requires that we be unified as a community.
According to Muhammad, even the book’s cover possesses a valuable lesson.
“You see torn pages on the bottom of the image. This represents those pages that we have to tear as a community. It represents those things that we have to leave behind. It represents those things that we’ve tried but have not worked, like the social experiment called integration. It’s something we’ve tried, but it hasn’t worked. So, we have to turn the page, tear the page. And that’s what ‘New Rules’ is about. ‘New Rules’ is pointing us in the direction of independence.”
An excerpt from the book’s introduction makes plain Muhammad’s goal with this work.
“This is not a self-help book. This is not a motivational speech. This is serious work about restructuring how we think. This is about enforcing radical change. This is the pressing of the reset button on our collective consciousness after four hundred years of mere survival in the face of American terrorism.”
And according to Muhammad, all are welcomed to consumed the words and ideas of “New Rules.”
“It’s written for anyone who wishes to be enlightened about the condition of Black people and the way forward. But, it’s more like a letter to my people, to my community. So, it is a book that’s geared towards solving the problems in and of the Black community. But it’s also semi-autobiographical. So, there are a lot of vignettes, stories about my personal life, and just some of the things that I’ve gone through that led me to believe in what it is that we’re preaching in this book.
For more information, visit www.DericMuhammad.com.