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Guide to the Muslims in Brooklyn oral histories 2018.006

Brooklyn Historical Society
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Brooklyn Historical Society

Collection processed by Elena Locascio

This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on June 13, 2019
Finding aid written in English using Describing Archives: A Content Standard

 Revised by Maggie Schreiner to reflect updated access restrictions.  , April 2019

Container List

Oral History Interview with Beatrice Sabir, August 28, 2018

Biographical / Historical

Beatrice Sabir was born in 1947 in Sumter, South Carolina. She moved to New York City as a young adult and joined the Nation of Islam in 1964. She worked in the Nation of Islam-affiliated Shabazz Restaurant in the Harlem neighborhood of Manhattan before opening Neighborhood Bakery with her husband in 1972 in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn. The bakery's market grew to include contracts with correctional facilities; accounts with local grocery stores, delis, and restaurants; and catering for cultural events. She also served on the board of directors of Masjid Abdul Muhsi Khalifah in Bedford-Stuyvesant.

Scope and Contents

In this interview, Beatrice Sabir discusses her childhood in South Carolina and Boston. She speaks on her exposure to Islam as a child, joining the Nation of Islam as a young adult, and her memories of Black Family Day on Randall's Island in 1972. She expands on her ongoing involvement with Muhammad Mosque No. 7C (later known as Masjid Abdul Muhsi Khalifah) in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn, including participating in Muslim Girls Training - General Civilization Class (MGT-GCC) as a young woman. She also talks at length about opening Neighborhood Bakery with her husband, including the bakery's transition from retail to wholesale and its emphasis on the bean pie. Interview conducted by Zaheer Ali.

Conditions Governing Access

This interview can be accessed onsite at Brooklyn Historical Society's Othmer Library and online at the Oral History Portal.

Subject Names

  • Sabir, Beatrice

Subject Organizations

  • Masjid Abdul Muhsi Khalifah (Brooklyn, New York, N.Y.)
  • Masjid Muhammad 7C (Brooklyn, New York, N.Y.)
  • Nation of Islam (Chicago, Ill.)
  • Neighborhood Bakery (Brooklyn, New York, N.Y.)

Subject Topics

  • African American cooking
  • African American Muslims -- New York (State) -- Kings County
  • Bakeries -- New York (State) -- Kings County
  • Black Muslims -- New York (State) -- Kings County
  • Family-owned business enterprises -- New York (State) -- Kings County
  • Food -- Social aspects
  • Grocery trade -- New York (State) -- Kings County
  • Islam -- Customs and practices
  • Martial arts -- Religious aspects -- Islam
  • Muslim converts -- New York (State) -- Kings County

Subject Places

  • Bedford-Stuyvesant (New York, N.Y.)
  • Brooklyn (New York, N.Y.)