Northeastern University School of Law
ISF-Ghulum and Arifa Azad Family
Hakeem Muhammad grew up on the Southside of Chicago in a neighborhood that earned the nickname “Chiraq” due to the high prevalence of gang warfare. Muhammad worked to quell the gang violence in Chicago and through the Chicago Debate League, became a powerful voice for Black Chicogans by raising awareness of the role of institutional racism in creating the dilapidated conditions facing Black residents.
Since those early years, Muhammad has taught seminars on Philosophy, Black Political Thought, and public speaking at debate institutes at Harvard University, U.C. Berkeley, and Michigan State. He also worked with the African-American Male Initiative where he tutored at-risk Black male students in history, political science, and English as part of a comprehensive program to increase their academic success in college.
Muhammad is currently a third-year Public Interest law scholar at Northeastern University School of Law. He is committed to using his legal degree to defend the oppressed. Muhammad has assisted African-American Muslim prisoners in pro-se litigation to secure halal food, assisted in a complaint to hold multinational corporations accountable for destroying the environment of indigenous communities in West-Africa, assisted in an effort to secure a posthumous exhortation of an African-American man unjustly convicted of murder, assisted in the representation of indigent clients charged with felonies and misdemeanors as an intern at Queens Legal Aid in New York. Earlier this year Muhammad was selected as a fellow for the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyer which pairs fellows to study under top criminal defense practitioners in the country. He used this fellowship at the Roxbury Defenders, where he assisted in the representation of indigent clients from Malcolm X’s former neighborhood of Roxbury. In the fall, Muhammad will provide his legal skills to the People’s Law Firm in Chicago, where he will be aiding victims of police misconduct in obtaining compensation.
Muhammad is a prolific public speaker. He has lectured at Harvard University on the topic of Protest Rhetoric in the African-American tradition, Reviving the Islamic Agenda of Malcolm X at Howard University, and he delivered a lecture on the history of Islam in the African-American Community to students of Istanbul Sehir University.
In 2018, Muhammad founded the Black Dawah Network(BlackDawahNetwork.com), that focuses on Islamic Outreach to the most desolated and impoverished inner-city Black communities in the United States. His organization has distributed over 100 free copies of The Autobiography of Malcolm X in Malcolm X’s former Roxbury neighborhood and spoke to the residents about Islam. Moreover, his organization has been at the forefront of countering the rise of Black Orientalism in the Black community.
Muhammad, is currently finishing his new book “To Be Young, Black and Oppressed in Chicago” that explores the rise of Drill Rap in Chicago and how this music form articulates the frustrations of urban Black America who continue to face institutional racism in a post-Jim Crow America.
Areas of interest