Muslim Journal Newswire
NEWARK, N.J. – Amina Bey, daughter of Sis. Fredrica Bey describes her mother’s journey to Al-Islam:
“Fredrica Howard (Sis Fredrica Bey) and Betty Osborne (Sis Safiyya Sharif) were teenagers when they became friends. When Betty began dating Frank Simmons (Bro. Osman Sharif) in high school, my mom and dad, Salome Bey, began dating at Weequahic High School, Newark, NJ.
They were all friends. In 1963, Frank asked Betty to bring Fredrica to Muhammad’s Temple #25 at 257 South Orange Ave., in Newark, to hear a guest Minister visiting from New York City. That minister was Minister Malcolm X.
Frank and Betty had already joined the Nation of Islam and were trying to recruit other members – “Fishing” as they called it then. Fredrica went, reluctantly; she was hesitant to give up her miniskirts and cigarettes. But Frank never gave up on his childhood friend.
After Malcolm X was assassinated in February 1965, Fredrica returned to the Temple. She joined Betty in MGT class and wrote her letter to receive her “X” and become a registered member of the Nation of Islam.
She even corresponded with Mother Clara Muhammad, asking her to visit the MGT-GCC (Muslim Girls Training – General Civilization Class) class in Newark.
Fredrica also reconnected with her High School sweetheart, Salome. Salome was the top seller in Newark of Muhammad Speaks newspaper. He and his identical twin brother, Elihu, were raised in the Moorish Science Temple under Noble Drew Ali.
Joining the Nation of Islam was a natural fit for Salome since Noble Drew Ali taught various aspects of Islam. Salome was a 2nd generation Muslim.
Fredrica, who was raised Baptist, was 1st generation. Salome and Fredrica married in 1968. She volunteered at Sis. Clara Muhammad School, where she taught canning and sewing, and assisted teachers in the classroom.
With my paternal grandparents and my nephews, we have four generations of Muslims in my family in Newark.
Tribute to Fredrica Bey:
Fredrica Bey is a native of Newark, growing up in Newark’s Third Ward”; she was educated in Newark Public Schools with her nine siblings. She went on to attend Essex County College before majoring in Business Administration at Kean University from 1972 –1975.
Fredrica worked for the Newark Board of Education Title I Program, as an Administrator from 1980 to 1990. In 1990, she became a licensed Realtor and has been awarded numerous times as a top seller in the state of New Jersey.
From 1990 to 2009 she was a Residential and Commercial Real Estate Broker; and from 2009 to the present, she continues in the Real Estate sector as a Referral Agent.
She is a proud member of many organizations, such as the Essex County WIB Board, Leadership Newark Alumni, Sisters Coalition, Lifetime Member of the NAACP, the Black Leadership Political Action Committee, the League of Women Voters – Greater Newark Chapter, and NJDOE Council on Diversity, New Jersey Association of Realtors, National Action Network to name a few.
However, none are as personal to her heart as Women in Support Of the Million Man March, Inc. (WISOMMM, Inc.).
The year 1995 was one of the most important of Fredrica’s life, as she made Hajj with her daughter Amina, and twin grandsons Elijah and Isaiah were born to her daughter Fatimah, and The Million Man March was convened on October 16, 1995.
Minister Farrakhan made a national call to black men to come to Washington, D.C., to atone to G-d, recommit themselves to their families, loved ones, and communities, and work together for the advancement of our people.
Fredrica was so moved by the call, that she worked diligently as Treasurer of the NJ Statewide Million Man March Organizing Committee. She was also asked to spearhead a women’s contingent to the march, called the Women In Support Of the Million Man March (WISOMMM).
She led the women’s group in registering voters and helped send over 50,000 men from the State of New Jersey to the Million Man March.
Fredrica decided after the March to keep the committed group of 23 women together. In 1995 WISOMMM was incorporated, and in 1997, Fredrica led this group of women of diverse professional and religious backgrounds to purchase a historic 19th Century Victorian Mansion in the Historic Lincoln Park District of Newark, as their Headquarters.
WISOMMM Mansion, as it is called, was the home to Adelaide L. Sanford Charter School, born out of WISOMMM Inc. in 2006.
In 2002, Fredrica led the WISOMMM organization to purchase a second Mansion at 67-69 in historic Lincoln Park District, which housed the Newark Teacher’s Association and was the extension of the Adelaide L. Sanford Charter School.
In 2004, Fredrica’s vision continued to expand when she facilitated the acquisition of the former Second Presbyterian Church at Historic James Street Commons.
The WISOMMM African American Education and Cultural Resource Center was the home of the WISOMMM Holistic Preschool Center, Striving Together Equals Progress (S.T.E.P.), which is a rite of passage program for young boys, WISOMMM Event Services, and a host of other activities and programs for the community.
She was voted, along with Larry Hamm, to Co-Chair the 20th Anniversary of the Historic Million Man March held in D.C. on Oct. 10, 2015, “Justice Or Else.”
Fredrica is currently Chair of the NJ Coalition for “Due Process of Law,” since 2017, leading the Moratorium on Foreclosures fight in the State of New Jersey, as it is cited as #1 in Foreclosures with Children and Families of Black and Brown Communities being disproportionately affected.
The focus: “The Coalition is winning this righteous fight to return the Wealth of the Children and Families in the Black and Brown Communities.”
Accolades to Sis. Fredrica includes: “New Jersey’s 100 Most Influential Award,” NJ Real Estate Association Million Dollar Club Award, Weichert Realtors Million Dollar Club Award in Upper Montclair, The NAACP/ Dr. Martin Luther King Award, and The Marcus Messiah Garvey Award, to name a few. She currently serves as a Commissioner with the City of Newark’s Historical Commission, preserving cultural Historical Landmarks in the city. Her favorite saying: “Victory belongs to those who believe.” And she believes.