Kenneth McGriff: ‘Supreme’

By Christopher Zoukis

The South Jamaica section of Queens, New York was where Kenneth McGriff was born and raised.  The McGriffs lived right across the street from the Baisley Projects.  It was a working class neighborhood.  Both his parents worked for the Transit Authority on New York’s subway system.  They wanted their son to go to college and get a good job.  That was the future they dreamed about and worked for.

Some dreams come true.  Others don’t.   Image courtesy

When he was 10 years old, Kenneth got religion.  He came under the influence of a quasi-religion known as The 5 Percent Nation, which was also known as The Nation of Gods and Earths.  For lack of a better term, it was a cult.  The Five Percent Nation came from the peculiar imagination of Clarence 13X, who – once upon a time – had been part of the Nation of Islam.  Before he converted, 13X’s name used to be Clarence Edward Smith.  Later, Clarence 13X decided he could no longer accept the idea that Wallace Fard – who was the founder of the Nation of Islam – was god.  So Clarence 13X left and started his own religion.  His new religion taught that God was the Blackman and woman was his Earth.  In other words, the Blackman was the highest power or Supreme Being of the Universe. 

The 5 Percent Nation took their name from the fact that they believed they were the chosen five percent of humanity.  The other 95% of humanity were made up of two divergent groups.  Those who lacked knowledge accounted for 85%.  And those who were devils made up the remaining 10%.  The devils were people who knew the truth but deliberately taught lies for the purpose of personal gain. 

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