Lamont Muhammad Is 'The Original Man'

"My students sometimes call me 'Dad' by mistake."

Lamont Muhammad is a third-grade teacher in Waterloo, Iowa, who knows the impact that a male role model can play in childrens' lives. 

When he was their age, he was looking for the same thing. 

Born Lamont Jenkins in 1980, he grew up in the Bay Area of California. His mother was addicted to drugs and his father was doing a life sentence in prison. It appeared as if no one would take the young man and his siblings in until their grandfather's girlfriend--whom they now call their grandmother--was granted custody. 

"I definitely had to adapt to a family that wasn't mine but they came to love me as their family," he recalls. 

Sometimes, that love was not enough. As a young teen, Lamont did things to fit in with his peers-- which landed him in juvenile detention centers for a few brief stints. However, his turning point came when he was introduced to the teachings of the Elijah Muhammad from The Nation of Islam. In time, men in the organization began to take the youth under their wings and kept him out of trouble.

"[The Nation of Islam] helped me to get some knowledge in my head so that when I came across different situations, I could think," he remembers.

One concept taught by The Nation of Islam is that black men are the "original men"--which inspired Lamont's rap name, Original Man. 

On July 16, he released a music project called P.O.E.M.S. (Pieces Of Every Man's Soul) Book One. 

As an artist, "Brother Lamont" wants people to look past his religious affiliation and judge him for his music. 

"My big push is that when I rhyme, I don't want you to know what I am, I don't want you to know that I'm Muslim," he explains. 

"Music is a language that transcends color, creed, and class."

[To download Lamont's project, click this link]

~ Zack A. Isaacs

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