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Harlemites Take ‘black Hitler’ Seriously, Band to Erase Him

October 1, 1934
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Harlem business yesterday massed for a frontal attack on Sufi Abdul, Harlem’s so-called “black Hitler.”

In an enthusiastic meeting at the Hotel Newton, Broadway and Ninety-fifth street, which resounded with appeals for unity, more than 300 Jewish storekeepers launched the Merchants Association of Harlem, with Morris Towbin as temporary chairman.

New York City, represented by Louis Lande and Seymour Graubard, Board of Aldermen examiners, pledged its cooperation in wiping out the racial campaign against Jewish merchants which Hamid allegedly is carrying on.

The attempts of the “Negro fuehrer” to force Harlem Jewish merchants to hire members of his Negro Industrial Clerical Alliance came in for vigorous condemnation.

Spokesmen for the new organization said Negroes will be given representation in Harlem’s shops through a board of arbitration of the association which will confer with “responsible Negro organizations.”


The high point of the parley came when the first merchant willing to testify in court about Hamid’s alleged coercive activities presented himself.

Mr. Graubard had just finished upbraiding the merchants for being afraid to testify. “These people fear for their lives,” Mr. Towbin replied, “and you can’t expect them to be willing to testify.”

In the middle of the crowded room, a merchant stood up, and in a ringing voice said he was not afraid of Hamid and offered himself as a witness against Hamid’s alleged coercive activities.

He gave his name as Max Borenstein, a clothing merchant at 2,545 Eighth avenue, He was cheered enthusiastically as he weaved his

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