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Biography

Richard Muhammad is the editor-in-chief of The Final Call, the only nationally distributed weekly newspaper in Black America. The Final Call (www.finalcall.com) is published by Min. Louis Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam and follows in the traditional of Muhammad Speaks, the groundbreaking publication published by the Nation in the 1960s and 1970s.

Muhammad became editor of The Final Call in 2009. He is a former managing editor and opened The Final Call East Coast Bureau in Washington, D.C., in the 1980s. His mentor was the late Abdul Wali Muhammad, who served as editor of The Final Call and whose demand for excellance and accuracy remain hallmarks of the publication.

Richard Muhammad is also founder of Straight Words Communications and Straight Words E-Zine and has over 20 years experience as a media professional.

Straight Words Communications is a media-consulting firm that handles programs, projects and causes with important community, social or political value. Whether grassroots community organizing groups, advocacy organizations, service providers, special projects or socially conscious individuals, Straight Words Communications specializes in helping groups clarify messages, craft images, and hit target audiences. Straight Words Communications can handle public relations, photography, design, video and special event needs.

Straight Words Communications rests on Muhammad’s years as a media manager, journalist and his passion for social justice. Prior to starting Straight Words Communications, Muhammad honed his skills as communications director for national non-profit organizations, as an advocate for independent media, a freelance writer and managing editor for The Final Call.

His record includes stints as communications director for the National Training and Information Center, the National Interfaith Committee For Worker Justice (now Interfaith Worker Justice) and managing editor for The Final Call Newspaper. He has served on the steering committee for the Chicago Independent Press Association and conducted training sessions for the Gale Cincotta Leadership Institute, the Chicago-based Community Media Workshop, and at national conferences devoted to worker rights, community housing and banking issues, and independent publishing.

Muhammad has also played significant roles in the historic Million Man March, major mobilizations related to immigrant rights, efforts to highlight the plight of Hurricane Katrina survivors and other important events and issues.

As editor and publisher of StraightWords E-Zine, Muhammad was committed to bringing an alternative and incisive news and views to the public. Muhammad has held memberships with the Chicago Independent Press Association, the Chicago Association of Black Journalists, and the Society of Environmental Journalists.

Muhammad is devoted to independent news, analysis, opinion and social justice. Muhammad oversaw the day-to-day operation of The Final Call, the largest Black weekly newspaper in America, for over a decade and sought news and analysis Blacks in America, the Diaspora, and progressive people needed to know.

He brings keen vision and a commitment to ethical reporting, solid writing, and important and interesting topics to the e-zine Straight Words, which began as a column in November 1999.

Richard Muhammad’s work has been carried by the Progressive Media Project, the 200 member National Newspaper Publishers Association, the Black Press of America; BlackVoices.Com, AlterNet, Sojo.Net, and the Black World Today, leading Internet sites; and in Canada. He is a frequent guest on radio and television shows and comments on current events, race and society, and provides media analysis. Muhammad has been a guest lecturer for a graduate course on media bias, race, the Nation of Islam and alternative media. An essay and photographs by Muhammad are included in "Million Man March/Day of Absence, A Commemorative Anthology " edited and published by Haki Madhubuti, and Dr. Maulana Karenga.

Muhammad grew up in Baltimore, Md., and graduated from Morgan State University, earning a BA in English. After a stint as an intern with a major daily newspaper, Muhammad worked in public information before joining The Final Call, and serving for 14 years. He lives in Chicago and can be reached via email at straightwords4@yahoo.com.