The Early Years
Author Shahidi Islam, birth named Anthony Saunders, was born in London, England in 1982 to Laurelle and Lloyd Saunders, two Jamaican immigrants who were used to travelling to different countries. In 1991 his family moved to Brooklyn, New York where his father settled for the next 25 years of his life. When they moved to Brooklyn Saunders almost immediately got involved in the street life, and by 1997 he had joined the 187 Gangsta Crips and was expanding the Crip organisation all over the Flatbush, Brownsville, Canarsie, and East New York sections of Brooklyn as O.G. Foot-C.
With the encouragement of his mother he then turned Christian on February 28, 1998 and began studying the Bible and reading the works of a large number of pastors so that he could fully understand what the scriptures meant.
Around June of that same year he left the gang, believing they lacked the spiritual depth to teach him any further, and went to live with a minister in Cleveland, Ohio. That minister was Ernest Abernathy, who went on to be lead pastor of the Kingdom Revival Church. Two years later Islam, still then named Anthony, got accepted by Art Katz’s Prophetic School and Convocation where he learned directly from Art Katz and lived with him in the Ben Israel community.
When Trouble Comes
When he left Ben Israel he returned to his parents and began with teaching his mother the lessons he learned in his travels. Now his mother was a very spiritual woman who knew how to Biblically interpret dreams and visions. His grandmother was even close friends with a Jamaican prophetess who would predict events all over the Caribbean that actually came to true. Therefore this history of spirituality was deep in his family.
But on October 7, 2001, while Islam, still at that time called Anthony, was teaching his mother some more lessons he learned in Ben Israel, his mother collapsed in front of him. This would lead to her death in hospital on October 11; which devastated him. A few months after his mother’s death he did time in prison for assault and got deported back to London, where his sister had been living since August 2000.
Activism and Conclusion
While Islam was in prison he met a large number of godbodies, who taught him the science of black Godhood and showed him how deep the street culture actually is. At that time he was convinced, but on returning to London he was disconnected from the movement. Still, he never lost sight of their basic message and tried to continue it, even in London.
He then joined the Stop the War movement, the Anti-Imperialism struggle, the Make Poverty History, the Fair Trade movement, the Live Simply campaign, the Campaign Against the Arms Trade, the Socialist Workers’ Party, and the Afrikan Co-operative Union all to do his mother proud by “changing the world.” Then, finally, in 2014, he found certain godbodies in London and became a founding member of the London branch of the godbody movement.
Shahidi has also studied a large number of sociological works during his time in London and has compared the lessons of these and various spiritual systems to the godbody movement he currently represents. He now spreads all over the black community of London the depth of that godbody spirituality so as to ultimately liberate his people, internally and externally, and to do his mother proud.