“One day, you are going to look out into the streets, and the streets are going to be filled with men with turbans and fezzes, and the highways are going to be blocked.” – Noble Drew Ali
The renown actor, comedian, rapper and businessman Nick Cannon made a recent appearance on the TV show called The View (aired: August 2, 2017). This came about after somewhat of a “hiatus” from doing interviews (after he left his job as host of the TV show “America’s Got Talent” following some controversy behind statements he made during his stand-up comedy special).
What was interesting about this interview on The View was that the very first topic of discussion (brought up by co-host Whoopi Goldberg) was Nick Cannon’s turban. Now, up until this time, Nick Cannon has been wearing turbans for a while. However, he has never before elaborated on daytime television as to why he wear turbans. When asked as to why the turbans are worn, Cannon said that the turbans, “represent my culture”. What culture is he referring to exactly? Well, Nick Cannon gives a hint later in the interview.
Cannon goes onto say, “I didn’t want to do it for a fashion statement. It was something spiritually I was building…”. When a co-host of The View, Joy Behar, asked “But isn’t it a Sikh Indian thing?”, Cannon responded by saying:
“There is a Sikh element. There’s a Moorish mentality to it. There’s a lot of things. It’s just about the idea of what a turban represents. It’s so unfortunate because today people are intimidated by it … but ultimately this was a sign of peace, this was a sign of security.”
It’s quite interesting that Nick Cannon makes special mention of “a Moorish mentality”. It should be noted that some months before this interview, he was on the radio show The Breakfast Club where the co-host Charlemagne Tha God asked Cannon if he was a Moor. Although Cannon was somewhat vague in his response back then, he seemed comfortable in at least acknowledging his identification with Moorish nationality and culture.
This leads one to ask a simple question: Where could Nick Cannon have possibly received knowledge about Moors and the turban from?
Well, there is quite an abundance of evidence showing that the people known as the Moors were known for wearing turbans and fezzes on their heads. For those who may not already know, the Moors are historically known as the inhabitants of Northwest Africa who went into parts of Europe in 711 A.D. and ruled there for almost 800 years. The Moors were responsible for much of the advancements in European civilization. For an introductory lesson, an excellent documentary to watch is Hidden Colors (Part 1).
Now, with all that stated, there still remains the question of who exactly could have given Nick Cannon the idea of wearing a turban as a Moor in America. Well, to find the answer, one would have to look no further than a man named Noble Drew Ali.
Who Was Noble Drew Ali?
Noble Drew Ali was born in the state of North Carolina in the year 1886. He would later move to Newark, New Jersey as an adult where he would establish an organization in 1913. This organization would be later known as the Moorish Science Temple of America. Noble Drew Ali reached out to the people who were labeled at that time as Negro, Black and Colored. Drew Ali taught that there is no such thing as a Negro, Black or Colored race of people. He taught that those names were the result of European psychology for the purpose of depriving a people of their nationality. Drew Ali taught that the true nationality of these people was Moorish American, but that nationality was taken from them during the time of slavery. Noble Drew Ali was also known to wear a turban often. An excellent book on Noble Drew Ali to read is one by Azeem Hopkins-Bey entitled “Prophet Noble Drew Ali: Saviour of Humanity”.
It’s always interesting to note that Nick Cannon is known for connecting the turban with sovereignty and royalty. It should be no surprise at the correlation between him and Noble Drew Ali since Drew Ali was reported to make the following statement:
“The Moors were the off-springs of Kings and Queens.”