Culture / News / Portfolio

History of A Nubian Notion, Inc.

Jumaada Abdal-Khallaq Henry Smith stands with a customer in A Nubian Notion, Inc.

Jumaada Abdal-Khallaq Henry Smith stands with a customer in A Nubian Notion, Inc.

In an era where finding a variety of treasured items and artifacts specific to black culture were usually a rarity, A Nubian Notion, Inc. represented positive reflections of such. Hand-crafted jewelry, fabric, art, books, cards, culturally relevant trinkets like Afro-piks, dashikis created by Founder/Owner Malik A. Abdal-Khallaq’s wife, Mrs. Elva Lee C. Abdal-Khallaq, and novelty items from his trips to places like Egypt and Sudan were all available for purchase.

Today it is no different. And for all bona fide Boston beans, the name “A Nubian Notion” rings an all too familiar bell.

This throwback photo is of late A Nubian Notion, Inc. Founder Malik A. Abdal-Khallaq (center) and friends outside of his first Boston based business, a barbershop in Roxbury.

This throwback photo is of late A Nubian Notion, Inc. Founder Malik A. Abdal-Khallaq (center) and friends outside of his first Boston based business, a barbershop in Roxbury.

But for the younger generations growing up in Roxbury and the surrounding areas, history of the store and what it represents cannot be lost. This event then will in part serve to share such knowledge – which is exactly what Mr. Malik would’ve wanted.

From those who knew him personally, Mr. Malik always sought to provide others with education, self-awareness and a strong sense of cultural identity. Mr. Malik earnestly desired for all to understand the essence and beauty that comes with knowing who you are and where you’ve come from and his ten children are only a mere fraction of those who can attest to this.

“My father really loved education, both my parents did. They were always sharing something with others,” daughter Jumaada Abdal-Khallaq Henry Smith said.

“[My father] never did anything without a meaning or purpose,” son Sharif Abdal-Khallaq added.

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