Actually, the bean pie dates back to the 1930's when The Savior first taught Messenger Elijah Muhammad about the magnificent, nutritious, versatile, and inexpensive small navy bean - the bedrock of the Supreme Bean Pie. Of the many ways that these delicious and nutritious beans can be prepared, came the birth of the Nation of Islam's iconic dessert and national treasure - the World Famous Supreme Bean Pie. (While there are many who make bean pies, we believe our pies are unmatched.)
It is important to provide some background and context, in order to better understand our love affair, but most importantly, the Divine connection between the SBP an our Divine destiny. Along with the SBP, came the Supreme Squash and Supreme Carrot pies. Our sole purpose is to deliver our people to the teachings.
In 1966, at the ripe age of nineteen, a young Philadelphia dope fiend, delinquent, street thug, and gang leader - born Bernard Emanuel, but best known by friends and foes alike as Buck, Bo-Bo, or just plain Bo - accepted the life-giving teachings of the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad and entered the Philadelphia Temple #12 (at that time located on 15th and South streets). He had previously attended public and disciplinary schools (Benson, David Landruff, Auden Reid, Daniel Boone, Octavius Cato, Youth Study Center, and Glen Mills). He also spent two years in the House of Correction. His initial months in the NOI were spent adjusting to a new righteous lifestyle - which included detoxing from heroin. The then East Coast Representative and Minister, Jeremiah Shabazz immediately took a liking to Bro. Bo - who then became vreferred to as Bro. Bernard 3X. To keep him focused on the Temple, Min. Jeremiah had then NOI officials, Sam Christian and Ronnie Harvey, to escort Bro. Bernard to the FOI House (living quarters), which were located directly above the Bakery. It was there that Bro. Bernard learned (amongst so many life-changing, life-saving skills) - how to make the Supreme Bean Pie! It was there that his brother, close friend, and mentor - Brother Secretary Rudolph Ali, affectionately called Bro. Ruddy - taught him to make bean pies. Bro. Rudolph was a true genius, awesomely talented, extremely disciplined, and unparalleled in his work ethic. Bro. Rudolph would take Bro. Bernard to New York with him where Master Baker Bro. James Muhammad would demonstrate his mastery of pastry baking skills. As Bro. Rudolph Ali expanded his cake baking and decorating skills, the responsibility for the pies went to Bro. Bernard. These responsibilities included single-handedly making the pie crusts, the mixes, then baking, wrapping, and even selling the pies! Bro. Bernard made hundreds of pies a day, 7 days a week.
When certain negative pressures became too problematic at the Philadelphia Temple (i.e. the ever-expanding and corrupting influence and infiltration of the NOI by the government planned and planted "Black Mafia"), Bro. Bernard left Philadelphia and went to Baltimore Temple #6. This was actually an act of supreme devotion and faithfulness to Messenger Elijah Muhammad's teachings because it had previously been Bro. Bernard's highest aspiration to become an extraordinary criminal and gangster. Since Philadelphia was known to be a "gangster" town, this was actually the goal of many Philadelphians. As all Muslims know Almighty Allah comes between a man and his heart.
He was actually not interested in Pie-baking any longer, but made the mistake (smile) of telling the then Minister Clyde Rahman that he could make a better bean pie than Baltimore was producing at that time. In an effort to publicly disprove and shame Bro. Bernard, all thenecessary supplies were purchased and he was told to make a batch. Minister Rahman and the entire Temple were both surprised and pleased to bear witness to how delicious the pies were.
Bro. Bernard 4x, became well-known and often sought after for his premier supreme bean pie baking. With no prior cooking or baking skills whatsoever, he credits this remarkable feat to inspiration from Almighty Allah, Master W. F. Muhammad.
Without a doubt, the Supreme Bean pie (as well as the Supreme Squash and Supreme Carrot) has been instrumental in building and sustaining a nation - The Nation of Islam.
For sure, there have been countless impersonators, thieves, and mockers of all that Messenger Elijah Muhammad has revealed and established here in North America.
Nevertheless, his true and faithful followers of his teachings and his lifestyle, of whom Bro. Bernard Program unparalleled dedication to the teachings of the MHEM.
The saying goes, that we would build an empire with bean pies, Muhammad Speaks, and knowledge of self and others.