Israelite School of Universal Practical Knowledge

Israelite School of Universal Practical Knowledge (ISUPK) is an American non-profit organization and black supremacist,[1][2][3] extremist religious sect[4] based in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania. The group is part of the Black Hebrew Israelite movement,[1][2][3][4] which regards American blacks as descendants of the Twelve Tribes of Israel.[3][4] The Southern Poverty Law Center has designated the ISUPK a hate group, citing its extremist ideology and black supremacist rhetoric.[1][2][3]

The ISUPK High Holy Day in Harlem, N.Y., Passover 2012.
The ISUPK performing in Washington, D.C., on October 10, 2014, at the corner of H and 7th Street N.W.

The group is a part of the One West Camp movement, an offshoot of the Israelite Church of God in Jesus Christ,[3] and uses a variation on the former name of that group.[3] Alongside numerous other sects and organizations within the Black Hebrew Israelite movement,[4] ISUPK expounds extremist, black supremacist, religious anti-Semitic, and anti-White racist beliefs,[4] as well as homophobic, transphobic, and sexist beliefs.[4]

Volume controversyEdit

ISUPK has demonstrated many times at the corner of Seventh and H streets in Washington, D.C., since 2004,[5] but residents complain that the group amplifies its open-air preaching to more than 90 decibels and that its message is offensive.[6] Some homeowners say that the group accuses white and gay people of destroying historically black neighborhoods, and at least one resident has complained of being called a "cracker, a slave owner, [and] a white devil," but they reiterate that the volume of the group's message, rather than the message's content, is the real problem.[7]

The ISUPK's volume and the volume of other groups prompted Washington's municipal government to consider passing an ordinance in order to "resolve the issue."[8] The measure would have limited the volume of daytime noncommercial speech to 70 decibels, but it died because of free-speech concerns.[9] ISUPK's regional director, General Yahanna, defended the group, saying that residents' real issue was not sound, but the content of the group's message.[8] The group identifies its message as saving local residents' souls and discouraging people from drugs and crime; it regards its separatist teachings as the real objection which residents have.[7]


  1. ^ a b c "God and the General. Leader Discusses Black Supremacist Group". Intelligence Report. Montgomery, Alabama: Southern Poverty Law Center. Fall 2008. Archived from the original on 2008-09-07. Retrieved 31 July 2020.
  2. ^ a b c "Racist Black Hebrew Israelites becoming More Militant". Intelligence Report. Montgomery, Alabama: Southern Poverty Law Center. Fall 2008. Retrieved 31 July 2020.
  3. ^ a b c d e f "History of Hebrew Israelism". Intelligence Report. Montgomery, Alabama: Southern Poverty Law Center. 2015. Retrieved 31 July 2020.
  4. ^ a b c d e f "Extremist Sects Within the Black Hebrew Israelite Movement". New York: Anti-Defamation League. September 2020. Archived from the original on 24 September 2020. Retrieved 9 November 2020.
  5. ^ Seregi, Marianne. "How Loud is Loud? Across the District, Residents Are Seeking Relief From Jarring, Vexing, Headache-Inducing Noise". The Washington Post. Saturday, September 22, 2007. pp. B01. Retrieved 31 July 2020.
  6. ^ Segraves, Mark (February 21, 2008). "Bring The Noise". WTOP-FM. Retrieved 31 July 2020.
  7. ^ a b Sabar, Ariel (March 12, 2008). "In a Changing Neighborhood, the Gospel Falls on Achy Ears". The New York Times. Retrieved 31 July 2020.
  8. ^ a b "Faith group hit for being too loud". The Washington Times. February 27, 2007. Retrieved 31 July 2020.
  9. ^ Stewart, Nikita (February 20, 2008). "Measure Tabled Over Unions' Free-Speech Concerns". The Washington Post. pp. B02. Retrieved 31 July 2020.

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