Michael Abdul Malik (also known as Michael de Freitas and Michael X) founded the Black House on Holloway Road in 1969, with the aim to ‘sweep our angry youth from the street corners into creativity’. According to its promotional literature, published to raise funds for the project, the Black House aimed to provide ‘a centre of our own where we could meet, where we could talk, where we could laugh, where we could dance, where we could argue, where we could discuss. But most of all where we could, even in kaleidoscopic form, show a viable self-help community in being and in growth’. Pulling in support from his celebrity friends, Malik secured funding for the centre from John Lennon and Yoko Ono.Malik planned to offer a playschool, a language school, classes in African history, an African and Asian supermarket, a clothing boutique and housing for the underprivileged blacks in the community. In the event, the Black House only operated as a hostel for black youth, and a political headquarters for Malik, though it also had a small museum of African and slavery artefacts, and a library. About a year after opening the project, Malik and his associates brought a local Jewish businessman to the Black House, after he had been accused by one of the house’s residents of underpaying him for some work. The man was allegedly made to crawl on the floor in a slave collar as punishment, and held against his will. After he was released, police raided the building, and Malik fled the country, to avoid the charges against him. The Black House project collapsed in his wake, but another project, also known as the Black House, soon opened further down Holloway Road, under the management of Brother Herman.