Herman Ferguson was a prominent member of Malcolm X's Muslim Mosque Inc. and later his Organization of Afro-American Unity (OAAU). Malcolm X created both organizations in 1964, after leaving the Nation of Islam. Ferguson met Malcolm after he and other African-Americans in Queens set up the Rochdale Movement, which sought to stop the construction of a new housing development in Queens.
In 1959, New York City was set to erect Rochdale Village on the site of the Old Jamaica racetrack in Queens, but word soon got out that Blacks would not be hired to build the site and would be excluded from living in any of the developments' soon-to-be available 5,280 apartments. The Rochdale Movement couldn't halt the construction of the development, but it went on to become a major voice on issues of economic and community development for Blacks in Queens.
The Rochdale Movement caught the attention of Nation of Islam members working in Queens. So when Ferguson attended one of Malcolm X's services at his Mosque No. 7 in Harlem and then asked if Malcolm would be interested in coming to speak at a rally in St. Albans, Queens, the minister welcomed the invitation."