Black Muslim Movement

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Beginning in 1913 with the founding of the Moorish Science Temple of America by Noble Drew Ali, the Black Muslim movement emphasized the unique role of Islam as the "true religion" of the black community and its role in fighting white supremacy in the United States. Fusing religion and black nationalism, the movement grew with the rising influence of the Nation of Islam (NOI), founded in 1930 by W.D. Fard and sustained by Elijah Muhammad thereafter. NOI leader Malcolm X attracted national attention, but also received criticism for promoting black supremacy.

In the 1960s and 1970s, the Black Muslim movement splintered into various groups, including the more mainstream Sunni Islam group later known as the American Society of Muslims (1976) and a revitalized Nation of Islam group under the leadership of Louis Farrakhan (1977).

The Black Muslim movement remains a controversial, but nonetheless unique movement in African American religion.

For more information on the history of African American Islam, visit the ARDA's Religion Family Trees.
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Social Movements and Religion
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Social Movements and Religion in American History
Race/Ethnicity and Religion in American History
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Timeline Entries for the same religious group Islamic

Muhammad, Elijah
Farrakhan, Louis
X, Malcolm
Nation of Islam Founded
Million Man March
Muhammad Ali Converts to Islam

Moorish Science Temple Conclave- Wikimedia Commons

Elijah Muhammad speaking- Library of Congress, LC-USZ62-116389

Nation of Islam, Savior's Day Message gathering- National Archives and Records Administration.gif

Malcolm X portrait- Library of Congress, LC-USZ62-119478

Elijah Muhammad addressing an assembly of Muslim followers- Library of Congress, LC-USZ62-116384
Book/Journal Source(s)
Murphy, Larry, J. Gordon Melton, and Gary Ward, 1993. Encyclopedia of African American Religions. New York: Garland.
Web Page Contributor
Benjamin T. Gurrentz
Affliated with: Pennsylvania State University, Ph.D. in Sociology

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