Black Muslim Religion in the Nation of Islam, 1960-1975 by Edward E. Curtis IV

By Edward E. Curtis IV

Elijah Muhammad's kingdom of Islam got here to America's recognition within the Sixties and Seventies as an intensive separatist African American social and political workforce. however the stream used to be additionally a spiritual one. Edward E. Curtis IV bargains the 1st accomplished exam of the kingdom of Islam's rituals, ethics, theologies, and non secular narratives, displaying how the circulate mixed components of Afro-Eurasian Islamic traditions with African American traditions to create a brand new kind of Islamic faith.

Considering every little thing from bean pies to non secular cartoons, garments types to prayer rituals, Curtis explains how the perform of Islam within the circulate integrated the disciplining and purifying of the black physique, the reorientation of African American historic awareness towards the Muslim international, an engagement with either mainstream Islamic texts and the prophecies of Elijah Muhammad, and the advance of a holistic method of political, non secular, and social liberation. Curtis's research pushes past essentialist rules approximately what it skill to be Muslim and promotes a view of the significance of neighborhood methods in identification formation and appropriations of Islamic traditions.

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23 In choosing to become Muslims, African American members of the  often self-consciously divorced themselves from their southern roots and proudly claimed allegiance to a new religious community where they could find what they described as more dignity and happiness. For example, Jerry Wilson of Chicago, Illinois, was born in 1940 in Clarksdale, Mississippi. ” Wilson remembered with regret that his father had taught him as a small boy “to accept any treatment given us by the white folks,” a necessary survival measure in the Jim Crow South, but one that left Wilson feeling wronged and ashamed.

Christianity was pure confusion for me, that is why I was tired of the Church. I could not find true brother and sister love there. It was an empty “ice box” to me. The Messenger of Allah taught me about a real heaven and hell. He took my mind out of the sky and directed my mind and body to communicate with the One and Only True God, Whose proper name is Allah. Allah hears me. He shows me how to help myself. The religion, Islam, taught me how to be civilized. It taught me I am an Original Blackwoman, Queen of the Universe and Mother of civilization.

Hundreds of Muslim followers contributed letters to the editor of Muhammad Speaks and especially testimonials about the impact of Islam on their lives. ” Many of these stories were classic American religious conversion narratives whose form will be familiar to many readers, and they evidence how the styles of religious practice and patterns of conversion in the  echo those of other American religious groups. These testimonials often described how a convert faced a crisis or lingering problem before they found Elijah Muhammad and the .

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