An Original Man: The Life and Times of Elijah Muhammad

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9780312181536: An Original Man: The Life and Times of Elijah Muhammad

The compelling biography of Elijah Muhammad. The visionary leader whose ideals and political actions have shaped a century of African-American History.

Elijah Muhammed, the founding father of The Nation of Islam and the forbear to Louis Farrahkhan, has no emerged as one of the most significan black leaders of this century. Claude Andrew Clegg II examines Muhammad's life from his birth in 1897 in Georgia, to his creation of the American Nation of Islam, to his final split with Malcolm X. Through this brilliant biography, we are finally able to understand the origins of Islam and black nationalism that has helped form the consciousness of African-American society for the last half-century.

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Review:

Malcolm X and Louis Farrakhan get more attention, but Elijah Muhammad indelibly defined the Nation of Islam from the time he assumed its leadership in 1934 until his death in 1975. This much-needed book illuminates the impact of Muhammad's personal history on the movement, particularly its stress on economic independence for black Americans. Historian Claude Andrew Clegg's balanced appraisal acknowledges Muhammad's financial and sexual misdeeds but credits him with promoting racial pride and "moral living." Clegg makes a strong case for the Nation of Islam being "as homegrown as the NAACP or the Ku Klux Klan."

About the Author:

Claude Andrew Clegg III is a professor of history at North Carolina A&T University. He lives in North Carolina.

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Claude Andrew Clegg
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