Little X: Growing Up In The Nation Of Islam

Tate, Sonsyrea

Published by Univ Tennessee Press, 2005
ISBN 10: 1572333642 / ISBN 13: 9781572333642
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Synopsis: In Little X, Sonsyrea Tate reveals, through the acute vision and engaging voice of a curious child, the practices and policies of the mysterious organization most know only through media portrayals of its controversial leaders Elijah Muhammad, Malcolm X, and Louis Farrakhan. First published in 1997, Little X chronicles the multigenerational experience of Tate's family, who broke from the traditional black church in the 1950s to join the radical Nation of Islam, then struggled to remain intact through disillusionment, shifting loyalties, and forays into Orthodox Islam.

Little X is also an absorbing story of a little girl whose strict Muslim education filled her with pride, confidence, and a longing for freedom, of a teenager in an ankle-length dress and headwrap struggling to fit in with non-Muslim peers, and of a young woman whose growing disillusionment with the Nation finally led to her break with the Muslim religion. Little X offers a rare glimpse into the everyday experience of the Nation of Islam, and into a little-understood part of America's history and heritage.

Sonsyrea Tate-Montgomery has been a staff writer for the Virginian Pilot, Chicago Tribune, and the Washington Post. The recipient of four coveted Echoes of Excellence awards from the National Association of Black Journalists, Tate has also worked as assistant to Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton. She currently works as a political reporter for The Gazette, a Post-Newsweek publication.

Review: Her grandparents joined the Nation of Islam in 1952, which makes Sonsyrea Tate a third-generation member of the Nation. In this fascinating glimpse at life behind the scenes in an NOI family, Tate tells of going to a Muslim school, of the changes in the Nation after the death of its leader, Elijah Muhammad, and of the tensions within her family after her mother converted to Orthodox Islam. For all that it is a profoundly interesting account of growing up in a different culture, in the end Tate's is a quintessentially American story of a child coming of age and finding her own path.

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Title: Little X: Growing Up In The Nation Of Islam
Publisher: Univ Tennessee Press
Publication Date: 2005
Binding: Paperback
Book Condition: Used: Good

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