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Camille A. Collins

founder of MOVE, an anarchist communal organization active primarily in the Philadelphia area, was born Vincent Leaphart in the Mantua section of West Philadelphia.

Africa served in the Korean War, though little else is known about his early life. In the early 1970s, while working as a neighborhood handyman and dog walker (nicknamed “the dog man”), he began to corral followers. With the assistance of Donald Glassey a white graduate student in sociology at the University of Pennsylvania Africa a third grade dropout compiled the MOVE doctrine in a document known as The Guidelines His group was first known as The Christian Movement for Life later The Movement and finally MOVE Numerous press reports stress the fact that MOVE is not an acronym and therefore the tenets of the group can only be vaguely delineated Responding to this criticism group member Delbert Africa quipped It means what it says ...

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Joshunda Sanders

activist and sole adult survivor of a deadly bombing of a home of the MOVE organization, in one of Philadelphia's black neighborhoods, that killed 11 people and left over 250 people homeless. Africa was born Ramona Johnson in West Philadelphia, where she was raised by her mother, Eleanor Jones, and attended Catholic school from first through twelfth grade. She then attended Temple University, where she graduated with a bachelor's degree in Political Science and an associate's degree in Criminal Justice. In 1976, her last year at Temple, she was hired by Community Legal Services, the state-sponsored legal aid in Philadelphia. There she worked helping tenants with legal issues they had with their landlords, an experience that set the foundation for activism later in her life. “Prior to that I was not active in anything,” Africa said I had a general idea about injustice by police brutality and ...

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Sandy Dwayne Martin

clergyman, community activist, denomination organizer, and black nationalist was born Albert Buford Cleage Jr., one of seven children of Pearl (whose maiden name is now unknown) and Albert Cleage Sr., in Indianapolis, Indiana. Shortly after Agyeman's birth, Cleage, Sr., a medical doctor, relocated with his family to Detroit, Michigan, where the father helped to establish the city's first African American hospital. After an undergraduate education that included a stay at Fisk University in Tennessee, Agyeman received his BA in Sociology from Wayne State University in 1937, serving as a caseworker for the Department of Public Welfare from 1931 to 1938. Subsequently Agyeman felt the call to ministry and obtained a Bachelor of Divinity degree from Oberlin College Graduate School of Theology in 1943. Also in 1943Agyeman married Doris Graham, to which union was born two children, Kris and the ...

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Jennifer Jensen Wallach

civil rights activist and religious leader. Hubert Gerold “H. Rap” Brown was born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, in 1943. He attended Southern University in Baton Rouge, studying sociology from 1960 to 1964. He then relocated to Washington, D.C., where he became chairman of the Nonviolent Action Group (NAG), a civil rights organization. During his brief tenure with the NAG, Brown attended a high-profile meeting with President Lyndon B. Johnson. Much to the chagrin of more moderate black leaders, Brown refused to show deference to the president, instead rebuking him for the state of American race relations.

In 1966 Brown joined the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), becoming director of the Alabama Project. In 1967 at the age of twenty three he was elected chairman of the organization Brown led SNCC in a transition away from the nonviolent philosophy of the early days of the civil ...

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David Simonelli

“The Caribbean” refers to the island nations located in the Caribbean Sea that contain numerous African-derived populations who are often in the majority. Caribbean nations with significantly large Afro-Carib populations include the Bahamas, Cuba, Jamaica, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Martinique, Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Grenada, and Trinidad and Tobago. All of these islands have seen migrations of Afro-Carib populations to the United States, and their peoples have contributed significantly to African American culture in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Among Afro-Caribbeans, Jamaicans have had a disproportionately large influence on African American history, but the people of other nations have had their effect as well.

Most Caribbean island nations began the twentieth century in colonial servitude to European powers Great Britain in particular Those that did not Haiti the Dominican Republic and Cuba were subject to U S invasion and occupation under the provisions of ...

Article

Louis Farrakhan is the head of the Nation of Islam, a black religious organization in the United States that combines some of the practices and beliefs of Islam with a philosophy of black separatism. He preaches the virtues of personal responsibility, especially for black men, and advocates black self-sufficiency. Farrakhan's message, which has appealed mainly to urban blacks, draws on the tradition of black nationalists who have called for black self-reliance in the face of economic injustice and white racism. His more inflammatory remarks have caused critics to claim that he has appealed to black racism and anti-Semitism to promote his views.

Born Louis Eugene Walcott in New York, New York, Farrakhan grew up in Boston, Massachusetts. He attended Winston-Salem Teacher's College in North Carolina and worked as a nightclub singer in the early 1950s. In 1955Malcolm X a minister for the Nation of Islam ...

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Sholomo B. Levy

leader of the Nation of Islam, was born Louis Eugene Walcott in the Bronx, New York City, to Sarah Mae Manning, a native of St. Kitts, who worked as a domestic. Farrakhan's biological father was Manning's husband, Percival Clarke, a light-skinned Jamaican cab driver. By the time young Louis was born, however, Manning had left Clarke and was living with Louis Walcott. Manning hoped her baby would be a girl and have a dark complexion like herself and Walcott. Nevertheless, when the child was born male and with a light complexion, she named him Louis and listed Walcott as the father (Magida, 10). Walcott stayed with the family during their move to the Roxbury section of Boston in 1937, but departed shortly thereafter.Raising two young children alone during the Depression was difficult, but Sarah Mae kept her boys from harm and attended to their ...

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David Michel

Islamic leader, was born Benjamin Goodman, the only child of Mary Goodman, a hairdresser, and an unknown father in Suffolk, Virginia. Goodman was given his mother's last name because his parents were not married. The family was poor and both he and his mother lived in his grandmother's house. He went to the Easter Graded School in black Saratoga and in 1947 moved to New York for a year. Finding rural Virginia dull, Goodman joined the U.S. Air Force at the age of seventeen and was immediately sent to Flackman Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas, for training, after which he was transferred to Japan in 1950 He worked as a radar operator in both Japan and Korea where he experienced discrimination from white American officers Though acknowledged as the best radar operator for his work in Japan and on the war front in Korea ...

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Larvester Gaither

Muslim minister and black nationalist leader. Born in Omaha, Nebraska, as Malcolm Little and later also known as El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz, Malcolm X arose from a childhood marred by racial violence and poverty to become of one of the most admired African American political leaders of the twentieth century. He articulated radical ideas on racial solidarity, self-defense, and Pan-Africanism during the same period in which Martin Luther King Jr. and other mainstream civil rights leaders emphasized integration and nonviolence.

Malcolm s father Earl Little a Baptist minister born in Reynolds Georgia was a devoted follower of Marcus Garvey the early twentieth century black nationalist leader and cofounder of the Universal Negro Improvement Association UNIA based in Harlem New York City While Little served as president of the local Omaha Nebraska branch of UNIA Malcolm s mother Louise Little a Grenadian born immigrant of racially mixed ancestry served as a ...

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James Graham

Adopted name of Malcolm Little, also known by his Muslim name, el‐Hajj Malik el‐Shabazz (1925–1965), influential black nationalist. Raised in a Baptist family but bereaved of both parents at an early age, Malcolm's troubled childhood and adolescence is vividly retold in the posthumous best‐selling Autobiography (1965). It was during his imprisonment for burglary (1946–52) that Malcolm discovered the Islamic faith which was to become the driving force in his life. For the next eleven years he dedicated himself to the cause of race pride and black nationalism, spreading the teachings of Elijah Muhammad and the influence of his organization, the Black Muslim sect (later to become the Nation of Islam). In 1964 Malcolm left the organization and formed his own group the Organization of Afro American Unity It was in the following years of antipathy between Malcolm and his former leader and followers ...

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Robin D. Kelley

Malcolm X (Malcolm Little; later El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz) has been characterized in many ways: Pan-Africanist, father of Black Power, religious fanatic, closet conservative, incipient socialist, and a menace to society. The meaning of his public life—his politics and ideology—is contested in part because his entire body of work consists of a few dozen speeches and a collaborative autobiography whose veracity is often challenged. Gunned down three months before his fortieth birthday, Malcolm X's life was cut short just when his thinking had reached a critical juncture.

Malcolm's life is a Horatio Alger story with a twist. His is not a “rags to riches” tale but a powerful narrative of self-transformation from petty hustler to internationally known political leader. Born in Omaha, Nebraska, the son of Louise and Earl Little, the latter a Baptist preacher and activist in Marcus Garvey's Universal Negro Improvement Association ...

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J. Scrimgeour

Born Malcolm Little (and later also known as el-Hajj Malik el-Shabazz) in Omaha, Nebraska, on 19 May 1925, Malcolm X was the fourth of eight children of the Reverend Earl Little and his wife, Louise. Soon after Malcolm's birth the Littles moved to the outskirts of East Lansing, Michigan. When Malcolm was six, his father died, presumably murdered by the Black Legion, a violent racist group similar to the Ku Klux Klan, and the Little home life became more and more difficult. Louise was eventually placed in the state mental hospital, and her children were declared wards of the state. In 1941 Malcom moved to Boston to live with his half sister, Ella He became caught up in the nightlife of Boston and later New York After a few years in the underworld of Harlem selling drugs and working for call girl services Malcolm began a burglary ...

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Mohammad Abderrazzaq

Provocative and controversial as he was in life, Malcolm X (1925–1965) has reappeared in memory as one of the most influential and transformative personalities in African American history. His socioeconomic, political, and civil rights activism is celebrated by a spectrum of people, transcending both religion and race, and his legacy continues to be preserved through a wide range of media and literature that spans a global audience. Although his image has grown from that of an inflammatory and militant black nationalist to that of a powerful voice for the weak, poor, and oppressed, both images continue to appeal to different segments of his following, the image of a militant nationalist perhaps appealing more to African American youth who still see their society marked by racial inequality and discrimination.

The resurgent interest in Malcolm X in recent decades can be witnessed in the enormous success of, among others, Alex ...

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William Carney

clergyman. BornElijah Poole in Georgia in 1897, Muhammad was a preacher's son whose family migrated north during the years following World War I. As an unemployed autoworker in Detroit during the Great Depression, he became a follower of W. D. Fard, an itinerant salesman and preacher who claimed that he had been sent by Allah (God) to return the black “race” to its rightful status through the propagation of Islam. Changing his name from Poole to reflect his conversion, Muhammad formally joined the organization that Fard formed, which later became the Nation of Islam (NOI). The group (termed the Temple of Islam) preached black economic self-determination, separation of the races, and the eventual fall of the white race.

Becoming a trusted confidante of Fard Muhammad became supreme minister of the group a position that allowed him to function as a more or less official spokesperson for Fard ...

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Suzanne Albulak

Elijah Muhammad was born Elijah Poole in Sandersville, Georgia, the sixth of seven children of William and Mariah Poole. He was favored by his siblings, parents, and grandfather and was perceived by them as destined for greatness. It was his grandfather who named him after the biblical Elijah, and throughout his childhood he was teasingly referred to as “the Prophet.”

Aside from sharecropping and working at a sawmill, William Poole also pastored at two Baptist churches. Young Elijah was exposed to the ministry from a tender age. He took an avid interest in Christian theology, but his father's fire and brimstone sermons caused him to question what seemed like a dour interpretation of spirituality. It was many years before he would break away from Christianity completely, and ironically it was William Poole who first introduced him to the Nation of Islam.

When he was around ten years old ...

Article

Lawrence H. Mamiya

leader of the Nation of Islam, was born Robert Poole in Sandersville, Georgia, the son of William Poole, an itinerant Baptist preacher and sharecropper, and Mariah Hall, a domestic for local white families. In 1900 the family moved to Cordele, Georgia, where Muhammad went to public school until the fourth grade, when he dropped out to supplement his family's income as a laborer in sawmills and with the Cherokee Brick Company. In 1919 he married Clara Evans [Muhammad] of Cordele, and they had two daughters and six sons.

With thousands of other African Americans from the rural South, Muhammad migrated to Detroit, Michigan, in the early 1920s. A depressed southern agricultural economy hampered by boll weevil infestation of cotton crops and increasing mechanization of farm labor forced many small farmers to join the Great Migration to the booming industrial cities of the North Muhammad and some of ...

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Suzanne Albulak

The Nation of Islam (NOI) was established in Detroit, at the beginning of the Great Depression, by Wallace D. Fard (pronounced Farood), a door-to-door silk salesman. In addition to selling his wares, he spread his message of salvation and self-determination throughout Detroit's black neighborhoods. He held the first meetings in people's homes, but the movement soon grew big and Fard rented halls for his gatherings. Far from adhering to strict Islamic law, the Nation under Fard was an eclectic mix of philosophy that borrowed from earlier black Muslim movements, Christian scripture (largely to debunk Christianity), and Fard's Afrocentric interpretation of the story of Origin. The organization attracted many followers because of its angry rejection of white society.

Fard wrote two manuals, The Secret Ritual of the Nation of Islam, which is still used as a blueprint for oral instruction, and Teaching for a Lost Found Nation of ...

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Gerald Horne

Born of obscure parentage in 1891 in either Oregon or New Zealand, Fard had been imprisoned in California in 1926 for selling drugs. His theology, combining Islam and Black Nationalism, captured the imagination of Elijah Poole. Born in Sandersville, Georgia, in 1897, Poole's formal education ended with elementary school. At age ten he witnessed the lynching of a black man—an event that profoundly impressed him. At fourteen he joined the Baptist church. In 1923 Poole, migrated to Detroit with his wife and two children, where he became a factory worker. In 1931 he encountered Fard Muhammad, who preached that “the Original Man,” a “Black Man,” evolved 76 trillion years ago, adopted the name “Allah” or God, and created others in his image. African Americans were therefore inherently Islamic But an evil scientist Yacub created a white race of innately wicked devils The reign of the white ...

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Roanne Edwards

Religion has been the principal form of resistance in Jamaica since colonial times. As one scholar of Rastafarianism, Barry Chevannes, affirms: “Whether resistance through the use of force, or resistance through symbolic forms such as language, folk-tales and proverbs … religion was the main driving force among the Jamaican peasants.” During the early twentieth century, resistance in Jamaica reached its pinnacle with the birth of Rastafarianism, as much an Afrocentric worldview and form of black nationalism as it was a new religion, inspired by the independent, anticolonial Christian tradition of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church. As Horace Campell notes, “Rastafari culture combines the histories of the children of slaves in different societies. Within it are both the negative and the positive—the idealist and the ideological—responses of an exploited and racially humiliated people.”