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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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Robert Fay

Born Timothy Drew in North Carolina, Noble Drew Ali received little formal education. At age sixteen he began performing as a circus magician and traveled the world, during which time he was influenced by Eastern religions, including Islam with its racial inclusiveness. He concluded that American blacks were Moors, that they had descended from the Moabites of Canaan, and that their true home was Morocco. Ali also believed that before the American Revolution, which began in 1775, blacks had been free. Only at the Continental Congress of 1779 had blacks been forced into slavery and stripped of their Moorish identity.

In 1913, based on these principles, he founded the Moorish Science Temple of America in Newark, New Jersey, and published the Holy Qu'ran (Koran) of the Moorish Holy Temple of Science as a catechism Membership requirements were the acceptance of Moorish identity and ...

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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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Wilson J. Moses

clergyman, activist, and Pan-Africanist, was born in New York City, the son of Charity Hicks, a freeborn woman of Long Island, New York, and Boston Crummell, an African of the Temne people, probably from the region that is now Sierra Leone. Boston Crummell had been captured and brought to the United States as a youth. The circumstances of his emancipation are not clear, but it is said that he simply refused to serve his New York owners any longer after reaching adulthood. Boston Crummell established a small oyster house in the African Quarter of New York. Alexander Crummell received his basic education at the African Free School in Manhattan. In 1835 he traveled to Canaan, New Hampshire, along with his friends Thomas Sidney and Henry Highland Garnet to attend the newly established Noyes Academy but shortly after their arrival the school was destroyed by local residents angered by ...

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Zachery R. Williams

Alexander Crummell was born in New York City, the son of Boston Crummell, said to have been an African prince, and a free mother (whose name is unknown). Crummell, one of the most prominent black nationalist intellectuals and ministers of the nineteenth century, strongly believed that the combination of Christianity and education would elevate blacks in America and Africa to a high level of civilization and prominence as a race. As a youth, Crummell came under the influence of the Reverend Peter Williams Jr., a staunch supporter of back-to-Africa movements. Prior to the Civil War, Crummell was a major supporter of African colonization. Ironically, however, his earliest success as an orator was as an opponent of the American Colonization Society.

Crummell spent the years 1853 to 1872 in Liberia with his family and became a citizen of the country Upon his arrival there he worked as a missionary ...

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Frank E. Dobson

pioneering scholar, religious thinker, and black nationalist leader. Alexander Crummell was born in 1819 in New York City to Boston Crummell, a former slave, and Charity Hicks Crummell, a freeborn black woman. Crummell's father was taken from Sierra Leone at age thirteen and sold into slavery in America. Crummell's parents were members of a group known as “Free Africans,” and they were activists in the movement to abolish slavery, as well as in other social-uplift efforts for blacks. John Russwurm and Samuel Cornish, the editors of the first black newspaper, Freedom's Journal (1827), were associates of Boston Crummell and met regularly within the Crummell home. Alexander Crummell was educated at the African Free School—alumni of which included Henry Highland Garnet and Ira Aldridge—and at the Canal Street High School run by Peter Williams a black clergyman and abolitionist who became a ...

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David Killingray

Campaigning Christian evangelist, author, journalist, and Pan‐Africanist born in Dominica but educated in the neighbouring West Indian island of Antigua. An influential friend in Antigua was the Revd Henry Mason Joseph, later president of the African Association in London in 1897. In 1870 Edwards stowed away on a ship and over the next few years he travelled the world as a seaman visiting North and South America and Europe He landed in Sunderland and thereafter lived briefly in Edinburgh and Newcastle and worked with a group of black entertainers At some point he was converted to Christianity and as a Primitive Methodist worked as a temperance evangelist in Lancashire and Cheshire He had ambitions to go to Africa as a missionary but gravitated to east London where he ran a weekly Bible class for men and regularly preached in Victoria Park Some referred to ...

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Eric Bennett

Wallace D. Fard, also known as Fard Mohammed, entered public life in Detroit, Michigan, in the summer of 1930. Coming from obscure origins, perhaps Egyptian or Hawaiian, he peddled “notions”—trinkets, silks, and raincoats—to residents of Paradise Valley, a predominantly African American neighborhood of Detroit. Fard claimed to have come from Arabia, identified his goods as the wares of African peoples, and satisfied his customers—many of whom were uprooted Southerners—by providing them with a sense of cultural identity and stories of a common heritage. At first he moved from house to house, talking of his travels, but soon popular interest in his anecdotes encouraged him to move his storytelling to a hall.

Although Fard initially prescribed foods and moral codes, he began to address deeper theological concerns as his popularity grew. He cited the Bible, not to teach Christianity but to debunk it espousing instead the Islamic ...

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 ...

Article

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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Sholomo B. Levy

rabbi, black nationalist, and emigrationist, was born in Bridgetown, Barbados, the son of Edward Ford and Elizabeth Augusta Braithwaite. Ford asserted that his father's ancestry could be traced to the Yoruba tribe of Nigeria and his mother's to the Mendi tribe of Sierra Leone. According to his family's oral history, their heritage extended back to one of the priestly families of the ancient Israelites, and in Barbados his family maintained customs and traditions that identified them with Judaism (Kobre, 27). His father was a policeman who also had a reputation as a “fiery preacher” at the Wesleyan Methodist Church where Arnold was baptized; it is not known if Edward's teaching espoused traditional Methodist beliefs or if it urged the embrace of Judaism that his son would later advocate.

Ford s parents intended for him to become a musician They provided him with private tutors who instructed ...

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Bruce A. Glasrud

author, race activist, and Baptist minister. Sutton Elbert Griggs's life exemplifies the difficulties faced by African Americans and the debilitating effects of white society's pressures upon them during the early twentieth century. Born in Chatfield, Texas, Griggs attended public schools in the Dallas area, Bishop College in Marshall, Texas, and Richmond Theological Seminary in Richmond, Virginia. His father, Allen R. Griggs, was a prominent Baptist minister; little is known about his childhood or his mother.

According to Griggs, blacks were the racial equal of whites, and he spent his life emphasizing that creed. Griggs moved from Virginia to Tennessee in the 1890s, and soon he published five race-motivated novels; he ultimately published thirty-three books. The first in his series of race novels, Imperium in Imperio (1899 was set in Texas A covert political organization the Imperium in Imperio advocated revolt against the United States until Texas ...

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David Killingray

radical Pan-Africanist, journalist, and Baptist minister, was born Felix Eugene Michael Hercules in Venezuela but grew up in Trinidad, where his father was a civil servant. As a student at the Queen's Royal College in Port of Spain, Hercules showed his political awareness in a racially organized British colony by founding the Young Men's Coloured Association.

On leaving school he became a civil servant and then a schoolteacher in the town of Maparima. Hercules married a woman named Millicent Beatrice in Trinidad and had several children including Frank who in the 1940s moved to the United States and became a novelist and nonfiction writer During World War I Hercules moved to Britain and studied for an intermediate BA degree at London University Not untypical of the black migrant experience he soon became disillusioned by his experiences of the color bar in Britain an obstacle that fuelled ...

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David Killingray

Pan‐Africanist and journalist born in Trinidad who became a schoolteacher. During the First World War he arrived in Britain and studied at London University. In 1918John Eldred Taylor asked him to become the editor of a new newspaper in London, the African Telegraph. Hercules also became general secretary of the Society of Peoples of African Origin and associate secretary of the African Progress Union. In this capacity he spoke at a protest meeting at Hyde Park Corner condemning the race riots in Liverpool, also writing to the Colonial Secretary demanding that black people should be protected from white violence. In particular he fiercely condemned in the African Telegraph the assault by hundreds of white soldiers on black soldiers who were patients at the Belmont Hospital in Liverpool. When it was announced that black soldiers would not participate in the victory celebrations in London in July 1919 ...

Article

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 ...

Article

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 ...

Article

Charles Rosenberg

Baptist minister, evangelist, and a frequent mediator of disputes within the National Baptist Convention, USA, was born in Charlotte County, Virginia, the eldest son of Thomas and Sarah Moses. Census records suggest the family may have also been known by the name Moseley. His father, listed in the 1880 census as a farmer, had four sons and a daughter—Robert, Thomas Jr., Lee, John, and Laura—prior to marrying Sarah Moses. After William, the couple had daughter Lizzie, sons Samuel and Monteiro (or James), and daughter Pauline. Neither parent could read or write.

According to Who's Who among Colored Baptists of the United States, published between 1910 and 1920, Moses was in part raised by his grandfather, Richard Morton, “the largest and leading land-owner of Charlotte County” (Bacote, 224 Although no other published work has corroborated this connection it implies that one parent probably Thomas ...