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date: 23 September 2020

Muhammad, Clara locked

(2 Nov. 1899–12 Aug. 1972),
  • Precious Rasheeda Muhammad


religious leader, activist educator, and social reformer, was born Clara Belle Evans in Wenona, Georgia, the youngest of four children (one was a-half-sister) of Quartus Evans and Mary Lou Thomas, sharecroppers. Evans grew up in an impoverished but devout Christian family. She and her family were members of an African Methodist Episcopal (AME) church, and she sang in the choir. Although formally educated through the seventh or eighth grade—a feat for a black child in the post-Reconstruction rural South—her informal training as an activist educator came in the early 1930s from Master Wallace D. Fard (or W. Fard Muhammad), cofounder of the Nation of Islam (NOI). In 1919 she married Elijah Poole (later Elijah Muhammad), the son of a Baptist minister. They had six boys and two girls.

The Red Summer of 1919 intensified the racial tensions in Georgia during the Pooles first ...

A version of this article originally appeared in African American National Biography.

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