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Eugene V. Cooksey scrapbook on the Nation of Islam

 Collection
Identifier: aarl91-003

Scope and Content Note

The scrapbook contains newspaper clippings and photographs relating to the Nation of Islam from 1963 through 1965, as well as certificates for Eugene Cooksey from the same years from the Cooper Street School, psychiatric attendant nurse training, civil defense courses, Red Cross home nursing course, medical self-help training course, and International Correspondence Schools.

Dates

  • 1963-1965?

Creator

Restrictions on Use

There are no restrictions on research use of this collection.

Copyright Restrictions

Prior permission from the Research Library must be obtained in writing before any portion of this collection can be published or reproduced.

Historical Sketch

Black Muslims are members of a religious movement in the United States called the "Nation of Islam". From 1930 to 1975, the Nation of Islam accepted only blacks as members. They considered whites "devils" and supported the separation of blacks and whites. The movement combined some aspects of Islam with doctrines of black nationalism. In 1975, the movement turned toward traditional Sunni Islam and began accepting people regardless of ethnic background. Although the name "Black Muslims" is often used for members of this movement, the members reject this name.

The Nation of Islam was founded in Detroit in 1930 by W. D. Fard (or Wali Farad), a silk salesman. He taught his followers that their "true religion" was not Christianity, but Islam, the "religion of the black man" of Asia and Africa. Farad stressed "knowledge of self" as a requirement for achieving black liberation. He established Temple of Islam #1 in Detroit.

After Fard mysteriously disappeared in 1934, Fard's chief lieutenant, Elijah Muhammad (formerly Elijah Poole), became the movement's leader. In 1936, he established its headquarters at Temple #2 in Chicago. Muhammad claimed that Fard was Allah, and he was Allah's messenger. He continued Fard's teaching, which stressed three factors: (1) the need for blacks to establish a separate nation in the United States, (2) the need to recover an acceptable identity, and (3) the need for economic independence.

In the 1950's, Malcolm X was the most important spokesman for the Nation of Islam. He converted to the movement while in prison in 1947. The years from Malcolm's release from prison in 1952 to his assassination in 1965 marked the Nation's greatest growth and influence. Malcolm's keen mind and biting sarcasm attracted a diverse audience, including poor blacks and college students. He left the Nation of Islam in 1964 and converted to Sunny Islam.

After Elijah Muhammad died in 1975, one of his sons, Warith (formerly Wallace) Deen Muhammad, was chosen as the next leader. He rid the movement of its black nationalistic characteristics, announcing that whites were no longer "devils" and could join his movement. He also made many changes to lead his followers toward Sunni Islam. Since 1967, the movement's name has changed from Nation of Islam to the World Community of AI-Islam in the West to American Muslim Mission. Today, Warth Deen Muhammad's followers are simply known as Muslims. The movement has a decentralized structure of independent places of prayer called masjids.

In 1978, Louis Farrakhan led a group of discontented followers in resurrecting the Nation of Islam. The group, has continued the black separatist and nationalist teachings of Elijah Muhammad. Today, the term Black Muslims refers most appropriately to followers of Farrakhan's Nation of Islam.

Extent

1.0 scrapbook(s)

Overview

The scrapbook contains newspaper clippings and photographs relating to the Nation of Islam from 1963 through 1965, as well as certificates for Eugene Cooksey from the same years from the Cooper Street School, psychiatric attendant nurse training, civil defense courses, Red Cross home nursing course, medical self-help training course, and International Correspondence Schools.

Provenance

This collection was donated by James Hiram Malone in 1995.
Title
Inventory of the Eugene V. Cooksey Scrapbook on the Nation of Islam, aarl91-003
Author
Finding aid prepared by Auburn Avenue Research Library on African American Culture and History
Date
2004 September 15

Repository Details

Part of the Auburn Avenue Research Library on African-American Culture and History Repository

Contact:
101 Auburn Avenue NE
Atlanta GA 30303
404-613-4032