Historical Who is Who
1897 - 1975
Originally Elijah Poole, son of a Protestant minister in Georgia, he grew up in a condition of relative poverty. Moving to Detroit in 1930 he became an enthusiastic follower of the ‘Prophet’ Fard. A year later on Fard’s death he became leader of the Black Muslim organisation Nation of Islam. In 1976 it became ‘the World Community of Islam in the West'. Retrospectively Fard was recognised as Allah, with Elijah Muhammad as his Messenger and Prophet. The emphasis was on the self-help and advancement of Black Americans through education, opening schools in Michigan in the 1930s. The movement continued over the next 40 years, in variable association with Malcolm X and Louis Farrakhan. Media representation was generally suspicious and often misrepresentative and hostile. Association with Muhammad Ali did much to raise his profile. There were significant exchanges with Martin Luther King and James Baldwin. His relevance for Moral Education lies in his interaction with racism, with ‘mainstream Islam’ and with Christianity.
Interview with Elijah Muhammad (5 mins) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SkIMGGVH4dU