Explorations in Black Leadership

Co-Directed by Phyllis Leffler & Julian Bond

Muhammad, Elijah (1897–1975)

Muhammad grew up Elijah Poole in Georgia and quit school after 4th grade to feed his family. Seeking economic opportunities, he moved his family to Detroit, Michigan, where in 1931 he met W. D. Fard, founder of the Nation of Islam. He changed his name and adopted Fard’s ideas, leading the NOI to Chicago after Fard’s disappearance. With his controversial preaching of racial separation over integration, and focus on economic support, Muhammad built the NOI into a national organization with the help of apostle Malcolm X. See also Nation of Islam.