Explorations in Black Leadership

Co-Directed by Phyllis Leffler & Julian Bond

Nation of Islam (NOI)

Founded in the 1930s by Wallace D. Fard, eventually Fard Muhammad, the Nation of Islam started as a collection of beliefs founded in Islam and black nationalism and grew into one of the most powerful organizations in African American history. Elijah Muhammad joined W. D. Fard, a direct representative of Allah, in developing the central philosophies of the organization, including the inherent superiority and originality of blacks over whites, leading to support for strict racial separation. Malcolm X and Muhammad Ali increased its notoriety and grew membership from 400 to 100,000–300,000 from 1952 to 1964. Often controversial, the NOI was isolated from other civil rights groups by its rejection of nonviolence. Louis Farrakhan took over after Malcolm X split with NOI, and eventually led the organization himself.