Farrakhan, Louis 
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Time Period
5/11/1933
Description
Born Louis Eugene Walcott (b. May 11, 1933), Farrakhan was originally a professional musician, but was introduced to the Black Muslim movement in 1953 and subsequently became a member of the Nation of Islam (NOI) in 1955. After his conversion, he left his musician career and slowly climbed the leadership ranks of the NOI in the 1960s.

After his mentor, Elijah Muhammad, died in 1975, NOI leadership was passed to his son, Warith Deen Muhammad, who decided to integrate the former NOI (i.e., American Muslim Mission) into more mainstream Islam. Upset by these changes, Farrakhan left the organization in 1978 and revitalized Elijah Muhammad’s distinct practices through his own rebranded Nation of Islam.

Since then, Farrakhan has reopened 130 NOI mosques around the world and led the famous Million Man March in 1995. Though a powerful leader, he has received criticism for making anti-Semitic remarks and promoting an anti-white theology.
Interactive Timeline(s)
Race/Ethnicity and Religion
Religious Minorities (Non-Christian)
Browse Related Timeline Entries
Race/Ethnicity and Religion in American History
Religious Minorities (Non-Christian) in American History
Religious Groups
Timeline Entries for the same religious group Islamic

Events
Million Man March
Movements
Black Muslim Movement
Photographs

Louis Farrakhan portrait- Flickr- Jim Wallace (Smithsonian Institution) (CC BY 2.0)

Louis Farrakhan portrait- Wikimedia Commons
Book/Journal Source(s)
Murphy, Larry, J. Gordon Melton, and Gary Ward, 1993. Encyclopedia of African American Religions. New York: Garland.
Web Page Contributor
Benjamin T. Gurrentz
Affliated with: Pennsylvania State University, Ph.D. in Sociology

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