Nation of Islam By Anne Young

In 1930, Minister Louis Farrakhan founded Islam. His goal was to rise up black Americans and through the knowledge of God and of them he taught many blacks how to lead a self-determined and independent life. He taught the Islam’s about the ways of love, peace, truth, and beauty. All Islam’s believed that he held of the truth of the world and life itself and they followed him in pursuit of harmony and life. Farrakhan then led Elijah Muhammad to be his represented and who later because the leader of Islam after Farrakhan's death. The Islam’s believe that Farrakhan was the Messiah and wait for his return to this very day.

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During the Civil Rights movements from 1955–1968, a man named Malcolm X became a very important leader to the Nation of Islam. His father was a black nationalist named Marcus Garvey. After his father's death, Malcolm became involved in crime and dropped out of school. While he was in jail in 1946, he decided to join the Nation of Islam. When he was released from jail in 1952, Malcolm changed his last name to X and was appointed the minister of the Nation of Islam by Elijah Muhammad. Malcolm became very independent and strongly believed in the pride of blacks and separatism. As a result of the bitterness and hate of the white men that he gained as a child, he dislike the idea of integration. He also strongly believed in the use of violence to bring about change to America regarding the civil rights of black-Americans. He opposed many black leaders such as Martin Luther King Jr. for their ideas of integrating the whites and blacks and holding back from violence. Malcolm X became a very powerful leader for the Nation of Islam and spoke his rigid opinions all over the country. Malcolm was also involved in a party known as the Black Panther Party and many of his efforts were rooted in the foundations of this party in the way that they worked to bring about equality to all oppressed races and gender. Through this party, the act to bring civil rights to black Americans and women as well was taken to a new level. However Malcolm's views changed when he went to Mecca in 1964 as a spiritual journey. He saw its atmosphere of harmony and was moved by their idea of the "true brotherhood". He then started to believe in integration and knew that whites and blacks could and should work together and live as brothers and sisters. Soon after Malcolm returned and preached on integration versus segregation leaders from the Nation of Islam assassinated him.

Malcolm X
Malcolm X

In addition to fighting for the independence and civil rights of black Americans, the Nation of lslam was also against the Vietnam War. It was against their beliefs to be a war with anyone and they publicly protested the war. However, their protests of the Vietnam War and their fight for independence didn't come without a cost. The Nation of Islam faced much ridicule and violence against them and their religion in this time. Many whites and blacks hated them because they believed in being separate but elite and self-determined and superior to whites.

The short-term results of the Nation of Islam were a lot of violence and riots. However, as a whole the efforts of the Nation of Islam and Malcolm X influenced many blacks in the time to stand up against the discrimination and to fight to gain their freedom and independence. Malcolm's ideas have even stayed to this day and still influence many young civil rights workers.

Overall, the Nation of Islam played an important role in the Civil Rights Movement because it influenced many
black Americans to stand up for what they believe in. It created the shift in black Americans from believing that they weren't as worthy as whites to believing that they were equal and even superior to whites. This caused many black Americans to become more courageous and not willing to back down to anybody that tried to make them less than they were.