Chronology of US Black Muslim Movement

Early 1930s - United States black Muslim movement begins with the Islamic preachings of W. D. Fard in Detroit.

1934 - Elijah Poole (who later becomes Elijah Muhammad) takes over movement and founds Nation of Islam. He teaches that blacks are the chosen people and that whites are devils. American Muslims believe him a prophet.

1960s - Muhammad's separatist teachings become popular among militant blacks, disaffected by the nonviolent approach of Martin Luther King. Many convert to Islam, including Malcolm X.

1975 - Elijah Muhammad dies and movement splits. His son, Warith D. Muhammad, moves away from race-based teachings of his father and founds the American Muslim Mission (later disbanded). He urges followers into the American political mainstream; teachings become traditional Sunni Muslim. Louis Farrakhan, a prot of Malcolm X, takes over the Nation of Islam and continues race-based teachings.

1984 - Farrakhan meets publicly with presidential candidate Jesse Jackson. Expectations are of an historic reconciliation between heirs of Malcolm X and Martin Luther King. Reconciliation is short-lived. Farrakhan calls Hitler "a very great man" in a radio sermon. Jewish groups demand that Jackson repudiate Farrakhan. Split continues today.

1990 - Nation of Islam specifically endorses two candidates for US Congress in the Washington, D.C., area and several local candidates as well. None of the candidates wins.

1992 - Nation of Islam works hard for US Rep. Gus Savage, a black nationalist, who loses to a black moderate in the Democratic primary. Warith Muhammad publicly praises President George Bush. Unclear how moderate Muslims will vote.

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