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The Black Muslim movement in America which started in the early 1900s stems from a backlash against centuries of oppression by white Americans By the 1920s at the movements beginning slavery had been over for sixty years Still the status of African-Americans was still below the level of equality that they demanded and also deserved Beginning with Timothy Drew who later changed his name to Noble Drew Ali in the 1920s and Wallace D Fard Muhammad in 1930 hundreds of thousands of African-Americans converted to Islam many under the guidance of Fards successor Elijah Muhammad and the Nation of Islam The term Black Muslim is the original term for members of the Nation of Islam The members got this name because up until the formation of the group Muslims in America were all immigrants from the Middle East and Southeast Asia African-Americans did not begin to convert until Drew Fard and Elijah Muhammad began to preach The founding beliefs of the Nation of Islam were that African-Americans had been oppressed for too long and that the White Christian-dominated American society was to blame In Fards eyes Islam was the religion of the Black Man Esposito 209 Elijah Muhammad furthered this idea by preaching black independence from America under the guidance of the Nation of Islam and also by claiming that Fard was actually Allah incarnate and that he himself was the final prophet not Muhammad By this rationale both God and his prophet would both be Black and for that reason the Black Muslims were supreme Elijah Muhammad took control of the Nation of Islam and began preaching these ideas after Fard disappeared in 1934 His ideas were very radical as he spoke of an apocalyptic millenarian message whose promise was the ultimate Fall of the oppressor white racist America Esposito 210His idea of black racial supremacy Esposito 210 however controversial it may have been gained him a good deal of followers This racism was
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