With vocal public figures such as Malcolm X, Elijah Muhammad, and Louis Farrakhan, the Nation of Islam often appears to be a male-centric religious movement, and over 60 years of scholarship have perpetuated that notion. Yet, women have been pivotal in the NOI's development, playing a major role in creating the public image that made it appealing and captivating.
Women of the Nation draws on oral histories and interviews with approximately 100 women across several cities to provide an overview of women's historical contributions and their varied experiences of the NOI, including both its continuing community under Farrakhan and its offshoot into Sunni Islam under Imam W.D. Mohammed. The authors examine how women have interpreted and navigated the NOI's gender ideologies and practices, illuminating the experiences of African-American, Latina, and Native American women within the NOI and their changing roles within this patriarchal movement. The book argues that the Nation of Islam experience for women has been characterized by an expression of Islam sensitive to American cultural messages about race and gender, but also by gender and race ideals in the Islamic tradition. It offers the first exhaustive study of women’s experiences in both the NOI and the W.D. Mohammed community.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Jamillah Karim is an important American Muslim academic. Her observations on African-American Muslim experiences provide significant nuance to the complexities of a rich but often ignored culture. In Women of the Nation, Karim sheds light on the instrumental role the women belonging to the Nation of Islam had on the development of the organization. The Nation of Islam is arguably the most influential Muslim cultural group on Islam being recognized as an American religion. Although the majority of African-American Muslims are not members of The Nation, the organization’s historical importance needs to be appreciated. Through the voices of the women, Karim helps reveal how gender roles within The Nation empowered Black women in a way that was contraindicative of the prevailing white feminism-driven notions about womanhood at the time. The women still faced sexism, and the book shows how the women navigated through them.
The stories shared by the women interviewed...
A very motivating book and a easy read which I love. A good research to utilize if your studying the history of Africa American Women spiritually, religiously and physically.
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