Louis Farrakhan is known by his followers as being “a better orator than Martin Luther King Jr., a better author than Norman Mailer, a better diplomat than Henry Kissinger, and more handsome than Muhammad Ali.” Let’s take a look at one the best known and most articulate Black Muslims in America and his ideology.
According to founder Wallace D. Fard Muhammad, the Muslim Cult of Islam started in July 4, 1930. Ford proclaimed he was sent to wake “the black nation to the full range of the black man’s possibilities in a world temporarily dominated by the blue-eyed devils.” He taught that the African American culture was unique and separate from that of “the Caucasian devils.”
The Muslim Cult of Islam lasted almost four years under the leadership of Fard until his departure in 1933. According to his son’s mother, Hazel Barton, he was never to be seen or heard from again.
Elijah Poole, Fard’s first assistant and one of his most loyal followers, told members of the Cult that Fard “had returned to Allah” and that Poole had been selected to succeed him. He changed his name to Elijah Muhammad and moved the sect, now called the Nation of Islam, to Michigan and then to Chicago: the “New Mecca.”
Elijah Muhammad (Poole) continued the same hard line of dialogue as his predecessor. He taught that blacks were the “original people” and whites were “devils,” an “artificial mutation” created by an evil scientist.
Elijah was honored at the Black Muslim Annual Convention in Chicago on February 25, 1962. The late America Nazi Party founder George Lincoln Rockwell said, “Elijah Muhammad is the Adolf Hilter of the black man.”
Louis Eugene Wolcott, also known as “Calypso Gene,” an inspiring singer and songwriter with a “smooth charismatic stage presence” and a voice that rivaled that of the legendary Harry Belfonte, was an entertainer insured of a promising and successful career. Wolcott’s childhood experience of open rejection of African Americans in a neighborhood predominantly Jewish at the time, coupled with the racial discrimination of the past, fueled his disdain for whites and the Jewish community.
In 1955, Wolcott accepted a friend’s invitation to a rally given by Elijah Muhammad’s organization. This event would change him from an inspiring singer into devoted follower of Elijah. He told an associate that the rally resulted in his “rebirth” experience.
Wolcott changed his name to “Louis X” according to Black Muslim tradition, and later to Louis Farrakhan. The “X” denoted “unknown,” indicating that the true heritage of African Americans was stolen during the slave trade.
Farrakhan became a member of the Nation of Islam under the leadership of Malcolm X in 1955. Louis worked diligently learning the teachings of Elijah Muhammad and eventually moved up into ranks of leadership in the movement. He eventually became “the Honorable Elijah Muhammad’s national spokesman.”
As head of the Harlem Mosque from 1965 to 1975, he became well known in the community. His messages at rallies across America conveyed African American separatism, economic rebirth and a continual attack of whites and Jews.
In 1977, two years after the death of Elijah Muhammad, Farrakhan formed his own sect patterned after the Nation of Islam. White supremacists have found common ground with Louis’ desire for separate territories for African Americans and whites. Their solidarity has grown stronger around their disdain for the Jewish community.
Farrakhan continues today with recruitment of youth gang members, prison inmates, college educated youth and the African American middle-class with the same message that many critics term as “words of hate and racism.” In a speech given March 11, 1984, Farrakhan proclaimed, “Some white people are going to live …. but (God) don’t want them living with us. He doesn’t want us mixing ourselves up with the slavemaster’s children, whose time of doom has arrived.”