Islam in the African-American Experience (Richard Brent Turner)

Visible in the names of athletes such as Mohammed Ali and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, African American Islam is known of, but is little known. In an exhaustive history beginning with the Islamic tradition in West Africa more than a thousand years ago and tracing its transmission to the New World through slaves and, later, Indian missionaries, Richard Brent Turner documents the historical and political circumstances that fueled Islam’s growth among African Americans. These circumstances still inform the activities of its two most prominent American leaders, Warith Deen Mohammed and Louis Farrakhan. Despite the residual academic language in this reworked doctoral thesis, the rigorous documentation and illuminating commentary will likely make this book the standard text on the subject for some time to come.—This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal
Enslaved Africans brought Islam with them to Colonial America and made it part of the African American experience long before Islam appeared in its new guise in 20th-century U.S. cities as the Ahmadiyya Mission from India or in the teachings of Noble Drew Ali and the Moorish Science Temple of America or of W.D. Fard and what became the Nation of Islam. Using signification (the issue of naming and identity) theory in this expansion of his 1986 Princeton University Ph.D. dissertation, Turner explains how blacks have used Islam as a tool of identity formation and intellectual resistance to racism. Turner’s interpretative historical narrative joins Claude Clegg’s An Original Man: The Life and Times of Elijah Muhammad (LJ 1/97) in an apparent new wave of scholarship on Islam in America and appears sure to join the works of C. Eric Lincoln, E.U. Essien-Udom, Gayraud Wilmore, and Yvonne Yazbeck Haddad as a classic in the field. Highly recommended.?Thomas J. Davis, Arizona State Univ., Tempe