Inside the Nation of Islam: A Historical and Personal Testimony by a Black Muslim

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University Press of Florida, 2001 - Social Science - 259 pages
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From the foreword:
"Far and away the most personal and the most engrossing story I've read about Louis Farrakhan; and if the professor doesn't solve the riddle of just who is Louis Farrakhan (and perhaps the Minister himself doesn't know that for sure) he has given us a fascinating history of the nation, its various leaders, its accomplishments, its shortcomings, and--I'm afraid--a pessimistic look into its future."--Mike Wallace, CBS, 60 Minutes

"The first truly 'inside' account of the present-day Nation of Islam from the perspective of one of its former ministers, a portrayal as fascinating as it is troubling. White's gripping chronicle will invite renewed debate over the direction and prospects of Minister Farrakhan's controversial leadership."--Ernest Allen, Jr., director, W.E.B. DuBois Department of Afro-American Studies, University of Massachusetts, Amherst


This detailed study of the internal workings of the Nation of Islam under the leadership of Louis Farrakhan examines the evolution of the organization since 1977 and its strange ideological menu of Black Nationalism, political-economic development, anti-Semitism, and conservative Republican ideals. Vibert White maintains that Farrakhan's Nation has become a cult that utilizes black nationalistic and religious dogma and its ability to create political and racial controversy to exploit poor and working-class black Americans for the leaders' economic and political gain.
At the heart of Inside the Nation is White's chronicle of his own sojourn during the 1980s and 1990s as a registered Muslim--from his days as a foot soldier in the Fruit of Islam, the Nation's military organization, through his rise to the status of minister and advisor to the leadership. Included are White's dealings with such leaders as Louis Farrakhan, Akbar Muhammad, Khallid Muhammad, and Benjamin Chavis Muhammad and his involvement in such activities as the Million Man March.
As one who traveled for the organization throughout Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and the United States, White was able to observe the leadership and the operation of the group at close hand. He reveals for the first time the detailed structure of NOI's business and religious operation. He explores and separates the Nation of Islam, the religious arm that is incorporated only in Chicago, from the Final Call, its business center operated only by the Farrakhan family. As a professional historian, White was able to separate the passion of the group's rhetoric from its real objectives, which centered on building a personal empire for Louis Farrakhan.


Vibert L. White, Jr., is professor of African American Studies at the University of Illinois, Springfield. He has lectured extensively on the Nation of Islam and has published articles in the Journal of Caribbean Studies, Psychohistory Review, Journal of Illinois History, UCLA Black Law Journal, Chicago Defender, and Cincinnati Enquirer.

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About the author (2001)

Mike Wallace, May 9, 1918 - Mike Wallace was born in Brookline, Massachusetts, on May 9, 1918. He attended the University of Michigan, graduating in 1939 with a Bachelor of Arts. After graduating college, Wallace became a newscaster announcer and continuity writer for the local radio station, Wood Wash, in Grand Rapids, Michigan, from 1939 to 1940. In 1940, he joined WXYZ Radio in Detroit Michigan for a year as a newscaster, narrator and announcer on such shows as The Lone Ranger and The Green Hornet. He then became a freelance radio worker in Chicago, Illinois, as an announcer for the soap opera Road of Life, from 1941 to 1942, as well as Ma Perkins, and The Guiding Light. He acted in The Crime Files of Flamon, was a news radio announcer for the Chicago Sun's Air Edition from 1941 to 1943. In 1943, Wallace joined the U.S. Navy for three years until 1946. From 1946 till 48 he announced radio programs such as Curtain Time, Fact or Fiction, and Sky King. He was the host of Mike and Buff with his wife, in New York City, from 1950 to 1953, and the host of various television and radio shows as well as narrator of various documentaries from 1951 to 1959 Wallace starred in the Broadway comedy Reclining Figure, in 1954. He joined the organized news department for DuMont's WABD-TV in 1955, became an anchor in newscasts and a host for various interview shows from 1956 to 1963. Wallace has been a CBS News staff correspondent since 1963 and the co-editor and co-host of 60 Minutes since 1968. He is a member of the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, of which he was the executive vice-president from 1960 to 1961. He has received 18 Emmy Awards, Peabody Awards in both 1963 and 1971, the DuPont Columbia Journalism Award in 1971 and 1983. Wallace has written books about his experiences in interviewing some of the most famous people in the world as well as his own life experiences, such as, "Mike Wallace Asks: Highlights from 46 Controversial Interviews, "A Mike Wallace Interview with William O. Douglas, "Close Encounters," with Gary Paul Gates, "60 Minutes Into the 21st Century!" and "5 Badfellas: In a Lifetime of Interviewing, It's Not the Heads of State You Remember But the Guys Named 'Lunchy.'

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