The Muslims of America

By Yvonne Yazbeck Haddad | Go to book overview
Save to active project

African-American Muslim Women

Beverly Thomas McCloud

Most scholars writing about Islam in the African-American Muslim community have focused their efforts on the examination of the teachings of the Nation of Islam. 1 In particular, their interest seems to have centered on a critique of the Nation's philosophy concerning the origin of the Caucasian race, a preoccupation of non-Muslim as well as Muslim writers. 2 This obsession with the teachings about race has led to two major lacunae in our understanding of the dynamics of Islam in society. First, we have relatively little informed data about the growth and development of an equally large Islamic population outside the Nation of Islam, that of the Sunni African‐ Americans who have been active in the major urban areas of the United States since the first quarter of this century. Second, there is no analytical writing about the role of women in the African-American Muslim community, including the Nation of Islam.

The conversion of African-Americans to Islam is a twentieth-century phenomenon. In a major way it is a response to American racism as a consequence of which black Americans found themselves experiencing what it means to be "a problem," with the constant knowledge of the hatred that white Americans have for people of dark skin. 3 It is also a reaction to white America's solution for "problem races," evident in its treatment of American Indians, a solution that aimed at eradicating the problem by genocide or containment. Consequently, black Americans saw two options for their survival. These were articulated by various leaders as accommodation and separation.

The accommodationists operated within the general framework of "proving the worth of the black American to white society." They stressed that the black citizen is worthy of equal status in the land, especially those black people with "acceptable" skills in areas such as home economics and trades. Booker T. Washington, the chief proponent of this school, was supported by Christian ministers from various denominations who emphasized an underlying ideology centered on the maintenance of good conduct, good work habits, efficiency, and good moral living.

The separatist movement, on the other hand, operated within the general framework of "double consciousness," which Dubois articulated as the mental


Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this page

Cited page

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
The Muslims of America


Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 249

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?