Revisiting, Revising 20th-Century African American History

Black Issues in Higher Education, February 13, 2003 | Go to article overview

Revisiting, Revising 20th-Century African American History


Black Pilgrimage to Islam

Oxford University Press, 2002, 368 pp.

$35.00, ISBN 0-19-514734-0

The post-Sept. 11 political environment has given questions about Islam's role and presence in America a vital urgency, and into that vacuum comes Robert Dannin's work, a welcome and sweeping portrait of orthodox Islam in America.

Most media and scholarly accounts of America's Black Muslims have focused on the Nation of Islam and the colorful personalities of Malcolm X, Elijah Muhammad and Louis Farrakhan. Dannin points out, however, that the Nation is actually a fringe community, its members far outnumbered by orthodox Muslims whose roots reach far deeper into the American past than is generally acknowledged. This ignored orthodox majority, its customs, conflicts and characters, become Dannin's focus in Black Pilgrimage to Islam.

The opening section of the book follows the "trail of the red fez" through American history. In an analysis that many might argue is too brief and cursory to do justice to the sweeping claims he makes, Dannin attempts to interweave accounts of enslaved Muslims in the South with freemasonry in the North during the 18th and 19th centuries. The argument does not gain heft until Dannin enters the 20th century, analyzing the importance of three storefront religious movements -- the Moorish Science Temple, the Ahmadiyya Movement in Islam and the Lost-Found Nation of Islam -- for African Americans who fled to the North during the Great Migration.

The opening section is somewhat marred by what at times seems an excessive focus on detail: the bewildering array of sects and subsects, factions and leaders that emerged from the splintering of these early Islamic movements. But patience is rewarded as the second section of the book proceeds to focus on conversion narratives and oral histories, for which the first section proves an indispensable backdrop.

Section two, drawing as it does from the language of followers of the religion speaking in their own words, is both colloquial and compelling. Dannin takes the reader from New York's maximum-security prisons to a Muslim village founded by four steelworkers during the Great Depression, from the intricacies of the doctrine of the Five-Percenters to the challenges faced by independent Black American women adapting to what often appears a harshly patriarchal faith.

Black Pilgrimage to Islam has its flaws. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

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.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Revisiting, Revising 20th-Century African American History
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

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?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    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.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.