The Nation of Islam and Violence
In the United States, the African American struggle for identity, freedom, and equality was expressed in a variety of religious and political movements in the twentieth century. This chapter examines one of the most important of these: the Nation of Islam, which emerged in the late 1920s and continues to exist today. American society has often perceived the Nation [NOTE: Members of NOI and informed outsiders often refer to this group as ‘the Nation’; there is absolutely no reason ‘of Islam’ has to be added here.] as a violent threat to its stability and security, and the Nation, in its outspoken criticism of white America, has often implied that it would not hesitate to use violence to achieve its goals. Despite this context, however, the actual incidents of violence in which the Nation has been involved have been limited in both number and intensity.
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