Professor Konden Smith
American Islam: African-American Status or Islamic Propagation?
At these last moments of the semester, after much perusing of ample literature, it is surprising
how dumbfounded one can be in trying to render thought into writing. Many questions arise regarding
controversies in the actions of the men and women of various groups and communities; for example,
the white people were not very liked in the black community, yet courting or dating a white woman, for
a black man, raises his status within the community. Even more, the credibility of Alex Haley’s work,
The Autobiography of Malcolm X, can be argued upon (Marable); questions about the Islam portrayed
by Elijah Muhammad, the leader of Nation of Islam (NOI), which drew Malcolm X’s attention and
eventually convinced him to convert to Islam make his intentions very questionable (Hornsby, Jr.); and
Mr. X’s shift in ideological paradigm from separatist to relatively moderate, poses as another event
debatable. Above all it brings to light that, Islam of the day, or Malcolm X’s Islam, was aimed at the
problem of racism than Islam itself; hence not having a direct impact, although significant, on the
American religion as such. It is for this very reason, and the images of its representatives that Islam is
only reluctantly accepted even today.
To get a more complete understanding of the history of American religion during this period, the
research done prior to this presentation included reading extremist literature both from the black and
the white perspectives, and comparatively neutral literature. This was to follow the procedure of the art
of historiography that was discussed during the course of the semester. Before trying to comprehend the
culmination of the standings of the various people, it behooves us to have the knowledge of the timeline of the events and the patterns of the events occurring. Since the life of Malcolm X is the...