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Elijah Muhammad
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Religious Figure
    (October 7, 1897-February 25, 1975)
    Birth name is Elijah Poole
    Leader of the Nation of Islam (1934-1975)
    He had eight children.
    During World War II he supported Japan.
    He encouraged his followers to resist the war draft and was jailed for sedition.
    He said that the only war blacks should fight in would be in the coming 'Battle of Armageddon' against white domination.
    He said that blacks were the original human beings and that a mad scientist named Yakub created the white race through genetic manipulation.
    His movement forbade dancing, listening to music and eating various foods.
    He had affairs with several women in the Nation, which is forbidden by his Muslim faith.
    He fought with Malcolm X over the direction of the Nation, eventually suspending him.
    He gave Louis Farrakhan a prominent role in the movement.
    American Nazi George Lincoln Rockwell called him 'the Adolf Hitler of the black man' (a compliment in his view).
    He always wore a goofy, jewel-studded fez decorated with stars and moons.
    He grew up in a poor, rural Southern family with eleven siblings.
    He was forced to quit school after third grade to work as a sharecropper.
    He witnessed three lynchings before the age of 20.
    Under his leadership the Nation grew into a larger movement with thousands of members, many mosques and schools, and millions of dollars in real estate.
    He moderated the Nation to be less violent and extreme without compromising its main ideas.
    His movement forbade smoking, drugs, gambling, drinking and profanity. He also encouraged good grooming and modest fashion.
    He was an advocate of economic, religious and educational self-sufficiency for blacks.
    He was an inspiration to many lower- and middle-class blacks.

Credit: Call me Calvin


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