The Nation of Islam
The Nation of Islam is an Islamic and black nationalist movement founded in Detroit, Michigan by Wallace D. Fard Muhammad in 1930. His mission was to "teach the downtrodden and defenseless black people a thorough knowledge of God and of themselves." Members of the NOI study the Quran, worship Allah as their God and accept Muhammad as their prophet, while also believing in notions of Black Nationalism.
In 1934, Elijah Muhammad succeeded Fard and the NOI began to gain popularity among African Americans during 1950s and 1960s with its message of racial independence, establishing mosques in urban areas, and converting incarcerated black men to the religion.
Records held at the National Archives related to the Nation of Islam are mostly federal investigations on their Black Nationalist activity across the country. Many of the investigative cases focused on the actions of individual members.
Below are records relating to the Nation of Islam in general, as well as pages highlighting prominent leaders and members of the group.
|Records Relating to the Nation of Islam|
|RG 21 - District Courts of the United States||RG 59 - Department of State||RG 60 - Department of Justice|
|RG 65 - Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)||RG 267 - Supreme Court of the United States||RG 276 - United States Court of Appeals|
|RG 306 - US Information Agency (USIA)|
|Online Exhibit: Portrait of Black Chicago|
Elijah Muhammad is known as the most prominent leader of the Nation of Islam. As leader of the Nation of Islam, Muhammad dedicated himself towards expanding the organization by teaching against white supremacy. Learn more
Malcolm X was born Malcolm Little in Omaha, Nebraska in 1925. While serving a sentence for larceny and breaking and entering, Malcolm X joined the Nation of Islam, and soonm became the public face of the organization.
Born Cassius Clay in Louisville, Kentucky, Muhammad Ali was a boxing great. He became a member of the Nation of Islam shortly before winning his first title as heavyweight champion of the world in 1964.
Civil Case Files, 1938-1988 National Archives Identifier: 559845
|File 3211-61, Fulwood v. Clemmer|
Criminal Case Files, 1863-1992 National Archives Identifier: 559640
|CR-53-59, US v. Fulwood|
Central Foreign Policy Files, 1973-1979 National Archives Identifier 654098
|Electronic Telegrams, 1979 ( NAID 18558788|
The electronic records in this series can be searched online via the Access to Archival Databases (AAD) system. The telegrams on AAD include only unclassified, unrestricted files which have been determined to be of permanent historical value. Please search for 'Nation of Islam'.
Class 25 (Selective Service Act) Litigation Case Files, 1920-1974 National Archives Identifier: 646049
|25-12-1202 [Nation of Islam -Intern Security]|
Classification 44 (Civil Rights) Case Files
Please use the Find function in your browser to search for 'Nation of Islam'
Electronic Dockets for Closed Appellate Cases, 1996-2006 National Archives Identifier 4325222
|Docket 97-814 City of Cleveland, Petitioner v. Nation of Islam, Muhammad's Mosque No. 18, and Roland Muhammad, November 14, 1997 ( NAID 26894044)|
General Appellate Jurisdiction Case Files, 1893-1981 National Archives Identifier: 1127801
|16056, September 1960. Fulwood v. Clemmer|
|17282, September 1962, Fulwood v. Clemmer|
|17283, September 1962, Clemmer v. Fulwood|
Research Reports, 1960-1999 National Archives Identifier: 5637789
|R-165-1962 Black Muslims or the Nation of Islam ( NAID 5714755)|
|R-165 Black Muslims or the Nation of Islam ( NAID 5679739)|
|R-60-1964 IRS Background Facts, The American Negro. VII: The Nation of Islam or Black Muslims ( NAID 5715062)|
|R-60 IRS Background Facts, The American Negro. VII: The Nation of Islam or Black Muslims ( NAID 5680046)|
Moving Images Relating to US Domestic and International Activities, 1982-1999 National Archives Identifier 46890
|The Time Has Come ( NAID 53804)|