The Nation of Islam
The Nation of Islam (NOI) 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 the 1950s and the 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.
Search the Catalog for records relating to the Nation of Islam
Prominent Members of the Nation of Islam
Record Group 21: District Courts of the United States
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|
Record Group 59: Department of State
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'.
Record Group 60: Department of Justice
Class 25 (Selective Service Act) Litigation Case Files, 1920-1974 National Archives Identifier: 646049
|25-12-1202 [Nation of Islam -Intern Security]|
Record Group 65: Federal Bureau of Investigation
Classification 44 (Civil Rights) Case Files
Classification 157 (Civil Unrest) Case Files
Please use the Find function in your browser to search for 'Nation of Islam'
Record Group 267: Supreme Court of the United States
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)|
Record Group 276: United States Courts of Appeals
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|
Record Group 306: US Information Agency (USIA)
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)|