Baldwin and the Nation of Islam Essay examples

Baldwin and the Nation of Islam Essay examples

Length: 1770 words (5.1 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Powerful Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Baldwin and the Nation of Islam

The Nation of Islam impacted many African American people during its time. This Black Muslim nation not only requested, but demanded and required basic teachings which included racial separation, white devilry, and the coming Armageddon. None of these basic teachings supported James Baldwin’s perceptions. It was Baldwin’s view of pitying the white man for their lack of not being able to see through the color line and to embrace differences that whites and blacks held together to create a better, inexorable, and supreme nation. The Nation of Islam felt no pity for the whites or, as they would call them, devils. Neither would the Muslims embrace their differences from other races, but actually want to keep them divided. Although Baldwin is not confident as to where or to whom he belongs to, Baldwin is certain that a black nation separated from all other races will only separate blacks from the future of a better nation and keep them from further developing as a community.

Born in Georgia, the leader of the Nation of Islam was a man named Elijah Muhammad. He has often been portrayed as a saint by his peers, but during World War II, Elijah Muhammad expressed support for Japan, on the basis of its being a nonwhite country, and was jailed for sedition. On August 24, 1946 Muhammad was released from prison in Milan, Michigan. According to the journal named The Black Scholar by Claude Clegg, Muhammad’s time at Milan had done more for him than ever before and after his release, Muhammad had unquestionably become “the premier martyr of the Muslims” (Clegg 49). From his speeches on the radio and in newspapers, Muhammad was also thought of by many people as a fierce man, one of thes...


... middle of paper ...


...munity can arise. Baldwin believes that our own separate houses are burning and asks himself: “do I really want to be integrated into a burning house?” (Baldwin 340). It has since been time that we all move into the anticipating house down the street, and together we can help make its future grow into a bigger and brighter one.

Works Cited

Kihss, Peter. “In Return for Years of Slavery, Four or Five States.” New York Times 23

Apr 1961: 1.

Baldwin, James. “Notes of a Native Son.” 1955 James Baldwin: Collected Essays. Ed.

Toni Morrison. New York: Library of America, 1998. 63-84.

Kihss, Peter. “Negro Extremist Groups Step Up Nationalist Drive.” New York Times 1

March 1961: 2.

Clegg, Claude Andrew. “Rebuilding the Nation: The Life and Work of Elijah

Muhammad.” 1996 The Black Scholar. Vol. 26 Issue ¾, 49-59.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Baldwin's view of Nation of Islam in Down on the Cross Essay

- Superficial Power The Nation of Islam emerged as a very powerful organization during the 1960s. One of the Nation?s key goals was to create an independent Black America. It further preached about the White man as the devil, thus instilling faith within its followers that White society will be decimated, and Black society will prevail. Through these powerful messages, the Nation of Islam gave African-Americans a claim to divinity and created the notion of Black supremacy. However, in attempting to cement these ideas, the Nation of Islam?s message became extreme to the point of absurdity....   [tags: James Baldwin]

Powerful Essays
1439 words (4.1 pages)

Essay James Baldwin and Elijah Muhammad on The Nation of Islam

- The Nation of Islam On October 7, 1897 in Sandersville, Georgia, a woman named Marie Poole gave birth to a boy who she named Elijah. Elijah’s parents were sharecroppers, and this father was a Baptist minister (Black Supremacists, 25). After an eighth grade education, in 1931, Elijah Poole moved to Detroit where, he says, he met “Allah in person”. This was a man named Fard Muhammad—“The first and only man born in Mecca who came to America for the express purpose of teaching the so-called Negro” (Mr....   [tags: Black Muslim]

Powerful Essays
2359 words (6.7 pages)

Nation of Islam Movement Essays

- Nation of Islam Movement “God is black. All black men belong to Islam; they have been chosen. And Islam shall rule the world” (Baldwin 319). This is the principal message of the Nation of Islam movement. Although the movement has existed since the early 20th century, it gained a lot of momentum in America in the 1960’s, according to African-American essayist and novelist James Baldwin. In his essay, Down At The Cross, Baldwin conveys that the movement reached more blacks during the sixties because time was ripe for it....   [tags: James Baldwin]

Powerful Essays
1366 words (3.9 pages)

Use of the Nation of Islam in Down at the Cross Essay

- The Use of the Nation of Islam in “Down at the Cross” Like his essay “Notes of a Native Son,” James Baldwin’s “Down at the Cross” offers a three-part essay involving Baldwin’s personal adolescent experience, a specific event in Baldwin’s life, and a final analysis concluding with a warning to the readers. Baldwin describes a general experience throughout his life, and his sense of the public’s overall experience, to discuss the progression of America throughout history; the progression of America is the advancement of the American Negro according to Baldwin: “[The American Negro] is the key figure in his country, and the American future is precisely as bright or as dark as his” (Baldwin 34...   [tags: James Baldwin]

Powerful Essays
1977 words (5.6 pages)

Nation of Islam in the Light of Elijah Muhammad Essay

- Nation of Islam in the Light of Elijah Muhammad In 1961 James Baldwin met Elijah Muhammad, the leader of the Nation of Islam movement at the time. Baldwin’s experience within the Christian Church prior to his meeting with Elijah helped him analyze the Nation of Islam. This also allowed him to draw parallels between the Nation of Islam movement and the Christian Church. How James Baldwin understood the way the Christian Church worked, and a close look at the Nation of Islam, brings to light the credibility of organized religions....   [tags: James Baldwin Religion]

Powerful Essays
2034 words (5.8 pages)

Role of James Baldwin in the Civil Rights Movement Essays

- Throughout most of the 1950’s and 60’s there was a strong push by Black Americans to end their unfair treatment in America. Two main groups during this time were working on this problem. The NAACP and the Nation of Islam were two main groups working on and poised to solve this very dilemma. Despite trying to solve the same crisis their ideas on a solution were very different. Since their views were varied, people in turn had different views on which group they would become associated with. This inspired many writers to publicly display their beliefs on the issue....   [tags: NAACP Nation of Islam]

Powerful Essays
1614 words (4.6 pages)

Baldwin's Fire Next Time Essay

- Baldwin's Fire Next Time We always say "Love conquers all" is commonly said and heard in our daily lives. Ironically, this is necessarily not true as James Baldwin views our society. He illustrates the stereotypes of both Blacks and Whites. In his argumentative autobiography, The Fire Next Time, the author brilliantly perceives the idea that love, instead of fear, liberates society. To truly "liberate" society, one must discover his/her individual and personal identity by learning to love....   [tags: Baldwin Fire Next Time Essays]

Free Essays
589 words (1.7 pages)

Essay Nation of Islam movement in America

- Too Much No matter how strongly one feels about something, sometimes thoughts and actions can become too intense, too extreme, quite simply: too much. The idea of exceeding normal boundaries is a key idea in the Nation of Islam movement in America in the 1950s and 1960s. The Nation of Islam preached an idea that was very unfamiliar to common thought in America at that time. Ideology practiced by black Muslims, as those people of Islam were known as, was very intense, very driven, very narrow minded, but it made a lot of African Americans feel better about who they were and where they were at....   [tags: African American Black Muslim]

Powerful Essays
1767 words (5 pages)

Leaders of the Nation of Islam Essay

- Leaders of Nations The Nation of Islam impacted many African American people during its time. This Black Muslim nation demanded adherence to basic teachings, which included racial separation, white devilry, and the coming Armageddon. None of these basic teachings supported James Baldwin’s perceptions, which pitied whites for their inability to see through the color curtain and embrace differences that whites and blacks held together to create a better, inexorable, and supreme nation....   [tags: Black Muslim Malcolm X Elijah Muhammad]

Powerful Essays
3018 words (8.6 pages)

Essay on From Hate to Love in James Baldwin's The Fire Next Time

- From Hate to Love in James Baldwin's The Fire Next Time      James Baldwin was a man of many insights.  He believed in various ideas with regards to ?the problem of the color line. (103).  Baldwin, like many other thinkers of his time knew that a change was needed in this country, specifically Baldwin believed a shift from hatred to love was needed.   The main change Baldwin discusses in his biographical novel, The Fire Next Time, religion and how it teaches hate for others and love for those who believe.  The importance Baldwin believes is the change from those beliefs taught by religion to a new acceptance of both black and white races....   [tags: Fire Next Time James Baldwin Religion Essays]

Powerful Essays
1054 words (3 pages)