Black Pilgrimage to Islam

Black Pilgrimage to Islam

3.7 (17 ratings by Goodreads)
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Islam has become an increasingly attractive option for many African-Americans. This book offers the first comprehensive ethnographic study of this phenomenon. Robert Dannin set out to discover why black Americans would fashion themselves into a "double minority" by converting to Islam. What attractoion does the holy Qur'an hold for them? What does Islamic worship accomplish relative to the worship-styles of the many denominations of black churches? How does the rigid Islamic lifestyle accomodate mainstream American values? Drawing on hundreds of interviews conducted over a period of several years, Dannin provides an unprecedented look inside the fascinating and little understood world of the black Muslims. He discovers that the well-known and cult-like Nation of Islam represents only a small part of the picture. Many more African-Americans are drawn to Islamic orthodoxy, with its strict adherence to the Qur'an. Dannin takes us to the First Cleveland Mosque, the oldest continuing Muslim institution in America, and then to a permanent Muslim village in Buffalo, founded by four steelworkers during the Great Depression.
He looks at the aftermath of the assassination of Malcolm X, and the ongoing warfare between the Nation of Islam abd orthodox Muslims. He goes inside New York's maximum-security prisons and hears testimony of the powerful attraction of Islam for individuals in desperate situations. He examines the conflicts between Islam and Western values, especially in the area of gender equality - the greatest source of controversy among African-American Muslims. Other conflicts emerge between African-Americans and foreign-born Muslim immigrants, who have different ideas about appropriate Islamic goals. These conflicts, Dannin finds, often manifest themselves in ethnic and racial terms, and raise important questions about the future of Islam not only in the U.S. but throughout the Islamic disapora. Accessibly written, filled with gripping first-hand testimony, and featuring superb illustrations by photographer Jolie Stahl, this book will be the best available guide to the beliefs and culture of the black Muslims of America.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 340 pages
  • 166.1 x 240.3 x 30.5mm | 684.94g
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 0195147340
  • 9780195147346

Review quote

There is much material of interest within this study for western Muslims, and in particular, their community leaders ... an eloquent, transparent and essentially positive picture of a nascent, functional Islam as a positive force within western society and within the Muslim community in particular. The Islamic Quarterly A fascinating study exploring numerous facets of the African-American experience with insight and subtlety ... Painstakingly respectful of his subject, Dannin brings to life a side of American life rarely accessible to outsiders. The Times Literary Supplement
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About Robert Dannin

Robert Dannin was formerly Adjunct Professor of Metropolitan Studies in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at New York University.
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Rating details

17 ratings
3.7 out of 5 stars
5 24% (4)
4 47% (8)
3 18% (3)
2 0% (0)
1 12% (2)
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