The Encyclopedia of African-American Heritage by Susan Altman

Louis Farrakhan

Louis Farrakhan

On this date in 1933, Louis Farrakhan was born. He is an African-American religious leader in the Muslim community.
in New York City, he was an outstanding student at Boston English High School and then attended Winston-Salem Teacher’s College. Farrakhan was an excellent musician; he played the violin and was a calypso singer. It was as a singer that he earned his livelihood before converting to Elijah Muhammad’s Nation of Islam in the 1950s. He quickly worked his way up to a leadership position, becoming the minister of the Boston mosque.

He loudly denounced Malcolm X after the latter split with Elijah Muhammad in 1963. He soon assumed leadership of the Harlem mosque, which Malcolm had previously led. After Elijah Muhammad’s death in 1975, he briefly supported Muhammad’s son and designated successor, Warith Muhammad, as leader of the Nation of Islam. Shortly after Warith Muhammad began accepting whites as members within the Nation of Islam, now renamed the World Community of Al-Islam in the West, Farrakhan split from him and established a rival organization with about 10,000 members.

Read more about Louis Farrakhan here.