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Black Pilgrimage to Islam (Robert Dannin)
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328 pg HB with Dust Jacket
From the Inside Cover of this Oxford University title: "Can Islam help African Americans overcome the legacy of slavery and decades of racial oppression? How does the strict Islamic lifestyle accommodate mainstream American values? Will fiercely independent African-American women yield to Islamic law? Why would African-Americans fashion themselves into a "double minority" by converting to Islam?"
Includes a 12-page photographic journey.
"ALMOST 90% OF CONVERTS TO ISLAM IN THE U.S. ARE AFRICAN AMERICANS. BLACK PILGRIMAGE TO ISLAM IS THEIR STORY.
In Black Pilgrimage to Islam, Robert Dannin gives us a rare and fascinating insight into the minds and sensibilities of Black Americans who have embraced Islam. His research is impeccable, his judgments are acute, and his prose is uncommonly graceful. This book is an important contribution to American social history.” —Howard Zinn, author of A People’s History of the United States.
The Nation of Islam has long monopolized the media coverage of the rising influence of Islam among African Americans. Black Pilgrimage to Islam is the history of the far larger, yet largely misunderstood, story of conversion to ORTHODOX Islam in the African American Community.
Drawing extensively upon personal observations, rare documents, and the words of devout worshipers—including the founder of the oldest continuously running Muslim institution in the U.S.—Robert Dannin and photographer Jolie Stahl bring fifteen years of research to this deftly written, artfully illustrated
history of an ever-growing religious movement. Examining the roots of spiritual transformation in the lodge halls and storefront mosques of America's urban ghettos, Black Pilgrimage to Islam offers a fascinating account of the rise of Islamic conversion. Its stories range from Cleveland's ghettos to a rural settlement near Buffalo by way of Brooklyn's mean streets and the stark corridors of New York's maximum-security prisons. Yet, Dannin does not flinch from the hard questions:
Can Islam help African Americans overcome the legacy of slavery and decades of racial oppression? Will it redeem hardened gangsters from lives saturated by narcotics and violent crime? Is it possible to face toward Mecca in prayer while simultaneously resisting the influence of foreign missionaries who disdain the American way of life? Will fiercely independent African-American women play by the rules and accept polygamous marriage?
The religious landscape of America is under its most intense scrutiny in recent memory. Unfortunately a significant part of that landscape has not been thoroughly surveyed. Until now."
ABOUT THE AUTHOR Robert Dannin is Adjunct Professor of Metropolitan Studies at New York University.