Malcom X and the Black Muslims • Eve Arnold • Magnum Photos

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Politics

Malcolm X and the Black Muslims

Eve Arnold's profile of prominent member of The Nation of Islam Malcolm X took her from Churches to street corners

Eve Arnold

Eve Arnold | Malcolm X and the Black Muslims Malcolm X during his visit to enterprises owned by Black Muslims. Chicago, Illinois, USA. 1962. © Eve Arnold | Magnum Photos
Eve Arnold | Malcolm X and the Black Muslims Black Muslims meeting held at the International Amphitheater. Elijah Muhammad and Malcolm X. Chicago, Illinois, USA. February 25, 1962. © Eve Arnold | Magnum Photos
Eve Arnold | Malcolm X and the Black Muslims Malcolm X giving a speech at a black Muslim rally. Washington DC, USA. 1961. © Eve Arnold | Magnum Photos
Eve Arnold | Malcolm X and the Black Muslims Black Muslim meeting held at the International Amphitheatre. Three sets of hands (left to right), White American Nazi, black Muslim member and money collector. Chicago, Illinois, USA. February 25, (...)
Eve Arnold | Malcolm X and the Black Muslims Malcolm X at a black muslim rally in Washington waiting his turn to speak. Washington D.C., USA. 1961. © Eve Arnold | Magnum Photos
Eve Arnold | Malcolm X and the Black Muslims George Lincoln Rockwell, flanked by members of the American Nazi Party, listening to Malcolm X's speech at Black Muslims meeting held at the International Amphitheater.USA. Chicago, Illinois, USA. (...)
Eve Arnold | Malcolm X and the Black Muslims Black Muslim meeting. Washington D.C., USA. 1961 © Eve Arnold | Magnum Photos
Eve Arnold | Malcolm X and the Black Muslims Black Muslim graduation. Chicago, Illinois, USA. 1962. © Eve Arnold | Magnum Photos
Malcolm X and the Black Muslims Black Muslim Army, Fruit of Islam. Chicago, Illinois, USA. 1961. © | Magnum Photos
Eve Arnold | Malcolm X and the Black Muslims Black Muslim children at the Metropolitan Museum in New York. They are taught black history. New York City, USA. 1961. © Eve Arnold | Magnum Photos
Eve Arnold | Malcolm X and the Black Muslims Black Muslim gathering. Washington D.C., USA. 1961. © Eve Arnold | Magnum Photos
Eve Arnold | Malcolm X and the Black Muslims Black Muslim children at a Muslim meeting at the Uline Arena. Washington D.C., USA 1961. © Eve Arnold | Magnum Photos

Founded by Wallace D. Fard Muhammad, the Muslim Cult of Islam started in July 1930. Fard claimed he was sent to wake, “the black nation to the full range of the black man’s possibilities in a world temporarily dominated by blue-eyed-devils.” After Fard had disappeared, his assistant Elijah Muhammad changed the name to the Nation of Islam and moved the group from Michigan to Chicago. Continuing in the same hard-line dialogue, he taught that Blacks were ‘the original people’ and whites were ‘devils’.

In 1961, Eve Arnold followed the Nation of Islam to their meetings and rallies and profiling Malcolm X, who later left the Nation for a more traditional form of Islam, and was later assassinated. The later leader of the Nation of Islam, Louis Farrakhan, is also featured in the story and was accused by Betty Shabazz, the widow of Malcolm X, for involvement in her husband’s murder, as he had accused Malcolm of being a traitor for his later criticism of Elijah Muhammad.