Emerging in 1930, the Nation of Islam was a political and religious movement that called for Black Americans to form a separatist and self-sufficient society. On assignment to document the group in 1961, Eve Arnold followed the black nationalist movement’s members and leaders to meetings and rallies, and – in particular – profiled a senior figure in the group who was to become its most recognizable figurehead of the period: Malcolm X. While his famous endorsement of the ‘by any means necessary’ stance set him at odds with prominent pacifist African American leaders like Dr Martin Luther King, Malcolm X was a hero figure to many who were tired of systemic racism, and widespread police and government brutality.

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