The Black Muslims in America

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This seminal text of the Nation of Islam, written by Duke University Professor of Religion and Culture C. Eric Lincoln, appeared in 1961. Though other academic works on the Nation preceded it, Lincoln's study helped establish the Nation in the eyes of the mainstream as a legitimate religion and a society worthy of serious inquiry. One of the book's most enduring legacies was the term "Black Muslim" itself. Though Malcolm X and other Muslim hierarchs objected vigorously to the moniker, it quickly became the common media parlance to describe members of the Nation. (The Nation's rank and file protested that the term was limiting and biased. They considered themselves simply "Muslims.) The Black Muslims in America helped establish Lincoln as a pioneer in the sociological study of religion.