|Early Nation of Islam Documents Found in House Attic in Detroit |
A document from the early days of the Nation of Islam signed by the movement's founder is shown in Detroit. More than 1,000 artifacts were recently discovered in the attic of a Detroit home. The Nation of Islam was started in Detroit in 1930. AP Photo/Jeff Karoub.
By: Jeff Karoub, Associated Press Writer
DETROIT (AP).- More than 1,000 documents, including some dating back to the beginning of the Nation of Islam, were found in the attic of a home in Detroit, the city where the secretive movement started 80 years ago, a lawyer said.
Attorney Gregory Reed unveiled some documents, letters and a booklet Thursday at a Detroit mosque, including a rare 1933 signature of Nation of Islam founder W.D. Fard. Reed said the well-preserved documents detail the early structure and teachings of the group founded on the ideals of black nationalism.
"Very few have seen the internal workings of how (the Nation of Islam) was put together," said Reed, whose Keeper of the Word Foundation oversees collections and exhibits that include the works of Malcolm X, Rosa Parks and Nelson Mandela.
He said the boxes which also included detailed literature about the early movement's educational and leadership training were recently discovered by an unidentified man whose family members were Nation of Islam "pioneers." Reed said he was contacted by the family, which owns the home, because of his work with other collections.
Reed described another piece as a "manifesto" handwritten by Fard that became required reading for Nation of Islam members through the 1950s. It was not displayed at the mosque, remaining instead with the vast majority of artifacts in a vault.
He said the material has been reviewed and appraised by several collectors and auctioneers he didn't name. A foundation set up by the family in association with Keeper of the Word controls the rights to the collection.
Reed said officials with the Chicago-based Nation of Islam are aware of the documents and Reed's plans to publicly display them at a proposed center in Detroit. He said the family is working with him on plans for the "W.D. Fard Founder's Center," which they hope to jointly announce within 60 days.
Messages left Friday by The Associated Press for top leaders of the Nation of Islam were not immediately returned.
Lawrence Mamiya, a Vassar College professor of religion and Africana studies, said the documents should be most revealing and rewarding for scholars and others outside the movement. He said the Nation of Islam has a significant collection that isn't shared with nonmembers.
"I think this trove of 1,000 documents is very important for scholarship and for the writing of the history of the Nation," he said. "It won't change much for the Nation itself, but it may change things for people like myself who have never seen these documents."
Fard attracted black Detroiters on the margins of society with a message of self-improvement and separation from whites. Fard said whites were inherently evil because of their enslavement of blacks.
The Nation of Islam was rebuilt by Farrakhan in the late 1970s after W.D. Mohammed, the son of longtime leader Elijah Mohammed, broke away and moved many followers toward mainstream Islam.
The Nation of Islam continues to be led by Farrakhan, who has haltingly moved toward mainstream Islam but maintains a separatist ideology.
Nation of Islam members traditionally have believed that God came in the form of Fard; Islam recognizes only one God.
In the past, Farrakhan's most inflammatory comments have included referring to Judaism as a "gutter religion" and calling Adolf Hitler "wickedly great." Farrakhan has over the years denied claims of anti-Semitism, arguing his remarks are often taken out of context and that criticism of Jews in any light automatically earns the "anti-Semite" label.
A longtime target of federal surveillance, the movement is highly secretive. Even researchers who follow the group closely do not know how many members or mosques it has, or how much money it makes.
Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.
August 31, 2010
Exhibition at Pablo Picasso Graphics Museum Covers Almost 70 Years of Artistic Creation
International Design Festival Design Act 2010 Opens in Moscow
University of Texas Hits 'Gone With the Wind' Dress Donation Target
The Oyster Eater by Henri Stresor Returns to France for the XXVth Biennale Des Antiquaires
Parched English Fields, Known as Crop Marks, Reveal Ancient Sites
100 Posters Charting the History of the Olympic Games at Sutton's Central Library
Bonhams Appoints Camilla Prini as Its Agent in Northern Italy
French Pavilion in Venice by Dominique Perrault Explores the Metropolis
Christian Lemmerz Creates Large Installation "Hypnosis" for First Solo Show in China
Some of the Earliest Photographs of Fiji from 1881 to Make £20,000 at Bonhams
Oval Office Makeover to Debut in President Obama's Iraq Speech
Diverse Selection of American and European Works at Swann Galleries
Newly Discovered 1856-O $20 Makes Debut in Heritage September Long Beach Auction
Doyle New York to Auction a Chinese Imperial Zitan Table
Rijksmuseum Acquires Two 20th-Century Masterpieces
The 3rd Annual Governors Island Art Fair Opens September 4
Premier of Queensland's National New Media Art Award Winner Announced
Egyptian Minister, Farouk Hosni, Questioned in Van Gogh Theft
Titian Masterpiece "David and Goliath" Suffers Water Damage After Fire
In September 2010, Vevey, Switzerland will Be Draped in Images
Christian Boltanski to Show New Works at Kewenig Galerie, Cologne
Israel Researchers Find Thousands of Ancient Disposable Cutlery
The Joe Grimberg Collection of Chinese Snuff Bottles at Sotheby's New York
Early Nation of Islam Documents Found in House Attic in Detroit
A Three-Dimensional Portrait of the Sensibility of Contemporary German Architecture
Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art At Sotheby's
Art Comes Alive in Copenhagen at Kopenhagen Contemporary
Remains of Deadly European Dinosaur Discovered
Casino Proposed Near Historic Battlefield Splits Gettysburg
National Gallery of Art Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts Announces 2010-2011 Appointments
Most Popular Last Seven Days
1.- Mexican archaeologists study cave paintings found in the northeast part of Argentina
2.- Exhibition of nude photography around 1900 on view at Berlin's Photography Museum
3.- Top of the bill: Giant rubber duck by Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman sails into Hong Kong
4.- Researchers say first permanent English settlers in America resorted to cannibalism
5.- Russia's great museums feud over revival plan of Moscow museum of Western art
6.- Dartmouth's Hood Museum appoints first African Art Curator
7.- Survey exhibition of American artist Ellen Gallagher's work opens at Tate Modern
8.- Exhibition of nude photography around 1900 on view at Berlin's Photography Museum
9.- Paris Photo Los Angeles concludes a successful first edition with over 13,500 visitors
10.- Excavation unearths evidence of Thessaloniki's urban life between 4th and 9th centuries AD
Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .
|Royalville Communications, Inc|