Louis Farrakhan may 11, 1933

Louis Farrakhan was born Louis Eugene Walcott on may 11, 1933, in the Bronx, New York

This is Sarah Mae Manning, Louis's mother who raised him after coming to the United Sates from the Caribbean island of St. Kitts.

Farrakhan sought to become an educator, winning a scholarship to Winston-Salem Teacher's College. But he left after two years to pursue his passion for music.

While going by the Charmer, Farrakhan had some success with the hit song "Back to Back".

After performing in Chicago, Farrakhan soon discovered a different calling attending a Nation of Islam. Elijah Muhammad called for the establishment of a separate nation for African Americans. With encouragement from Muhammad's right-hand man, Malcolm X, Farrakhan joined this Muslim movement in 1955.

Now going by Louis X, Farrakhan used his musical abilities and wrote the song "A White Man's Heaven Is a Black Man's Hell" for his new religious group.

Farrakhan quickly rose in the organization's hierarchy working as assistant minister to Malcolm X at the Boston mosque. He took over Malcolm's places when he went to preach at the Nation of Islam mosque in New York City's Harlem neighborhood.

Louis Farrakhan quickly growing and moving up in the ranks

In 1964, Malcolm X split from the group and Farrakhan quickly filled his shoes, getting even closer to Elijah Muhammad. His relationship with Malcolm X became bitter as Malcolm X spoke about the organization's divisive racial theology and possible abuses of power.

In 1975, Elijah Muhammad died. The Nation of Islam fragmented, Muhammad had appointed his son as his successor. His son sought to take the group toward a more traditional practice of the Muslim faith. Farrakhan was not happy about this and eventually broke apart from the group.

In the late 1970s early 1980s, Farrakhan started up a new Nation of Islam, one that adhered to the teachings of Elijah Muhammad. He started a newspaper, The Final Call, to help him communicate to the others around him.

Farrakhan threw his support behind Reverend Jesse Jackson's presidential bid. A group within his organization, Fruit of Islam, provided security for Jackson during his 1984 run.

Fruit of Islam

In 1995 Farrakhan organized the Million Man March on Washington, D.C. That October, Farrakhan brought together a variety of African American leaders, such as Reverend Jesse Jackson, civil rights pioneer Rosa Parks and Malcolm X's widow Betty Shabazz, to speak on important social issues to the crowd gathered there.

The Million Man March ranged from an estimate of 400,000 to 2 million people

In 2017, Farrakhan is still fairly relevant in today's politics. He's been seen talking to former president Obama and current president Trump. Some of the comments he's made had made headlines including the one to former president Obama saying, " let Trump do what he wants, you've failed inner city blacks."

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Darius Westbrook Jr
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