Saturday, August 28, 2010

Rare Nation of Islam documents found abandoned in Detroit attic

Video Caption: An early film about the founding and history of the Nation of Islam and its leader, Elijah Muhammad.

Recently, abandoned boxes of documents from the Nation of Islam's earliest days were discovered in a Detroit attic. Among the historic documents were rare correspondences from Nation founder W.D. Fard. Reportedly, the historic files, some of which date back to 1933, were slated for the trash before they were rescued by a family.

Eventually, the family involved contacted attorney Gregory J. Reed about the find. Reed characterized the records as "priceless heirlooms," which explain the Nation's early teachings and structure to its American Islamic movement. These papers also, Reed said, demonstrate the importance the Nation placed upon African Americans leading spiritual, productive and healthy lives. In one instance, among the documents, a 1933 manifesto for the group was found. And, these records show the Nation operated about 40 schools in the Greater Detroit Area.

The New York Theological Seminary is an institution dedicated to multiculturalism, diversity, social justice and religious tolerance. The mission of the seminary is to prepare men and women, from every background, for careers in ministry.

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