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Wallace D. Fard
*This date celebrates the birth of Wallace D. Fard, founder of the Nation of Islam (sometimes called the Black Muslim) movement in the United States.
Though his birth date and year are not confirmed, Fard immigrated to the United States sometime before 1930. In that year, he established in Detroit the Temple of Islam as well as the University of Islam, which was the temple's school, and the Fruit of Islam, a corps of male guards. Fard preached that Blacks (who were not to be called Negroes) must prepare for an inevitable race war and that Christianity was the religion of slaveowners.
Accordingly, he gave his followers Arabic names to replace those that had originated in slavery. Fard offered Blacks a credo of moral and cultural superiority to their White oppressors. In 1934 he disappeared without a trace. Members of the NOI movement believe Farad to be the incarnation of Allah, and his birthday, February 26, is observed as Saviour's Day.
The Encyclopedia Britannica, Fifteenth Edition.
Copyright 1996 Encyclopedia Britannica Inc.