This chapter discusses the background and teachings of Noble Drew Ali, the first prominent African American Muslim leader to gain a large following after Islam fell out of favor in Garvey’s movement. Evidence concerning Drew Ali’s childhood and early career is presented and evaluated, with a focus on his activities as a mystic healer. This is followed by an analysis of his doctrines and their likely sources, which notably include folk religion, esotericism, and black nationalism. An argument is made for Drew Ali having also introduced unique concepts that aided African Americans in developing concepts of themselves and their political and social roles that would help them create this-worldly change in their lives and communities.

A History of Conversion to Islam in the United States, Volume 2

The African American Islamic Renaissance, 1920-1975