Louis Farrakhan Muhammad, Sr. (born Louis Eugene Wolcott; May 11, 1933, and formerly known as Louis X) is the leader of the syncretic and mainly African-American religious movement the Nation of Islam (NOI). He served as the minister of major mosques in Boston and Harlem, and was appointed by the longtime NOI leader, Elijah Muhammad, before his death in 1975, as the National Representative of the Nation of Islam. After Warith Deen Muhammad disbanded the NOI and started the orthodox Islamic group American Society of Muslims, Farrakhan started rebuilding the NOI. In 1981 he revived the name Nation of Islam for his organization, previously known as Final Call, regaining many of the Nation of Islam's National properties including the NOI National Headquarters Mosque Maryam, reopening over 130 NOI mosques in America and the world. The Southern Poverty Law Center describes Farrakhan as an antisemite.
Farrakhan is a black religious and social leader and a critic of the United States government on many issues. Farrakhan has been both praised and widely criticized for his often controversial political views and outspoken rhetorical style. In October 1995, he organized and led the Million Man March in Washington, D.C., calling on black men to renew their commitments to their families and communities. Due to health issues, in 2007, Farrakhan reduced his responsibilities with the NOI.
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“It is the mark of a good action that it appears inevitable in retrospect.”
—Robert Louis Stevenson (18501894)