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By Dr. Bayyinah S. Jeffries. A Nation Can Rise No Higher Than Its Women: African American Muslim Women in the Movement for Black Self-Determination, 1950-1975. This literary work challenges traditional notions and interpretations of African American identity, particularly women who joined the original Nation of Islam (NOI) started by Elijah Muhammad. Jefferies has conducted the first major investigation of the subject that engages a wide scope of women from “The Nation” and utilizes a wealth of primary documents and personal interviews to reveal the importance of women in this ethnic minority and religious community. Jeffries reveals that women were respected in the movement and maintained a very clear and often sought after voice in the NOI's advancement. She confronts head on the typical portrait of the subservient and irrelevant African American Muslim woman with a far more accurate picture of their integral leadership and substantial contributions to the rise of Islam and black consciousness in the self-determination movement in the United States and beyond during the Civil Rights-Black Power era. Lexington Books (2014), English, Hardcover: 200 pages.
Nation women defied convention and gave us a new standard for womanhood and Black dignity. They exemplified order and discipline and taught us how to march to a different drummer. They also embodied the divine word and helped to build a movement that inspired us for over eighty years. Bayyinah Jeffries dares to take us inside the world of these remarkable women, a world too few of us know, and the rare voices she allows to speak in this volume must be heard. (Zain Abdullah, Temple University)
About the author. Bayyinah S. Jeffries is assistant professor of Africana studies at Eastern Washington University.