I am writing about the Nation of Islam's Elijah Muhammad because I'm trying to show how this group strived to amass economic stability, independence and religious freedom under the devout, pious, reverent, and pietistic leadership of Mr. Muhammad. In order to explain how under Elijah Muhammad's guidance the Black Muslims were able to gain economic wealth and stability, as well as independence from the federal and state welfare systems. Elijah Muhammad was born as Elijah Poole on October 7, 1897, in Bolds Springs, Georgia, a town so small, that in order to identify it, one needs to mention Sandersville, Georgia, another town that stands between Macron and Atlanta, Georgia. Elijah was the sixth of 13 children, born to Wali and Marie Poole. Their first home was a sharecropper's shanty that could barely accommodate a sizable family of 13. (Halasa, p. 17). It was said that Marie Poole, Elijah's mother sensed that he was special. When he Elijah got older, his siblings also came to share their mother's beliefs about their bother. When the brood argued, they often asked Elijah to settle their squabbles due to his being the brother with a level head. (Halasa, p. 17). Elijah in a sense followed in his father's footsteps as a minister. The elder Poole was a Baptist preacher. Wali Poole gave instructional sermons every Sunday to the congregation at the small Georgian church, as well as to his children at home. On the weekdays, Wali Poole was also a hardworking sharecropper. On Sundays, he devoted his day serving the needs of the black community in Bold Springs. (Halasa, p. 17). Father Poole repeatedly warn Elijah about straying from the road that led to the family's farm. He forbade Elijah to take shortcuts through the woods. Although other children passed Elijah by taking shortcuts home, Elijah could not. However, one day while walking alone without his brothers and sisters, his curiosity was piqued. (Halasa, p. 18). It was a warm, sunny day when Elijah was alone without his brothers or sisters. They older children were at the farm getting ready for the harvest. He was too young to help out and his parents thought that he would get in the way during harvest time. Later when he got older he would be expected to join the family in helping out with their family business. Somehow on this autumn day Elijah went off the road into the woods that seem to call him. He soon heard a rustling in the woods. He thought that his parents had sent his brothers or sisters to find him, but Elijah soon realized that was far from the truth. He thought that his family's small farm might have been on the other size of the group of trees, but he was wrong. He decided that if he skirted the perimeter of the woods he just might get to the end of the field that his family farmed. He through a stick into the forest to see how far he was from the road, but the stick hit a tree trunk. Sure enough after walking a little more he knew exactly where he was. Elijah fell to the ground, watching the various trees and their branches. (Halasa, pp. 18, 19). Elijah soon heard four people in the woods. The first person was a white man carrying a rope with the other end around the midsection of a black man. The rope was tied around the man's waist as though he were a mule or a horse. Two other white men in work clothes followed them. Those two men pushed the captive who was unable to move because his hands were tightly tied behind his back. Elijah wondered if this incident was some type of game-- perhaps a sort of child's play.
Elijah realized that he recognized the black man in the rope. He had seen him in town and the man sometimes attended his father's tiny church. The man look frightened. Although Elijah tripped and made a loud noise when he fell, his eyes were affixed on the man. The whites began kicking and insulting the man. But the man tried not to show his fear. At each kick Elijah's legs buckled as though he stood in place of the man....
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