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Elijah Muhammad Preaches Racial Separation

June 16, 1963 - Elijah Muhammad (pictured right in 1960 with Malcolm X), the leader of the Black Muslims, is confident that his organization, and his alone, stands to gain from racial turmoil in the United States. In an interview, he said he believes the nation’s 20 million Negroes will eventually accept complete separation from whites as the solution to the racial problem. “The Negro must think in terms of bettering himself,” said Mr. Muhammad, “and this he can only do by thinking in terms of his own black civilization.” He asserted that, if the white man wanted a peaceful solution, he should give the Negroes a choice of return to Africa or the establishment of a separate Negro state out of a part of the U.S. The Black Muslim leader said his first choice would be Africa, and he was confident that the new independent states there would welcome American Negroes. Asked for his views on President Kennedy’s use of troops to register the first two Negro students at the University of Alabama, Mr. Muhammad replied: “If I had been in his place, I would have done the same. He did it only to protect his honor and that of the Government and not for the love of the Negroes.”


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