The Nuwaubian Nation: Black Spirituality and State Control

1st Edition

Susan Palmer

Routledge
Published November 28, 2016
Reference - 218 Pages
ISBN 9781138265585 - CAT# Y314491
Series: Routledge New Religions

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Summary

The Nuwaubian Nation takes the reader on a journey into an African-American spiritual movement. The United Nuwaubian Nation has changed shape since its inceptions in the 1970s, transforming from a Black Hebrew mystery school into a Muslim utopian community in Brooklyn, N.Y.; from an Egyptian theme park into an Amerindian reserve in rural Georgia. This book follows the extraordinary career of Dwight York, who in his teens started out in a New York street gang, but converted to Islam in prison. Emerging as a Black messiah, York proceeded to break the Paleman’s spell of Kingu and to guide his people through a series of racial/religious identities that demanded dramatic changes in costume, gender roles and lifestyle. Dr. York’s Blackosophy is analyzed as a new expression of that ancient mystical worldview, Gnosticism. Referring to theories in the sociology of deviance and media studies, the author tracks the escalating hostilities against the group that climaxed in a Waco-style FBI raid on the Nuwaubian compound in 2002. In the ensuing legal process we witness Dr. York’s dramatic reversals of fortune; he is now serving a 135-year sentence as his Black Panther lawyer prepares to take his case to the Supreme Court. This book presents fresh and important insights into racialist spirituality and the social control of unconventional religions in America.

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