Race and Gender in Representations of NOI Women during the Cold War Era
This chapter considers how the domestic spaces of Black American Muslim women were portrayed in photography, media, and literature during the height of the Cold War in the 1950s and 60s. The male gaze and changing gender roles mediated these representations. In analyses of the 1959 CBS news documentary “The Hate That Hate Produced”; The Messenger Magazine, the first official publication of the NOI, edited by Malcolm X in 1959; a 1963 photo essay in Life magazine, photographed by Gordon Parks, and James Baldwin’s The Fire Next Time, the chapter characterizes images of the domesticity of Black Muslim women as “insurgent visions” of American Islam, oftentimes imagined by men, yet enacted with women’s consent and participation.
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