African Americans have historically turned to Islam, and continue to do so, in larger numbers than other Americans. This project details the history of African-American Islam, and ethnographically explores contemporary attitudes of practicing black Sunni Muslims, in order to understand particular aspects of Islam that appeal to black Americans. This thesis focuses on the concept of “reversion” rather than “conversion,” as the choice to practice Islam is viewed by many black Muslims as a symbolic “return to roots” and reconnection to pre-slavery ties to Islam. I argue that this concept of reconnection, among other aspects of Sunni Islam, illustrates the religious empowerment that Islam has provided to African-American Muslims over and above other religions
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