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The history and beliefs of 5 percenters

See Article History Alternative Title: The movement rejected being called a religion, preferring instead to be known as a culture and way of life.

He was especially troubled by what he considered the paradoxical teaching of the divinity of Wallace D.

God, the Black Man and the Five Percenters

Fardthe founder of the Nation of Islam. Its central doctrine taught that God was black, yet Fard, who had light skin and did not appear black, was considered to be God.

Initially, Clarence attempted to reconcile the differences between his own beliefs and those of the Nation of Islam, but he found other leaders unreceptive to his ideas.

The leaders of the Five Percent Nation adopted a dynamicalmost mesmerizing speaking style with a focus on teaching in the streets of major urban centres throughout the United States. The Five Percent Nation grew quickly, and, although only a small and relatively obscure movement, it began to play an influential role in urban black communitiesparticularly in hip-hop culture and music.

Five Percent Nation

Clarence expanded or altered many of the original views of the Nation of Islam in developing the doctrine of the Five Percent Nation. He taught that the doctrine of God as black meant that all black men are God, or Allah.

The movement derived its name from a second doctrine that separates all people into three categories. Only 5 percent of humanity is made up of righteous people who understand the truth—that the living God is the black man who teaches freedom and justice to black communities.

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Clarence also referred to his movement as the Nation of Gods and Earths, a name based on his belief that black men are Gods and black women are queens, or Earths.

Once a black man has realized his own divine nature, he becomes Allah, a God, and a black woman becomes an Earth.

Therefore, only women in the Five Percent Nation consider themselves Muslims and follow Allah; the men are Allah incarnate. Clarence was killed by unknown attackers in Harlem in June 1969.

Although he led the Five Percent Nation for only five years, his ideas of self-sustainable leadership allowed the movement to continue and grow under collective leadership.

  • In the 1980s the group was said to be associated with a drug gang in New York City, and in the mid-1990s prison officials in South Carolina took disciplinary action against some 300 inmates because they refused to renounce their Five Percent status;
  • And once you have knowledge, it takes away any fear;
  • He was a student of Malcolm X, but left his mosque because he disagreed with the Nation of Islam over the nature and identity of God;
  • But Clarence reasoned that only a pure black man could fill that role -- and to him, there was nothing "purely black" about Muhammad, who was bi-racial;
  • The movement derived its name from a second doctrine that separates all people into three categories.

The main controversy over the Five Percent Nation has been its supposed links to gang activities and prison inmates. In the 1980s the group was said to be associated with a drug gang in New York City, and in the mid-1990s prison officials in South Carolina took disciplinary action against some 300 inmates because they refused to renounce their Five Percent status. Learn More in these related Britannica articles: