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John Marino's Catholic upbringing left him spiritually empty. Caught up in the hard-partying lifestyle of the mid-1970s, his life was going downhill fast...until he encountered the teachings of Islam as explained by black Muslim co-worker and gifted religious thinker Alfred Fields. At the time, Imam Wallace D. Muhammad had just eliminated the Nation of Islam's anti-white teachings and brought the Nation into line with mainstream Islam. The upshot, as John explains in his new book's title, was: "I Was the First White Man in the Black Muslims."
The barrage of negative publicity against Islam in general and African American Muslims in particular has left many people wondering why so many people are "reverting" to Islam...and why white folks like John, who grew up with prejudices against black people, can be drawn to the world of African-American Islam. What is the source of Islam's appeal to ordinary Americans like John Marino? Is the lost-found African-American Islamic tradition at the heart of an emerging American approach to the world's fastest-growing and most unjustly maligned religion? Listen to John and see what you think.
Labels: alfred fields, black muslims, conversion, Islam, john marino, reversion, wallace d. muhammad