Why I Am a Five Percenter

Michael Muhammad Knight, Author
Michael Muhammad Knight. Tarcher, $14.95 trade paper (304p) ISBN 978-1-58542-868-7
Reviewed on: 09/12/2011
Release date: 10/01/2011
Open Ebook - 304 pages - 978-1-101-54758-8
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Music fans familiar with the Wu Tang Clan or Erykah Badu have heard references to the Nation of the Gods and Earths, better known as Five Percenters. This small group of proto-Islam believers relies on a philosophy that defines the black man as the Original Man or God, manifested as Arm Leg Leg Arm Head, or Allah. As a -born white man born in the suburbs, Knight (The Taqwacores), most recently educated at Harvard University, spends a good deal of the book exploring his difficulty in adopting the Five Percenter philosophy as a white man with insecurities about not being black, because most Five Percenters are African-American. His erudition and street credibility are on full display as he expounds—sometimes haphazardly—on subjects from abolition to the history of female sexuality that can be found at the intersection of feminist thought and religion. The result is a fascinating and unwieldy collection of his explanations of navigating his existence as a distinctly hated symbol in a world designed to exalt black men who have been taught to disparage white men. (Oct.)
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