Louis Farrakhan, born as Louis Eugene Wolcott, is a Muslim American, known most popularly as a leader of the Islamic organization Nation of Islam (NOI). He was born on May 11, 1933 in The Bronx, New York. Farrakhan’s family had a difficult life, as he never knew his biological father and the family moved around a lot while the youngster was growing up. At age 6, he began receiving training for the violin. By age 13, he was so skilled with the instrument that he managed to play with famous orchestras such as the Boston College Orchestra. He continued to win prizes on a regular basis for his talent, and later enrolled in Boston Latin School and Winston-Salem Teachers College.
Farrakhan had some popular hits in his short lived musical career, performing under the name ‘The Charmer’. On tour in Chicago in 1955, he first came in contact with the teachings of NOI through saxophonist Rodney Smith. Having attended an address by then NOI leader Elijah Muhammad, Farrakhan instantly became inspired by his teachings and aspired to join the group. After passing the necessary criteria for becoming an NOI member, he was awarded the customary ‘X’ placeholder, which comes in place of most African Americans’ European slave prescribed surnames. Louis X’s name then changed to Louis Farrakhan after Muhammad replaced it sometime in the future.
Now a firm member of the NOI, Louis Farrakhan was keen on rising through the ranks quickly. He worked closely with Malcolm X who was then a minister at the Temple of Islam in Boston. Farrakhan continued to be inspired and mentored by Malcolm X, even serving as his assistant minister. After the assassination of Malcolm X, Farrakhan was appointed as national spokesman or national representative of the NOI, as well as minister of Harlem Mosque. After Elijah Muhammad’s death in 1975, a lot of things changed for NOI, from it’s organizational structure to the very core of it’s message. Taking on a more liberal standpoint and including inter-religious cooperation and dialogue, Warith Muhammad changed