Dr Dawn-Marie Gibson

Personal profile


My research focuses on African American Islam and Louis Farrakhan's Nation of Islam in particular.

My first book, ‘A History of the Nation of Islam: Race, Islam, and the Quest for Freedom’ was published by Praeger in April 2012. The book examines the origins of the Nation of Islam, Elijah Muhammad’s leadership in the Nation and Louis Farrakhan’s efforts to rebuild the organization in the late 1970s.  The book also considers the opportunities and challenges that gripped the NOI following Louis Farrakhan’s decision to entrust the organization to the Executive leadership Board in 2006.

My second book, ‘Women of the Nation: Between Black Protest and Sunni Islam’ (co-authored with Professor Jamillah Karim) was published by New York University Press in early 2014. Women of the Nation examines how African American, Latina and Native American women have interpreted and navigated the NOI’s gender ideologies and practices in light of their multi-layered identities as women of ethnic minorities in America. The book also considers the various ways in which Nation members interact with women in the Imam W.D Mohammed community and Islamic organizations in the U.S.  http://nyupress.org/books/book-details.aspx?bookid=11104.  I have recently completed two books. The first "The Nation of Islam, Louis Farrakhan and the Men who follow him" was published by Palgrave Macmillan in August 2016 and the second, “New Perspectives on the Nation of Islam (co-edited with Professor Herbert Berg) by Routledge in late 2017.  

I am currently working on a biography of Louis Farrakhan entitled "The Life and Times of Louis Farrakhan (under contract with Bloomsbury).

I am a member of the Historians of Twentieth Century United States (HOTCUS), the British Association for American Studies and the Society for the History of Women in the Americas.  I currently co-convene the Gender and History in the Americas Seminar Series at the Institute of Historical Research.





Personal profile


Recent and forthcoming conference / seminar papers:


"Women and the Nation of Islam," Georgetown University, Qatar, 27 September 2021.

"A Nation divided: Race, Gender and Religion in Elijah Muhammad's Nation of Islam," Augsburg University, 2 June 2021.

"Black Muslim Social Activism and Outreach and interfaith activism," Symposium on Muslim Philanthropy and civil society, Indiana University, 13-15 November 2020 

"African American Muslim Contributions to Philanthropy," Association for Research on Non-Profit organizations and voluntray action 49th Annual conference, 15 November 2020

"Interfaith Outreach in Louis Farrakhan's Nation of Islam," Religion in American Life Conference, University of East Anglia, 23-24 July 2019

“Mother Summayah Farrakhan and the Garveyite Child,” Society for the History of Women in the Americas Annual Conference, University of Reading, 5 July 2019

"The Garveyite Child: Minister Louis Farrakhan's Early Life and Career," Historians of Twentieth-Century United States Annual Conference (HOTCUS), Liverpool John Moores University, 12-14 June 2019

 "Writing Gender History and Biography," Department of Gender Studies, London School of Economics, 29 January 2019.

"African American Islam and Gender" Integrating Gender into Historical Research: A Workshop for Historians, London School of Economics, 11 May 2018

"Black, Female and Muslim: Nation Women's Voices in the Final Call Newspaper" Women and Religion Conference, Queen's University Belfast, 9-10 March 2018

"Elijah Muhammad Studies Symposium," Praire View A&M University, Texas, 24 June 2017

"Elijah Muhammad's Original Fruit of Islam," Historians of Twentieth-Century United States (HOTCUS) Annual Conference, University College Dublin, 16-18 June 2017

“Louis Farrakhan’s Fruit of Islam” British Association for American Studies Annual Conference, 7-9 April 2016.

  “The Nation of Islam, Louis Farrakhan and the men who follow him” Research History Seminar, University of Ulster, 3 February 2016

  “The Nation of Islam, Louis Farrakhan and the men who follow him” American History Research Seminar, University of Oxford, 2 February 2016

“Black Muslim Men on Faith, Family and the American Ummah” British Association for American Studies annual conference, Northumbria University, 9-12 April 2015

“For and About You:  Nation Women and the Final Call Newspaper” History of Feminism Seminar Series, Institute of Historical Research, 19 March 2015

“Uncertain times in the Nation of Islam’s past and present” Information Network on New Religious Movements Public Seminar, London School of Economics, 7-8 February 2015

 “Faith, Family and Community in Nation Women’s Narratives” Women’s Alliance for Theology, Ethics and Ritual, Georgia, MD, 4 February 2015

 “Malcolm X's Religion” Malcolm X at Oxford Union Conference, University of Oxford, 3 December 2014



Research interests

African American religious history

African American Islam

Women's leadership in Louis Farrakhan's Nation of Islam


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