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date: 18 September 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This article focuses on the Five Percenters, also known as the Five Percent Nation or Nation of Gods and Earths (NGE), and how this movement has become a controversial movement with respect to its own relationship to Islam as well as Islam’s relationship to blackness. It first looks at the history of the Five Percenters, tracing its roots to 1960s New York and its link to the theology and theodicy of the Nation of Islam (NOI) and its radical reinterpretation of the NOI’s concept of godhood. It then examines the Five Percenters’ complex construction of Islam, which is often contested both in polemics with Muslims and within the movement itself. the chapter also discusses the movement’s exponential growth, first throughout New York City’s five boroughs and then in major cities throughout the country and even internationally. In addition, it considers the Five Percenters’ constructions of race, gender, and godhood. The article analyzes two distinct documents that are central to the movement, Supreme Mathematics and Supreme Alphabets, before concluding with an assessment of its contribution to hip-hop and rap music.

Keywords: Five Percenters, Five Percent Nation, Nation of Gods and Earths, Islam, blackness, Nation of Islam, godhood, Muslims, hip-hop, rap music

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