Little X: Growing up in the Nation of Islam by Sonsyrea Tate

In the 1970’s, Sonsyrea Tate was a member of a family that belonged to the Nation of Islam. She didn’t go to public school, but instead attended a private Muslim school where her subjects included Arabic, history according to the Honorable Elijah Mohammed, the Nation’s Leader, and black pride. She liked how the Nation gave her and her family a sense of identity and worth as a people. But as she grew older, Sonsyrea grew dissatisfied with the Nation. She hated the way the women were forced to be subservient and wear restrictive clothing. She felt that her parents were hypocrites who disobeyed the Nation’s rules against drugs by smoking pot. Her eyewitness account of the corruption that went on behind the scenes of the Black Muslim movement caused her to make a permanent break with the Nation when she became a young adult. The feelings expressed in Sonsyrea’s story will probably remind you of feelings of disillusionment that you may have had about your parents or the religion you were brought up in. An absorbing first hand account of the Nation of Islam from the inside-out.

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