Conversion to Islam and Impact on Racial Identity

Abdullah Al-Nassar

Advisor: Lester R. Kurtz, PhD, Department of Sociology and Anthropology

Committee Members: Cortney Hughes Rinker, Rutledge Dennis

Online Location,
November 30, 2021, 09:30 AM to 11:30 AM


Black men have converted to Islam in the United States faster than any other minority group throughout multiple generations.  This dissertation utilizes a qualitative methodology to investigate this phenomenon and its subsequent impact on Black racial identity.  Through nineteen in-depth interviews with Black male Muslim converts, this study uncovered six relevant themes relating to motivations for conversion and subsequent impact on racial identity.  Historical, spiritual and cultural motivations were shown to create a matrix of overlapping necessities that served as motivating factors toward conversion.  Liberatory themes involving conscious and subconscious racial realignment emerged as post-conversion themes regarding racial identity.