Black supremacy or black supremacism is a racial supremacist belief which maintains that black people are inherently superior to people of other races.

Historical usage

Black supremacy was advocated by Jamaican preacher Leonard Howell in the 1935 Rastafari movement tract The Promised Key.[1] Howell's use of "Black Supremacy" had both religious and political implications. Politically, as a direct counterpoint to white supremacy, and the failure of white governments to protect black people, he advocated the destruction of white governments.[2] Howell had drawn upon as an influence the work of the earlier proto-Rastafari preacher Fitz Balintine Pettersburg, in particular the latter's book The Royal Parchment Scroll of Black Supremacy.[3]

The Associated Press described the teachings of the Nation of Islam (NOI) as having been black supremacist until 1975, when W. Deen Mohammed succeeded Elijah Muhammad (his father) as its leader.[4] Elijah Muhammad's black-supremacist doctrine acted as a counter to the supremacist paradigm established and controlled by white supremacy.[5][6] The SPLC described the group as having a "theology of innate black superiority over whites – a belief system vehemently and consistently rejected by mainstream Muslims".[7]

Groups associated with black supremacist views

Central portion of Tama-Re, a village in the U.S. state of Georgia built in 1993 by the United Nuwaubian Nation of Moors, as seen from the air in 2002

Several fringe groups have been described as either holding or promoting black supremacist beliefs. A source described by historian David Mark Chalmers as being "the most extensive source on right-wing extremism" is the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), an American nonprofit organization that monitors hate groups and extremists in the United States.[8][9] Authors of the SPLC's quarterly Intelligence Reports have described the following groups as holding black supremacist views:

Opposition from Martin Luther King Jr.

During speeches given at the Freedom Rally in Cobo Hall on June 23, 1963,[17] at Oberlin College in June 1965,[18] and at the Southern Methodist University on March 17, 1966, Martin Luther King Jr. said:[19][20][21]

A doctrine of black supremacy is as dangerous as a doctrine of white supremacy. God is not interested merely in the freedom of black men or brown men or yellow men. God is interested in the freedom of the whole human race, the creation of a society where every man will respect the dignity and worth of personality.

See also


  1. ^ Sellers, Allison Paige (2015). "The 'Black Man's Bible': The Holy Piby, Garveyism, and Black Supremacy in the Interwar Years". Journal of Africana Religions. 3 (3): 325–342. doi:10.5325/jafrireli.3.3.0325. JSTOR 10.5325/jafrireli.3.3.0325. S2CID 141594246 – via JSTOR.
  2. ^ Bogues, Anthony (2003). Black Heretics, Black Prophets: Radical Political Intellectuals. Psychology Press. p. 164. ISBN 978-0-415-94325-3. Retrieved December 22, 2022.
  3. ^ Charles Price (2009). Becoming Rasta: Origins of Rastafari Identity in Jamaica. NYU Press. pp. 48–49. ISBN 978-0-8147-6768-9.
  4. ^ "Former Nation of Islam leader dies at 74". MSNBC. Associated Press. September 9, 2008. Retrieved March 1, 2019.
  5. ^ Vincent, Rickey (2013). Party Music: The Inside Story of the Black Panthers' Band and How Black Power Transformed Soul Music. Chicago Review Press. p. 180. ISBN 978-1-61374-495-6. Retrieved December 22, 2022.
  6. ^ Perry, Theresa (1996). Teaching Malcolm X. Psychology Press. p. 143. ISBN 978-0-415-91155-9. Retrieved December 22, 2022.
  7. ^ "Nation of Islam". Southern Poverty Law Center. Archived from the original on October 11, 2019. Retrieved October 16, 2019.
  8. ^ David Mark Chalmers (2003). Backfire: How the Ku Klux Klan Helped the Civil Rights Movement. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 188. ISBN 0-7425-2311-X.
  9. ^ Brett A. Barnett (2007). Untangling the web of hate: are online "hate sites" deserving of First Amendment Protection?. Cambria Press. p. 20. ISBN 978-1-934043-91-2.
  10. ^ "Racist Black Hebrew Israelites Becoming More Militant". Intelligence Report. Southern Poverty Law Center. August 29, 2008. Retrieved May 29, 2016.
  11. ^ "'General Yahanna' Discusses Black Supremacist Hebrew Israelites". Intelligence Report. Southern Poverty Law Center. August 29, 2008. Retrieved July 9, 2016.
  12. ^ a b "Nation Of Islam | Southern Poverty Law Center". Southern Poverty Law Center. Archived from the original on March 31, 2021. Retrieved March 31, 2021.
  13. ^ Mark Potok (November 29, 2001). "Popularity and Populism". Intelligence Report. Southern Poverty Law Center. Retrieved July 9, 2016.
  14. ^ Associated Press (October 6, 2006). "Cult Leader Linked To Beheadings Asks To 'Die With Dignity'". CNN. Archived from the original on October 11, 2006. Retrieved December 22, 2022.
  15. ^ Bob Moser (September 20, 2002). "United Nuwaubian Nation of Moors Meets Its Match in Georgia". Intelligence Report. Southern Poverty Law Center. Retrieved July 9, 2016.
  16. ^ "Nuwaubian Nation of Moors". Southern Poverty Law Center. Retrieved March 5, 2019.
  17. ^ "Address at the Freedom Rally in Cobo Hall". King Papers Project. Stanford University | Martin Luther King, Jr. Research and Education Institute. January 13, 2015. Retrieved June 15, 2020.
  18. ^ "Remaining Awake Through a Great Revolution". Electronic Oberlin Group. Retrieved June 15, 2020.
  19. ^ "Civil Rights Leader Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. Speaks on the DePauw Campus". DePauw University. Retrieved May 10, 2022.
  20. ^ "Transcript of Dr. Martin Luther King's speech at SMU on March 17, 1966". Southern Methodist University. Retrieved June 15, 2020.
  21. ^ Ogbar, Jeffrey O. G. (March 19, 2019). Black Power: Radical Politics and African American Identity. JHU Press. ISBN 978-1-4214-2976-2.