Mother of the Nation offers the definitive biography of Clara Evans Muhammad, a Black woman who became the center of an unprecedented racial and religious transformation in the US.

Skillfully constructed to illustrate 20th-century racial conditions in America, this thought-provoking biography by Dr. Zakiyyah Muhammad recreates the life and times of an illustrious woman who, in promoting the cause of social justice, became, in the process, the “Mother of the Nation of Islam.” It is a superbly researched and fast-moving narrative, based on primary sources and on interviews with those who knew her personally, exploring both Clara’s public and private life, including her relationships with her husband, her family, and her friends.

This Volume One of a three-part series chronicles the formative years (1899-1930) of Sister Clara’s life. She was born within a close-knit Christian family during a period in which lynchings, social oppression and deadly racial riots were common occurrences throughout both the South and the North.

Of particular interest is the description of Clara’s “stand” against authorities who visited her when she refused to send her children to “the Devil’s schools.” A forerunner of Home Schooling, Clara initiated an independent Black educational institution. Later, she would administer the “Nation” during her husband’s imprisonment, and introduce the Holy Qur’an into the US prison system.

Pivoting from the biggest questions about American history to the most intimate concerns of a mother for her husband, children and people, Mother of the Nation offers an insightful perspective for understanding our nation’s racial history and its current social crisis.