Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Vibert Leslie White  

Pen Name: Vibert L. White


Audience: Adult;

Born: 1958 in New York, New York

-- Vibert Leslie White on WorldCat --

Illinois Connection

White lives in Springfield, Illinois and is a professor at the University of Illinois, Springfield.

Biographical and Professional Information

White, Jr. is Associate Professor and Chair of the African-American Studies Program at the University of Illinois at Springfield. He has received international attention with his book ''Inside the Nation of Islam: A Historical and Personal Testimony of a Black Muslim''. Many books have been written about the Nation of Islam, but few offer personal accounts of life within the Nation. White is no longer a member of the movement, but he draws upon his personal experience working with Louis Farrakhan to present the group's history and evolution. Mike Wallace of 60 Minutes wrote the forward to White's book.

Published Works Expand for more information

Titles At Your Library

Developing a "school" of civil rights lawyers: From the New Deal to the New Frontier
ISBN: B0007BS5R2

. 1988

Inside the Nation of Islam: A Historical and Personal Testimony by a Black Muslim
ISBN: 0813020824

University Press of Florida. 2001

From the foreword:
"Far and away the most personal and the most engrossing story I’ve read about Louis Farrakhan and if the professor doesn’t solve the riddle of just who is Louis Farrakhan (and perhaps the Minister himself doesn’t know that for sure) he has given us a fascinating history of the nation, its various leaders, its accomplishments, its shortcomings, and—I’m afraid—a pessimistic look into its future."--Mike Wallace, CBS, 60 Minutes

"The first truly ‘inside’ account of the present-day Nation of Islam from the perspective of one of its former ministers, a portrayal as fascinating as it is troubling. White’s gripping chronicle will invite renewed debate over the direction and prospects of Minister Farrakhan’s controversial leadership."--Ernest Allen, Jr., director, W.E.B. DuBois Department of Afro-American Studies, University of Massachusetts, Amherst

This detailed study of the internal workings of the Nation of Islam under the leadership of Louis Farrakhan examines the evolution of the organization since 1977 and its strange ideological menu of Black Nationalism, political-economic development, anti-Semitism, and conservative Republican ideals. Vibert White maintains that Farrakhan’s Nation has become a cult that utilizes black nationalistic and religious dogma and its ability to create political and racial controversy to exploit poor and working-class black Americans for the leaders’ economic and political gain.
At the heart of Inside the Nation is White’s chronicle of his own sojourn during the 1980s and 1990s as a registered Muslim--from his days as a foot soldier in the Fruit of Islam, the Nation’s military organization, through his rise to the status of minister and advisor to the leadership. Included are White’s dealings with such leaders as Louis Farrakhan, Akbar Muhammad, Khallid Muhammad, and Benjamin Chavis Muhammad and his involvement in such activities as the Million Man March.
As one who traveled for the organization throughout Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and the United States, White was able to observe the leadership and the operation of the group at close hand. He reveals for the first time the detailed structure of NOI’s business and religious operation. He explores and separates the Nation of Islam, the religious arm that is incorporated only in Chicago, from the Final Call, its business center operated only by the Farrakhan family. As a professional historian, White was able to separate the passion of the group’s rhetoric from its real objectives, which centered on building a personal empire for Louis Farrakhan.

Vibert L. White, Jr., is professor of African American Studies at the University of Illinois, Springfield. He has lectured extensively on the Nation of Islam and has published articles in the Journal of Caribbean Studies, Psychohistory Review, Journal of Illinois History, UCLA Black Law Journal, Chicago Defender, and Cincinnati Enquirer.



Speaking Engagements

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