A leading yet little-studied figure in the first generation of the Moorish Science Temple of America movement, Juanita Mayo Richardson Bey was editor of the group’s newspaper, literary educator, and religious poet. Analysis of the textual legacy of Richardson Bey shows evidence of a model of leadership that contrasts starkly with that of the religion’s founder, Prophet Noble Drew Ali. While Ali focused on maintaining ideological control and doctrinal orthodoxy, Richardson Bey, as editor and educator, insisted on a vision of collective participation in Moorish uplift, emphasized the importance of education and specifically the values of literary education for such uplift, encouraged individual creative expression of and synthetic engagement with Moorish Science teachings, and, as poet, modeled in intimate and emotional language her own sense of the meaning of Moorish identity.


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pp. 184-210
Launched on MUSE
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