The Civil Writer Magazine

The Nation of Islam (NOI), an African American Muslim organization emerged during the Great Depression (1920s/30s). Its founder - Wallace Fard Muhammad taught self-sufficiency & racial pride. His very name is uncertain. In 1930, W.D. Fard, a man who the FBI alleged used 58 aliases during his lifetime, visited Detroit. He was known usually as Mr. Wali Farrad or Mr. W. D. Fard, though he used also the following names: Professor Ford, Mr. Farrad Mohammed, Mr. F. Mohammed Ali. He told followers he was born in the holy city of Mecca, and his light-skinned appearance, courtesy of his Russian Jewish mother, was “pre-ordained” so that he could more easily mix with white people. Fard lived and taught in Detroit from 1930 to 1934. He came to the homes of black families who had recently migrated to Detroit from the rural south. He began by selling silks door to door, telling his listeners that the silks came from their home country. At his suggestion, he came back to teach the residents, along with guests. He was drawn to return to the United States in order to liberate the African-Americans from their “half-slave and half-free” condition by introducing them to Islam.

He arrived in Detroit’s Paradise Valley on July 4, 1930, in order to achieve this goal. Fard called his movement: "The Lost Found Nation of Islam in America." He also claimed that Blacks were not Americans & owed no loyalty to the U.S. After a brush with the law in April 1934, Fard left Detroit for good. According to San Quentin records, Wallie D. Ford was born in Portland, Oregon on February 25, 1891, the white son of Zared and Beatrice Ford, who were both born in Hawaii. On October 17, 1957, the FBI located and interviewed Hazel Barton-Ford, Wallie Ford's common-law wife, with whom he had a son named Wallace Dodd Ford, born September 1, 1920. Barton-Ford gave a description of Wallie Ford, and described him as a Caucasian New Zealander. The FBI's search for Fard was officially closed one year later on April 15, 1958. Immigration records did not match any of his aliases. His true identity remains unknown. In July 1963, the FBI told the Los Angeles Evening Herald-Examiner that Fard was actually Wallace Dodd Ford. A World War I draft registration card for Wallie Dodd Fard from 1917 indicated he was living in Los Angeles, unmarried, as a restaurant owner, and reported that he was born in Shinka, Afghanistan on February 26, 1893.

He was described as of medium height and build with brown eyes and black hair. On the draft card, "Ford" is written in parentheses. The paper published the story in an article titled "Black Muslim Founder Exposed As White. "Black Muslims by the thousands pay homage to Wallace Farad, their “Prophet From Mecca,” in the mistaken belief that as founder of the black supremacy cult he is one of their own…Yet Wallace Fard is, admittedly, an enterprising, racketeering fake. He is not a Negro. He is a white man masquerading as a Negro."