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Five-Percent Nation

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The Five Percent Nation (also known as the Nation of Gods and Earths) is a primarily African-American spiritual philosophy and group (that rejects the "religion" title) founded by Clarence 13X in 1964. Five-Percenters often support pseudoscience and conspiracy theories and have black supremacist leanings.[1]

Foundation[edit]

Clarence Edward Smith was an African-American man born in 1928 and a Korean War veteran. After returning from war, Clarence discovered his wife had joined the Nation of Islam and he elected to join them too. He embraced much of their teachings, but rejected what they had to say on the topic of gambling, and doubted that the group's founder, Wallace Fard MuhammadWikipedia's W.svg, was Allah as he was light skinned. Clarence left the religion and began preaching his alternate ideas on the streets, gaining a small following. In 1964, he was shot, but survived, and began having delusions of grandeur centered around his own alleged immortality. Unsurprisingly, he was subsequently diagnosed with schizophrenia. Despite this, his following only grew and is still going strong over 40 years after his fatal shooting by an unknown assailant in 1969.[2]

Teachings[edit]

The Five-Percenters reject many elements of traditional Black Muslim thought. Firstly, they agree with all sane people that African-Americans did in fact come from Africa, not the Middle East. They believe in the Recent African Origin hypothesis of humanity's origins and hold that the original humans were, individually and collectively, a race of gods known as ALLAH (which they believe stands for "Arm, Leg, Leg, Arm, Head").[3] On top of this, however, they subscribe to racialist thought. Black people are still gods, but all other "races" are non-god mutations. Like the Nation of Islam, Five-Percenters hold that the "white race" was created to be warriors by a scientist called Yakub, and that they eventually spun out of control and ended up dominating the world. Needless to say, this is complete pseudohistory and has black supremacist implications, as much as Five-Percenters (including their curious white members) deny it.

Due to Five-Percenters' belief that black people are gods, both individually and collectively, they reject the Nation of Islam's teachings that black people need to submit themselves to a god. Reflecting this, they are often individualistic and hedonistic. Despite this, they retain a heavy belief in gender roles, holding that black men are "gods" and black women are "earths" meant to "assist" them.

Five-Percenters have their own alphabetical and numerical systems known respectively as the "Supreme Alphabet" and "Supreme Mathematics". They don't make a whole lot of sense.

Link to hip hop[edit]

Many prominent hip-hop artists are Five-Percenters[4], or are at least inspired by Five-Percenter thought and culture. Five-Percenter terms like "G" (short for "God", not "gangster"), "word is bond", and "cypher" have made their way into hip hop slang.

Five-Percenters and the law[edit]

J. Edgar Hoover considered the Five-Percenters to be a gang. Still today, there is debate among law enforcement officials about the Five-Percenters. Some consider them to be a positive influence on low-income African-American people, others consider them to be dangerous miscreants.[5] Many black men within the penal system convert to the Five-Percent Nation, which prisons have made an inexplicable crackdown on, banning prisoners from spreading Five-Percenter propaganda within prisons.

References[edit]