Did you know that Detroit is the Birthplace of The Nation of Islam?
Welcome to the Castle Theater, First Official Temple of The Nation of Islam
Did you know that Detroit, MI is the Birthplace of the Nation of Islam (N.O.I.)? In the very early period of the Nation of Islam, Master W.D. Fard Muhammad, founder of the N.O.I., would meet with early followers in their homes to spread his unique message to the "Black Race." Eventually their number grew, their first official meeting space or Temple was located in Paradise Valley (a.k.a. Black Bottom) in Detroit. Meetings were held in a space over the Castle Theater at 3412 Hasting Street, where W. D. Fard taught about this new religion, "Islam."
The Castle was a movie theater that catered to black audiences during the time of segregation in the 1930's. This building was torn down to make room for the state's new Interstate 75. This project displaced may African American businesses and homes, negatively impacting the African American community. According to cinematreasures.org, "The Castle Theatre opened in 1914. It seated 1,350. The theatre closed in the early-1960’s. The site is now an empty lot."
The Nation of Islam moved to a number of locations before finding its permanent home at 11529 Linwood in Detroit in 1959. Mosque Temple #1, is now named Masjid Wali Muhammad. Historic Masjid Wali Muhammad still operates as place of worship for Muslims and is now registered as a City of Detroit and State of Michigan Historic Site.
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