Annotated Bibliography

A Short History: Shriners of North America and Shriners Hospitals. Tampa: Shriners of North, 2004. 

-This “Short History” of the “Shriners of North America and Shriners Hospitals” is a Shriner-published document that offers a look into official records and statistics reaching back to the earliest days of the fraternal organization’s founding.  These records provide helpful information regarding the group’s total membership throughout the late 1800s and gives an impression of its strength and popularity throughout the century. 


Ali, Noble Drew. The Holy Koran of The Moorish Science Temple of America. 11 Oct. 2011. Online. 

-The Holy Koran of The Moorish Science Temple of America is the founding document of the Moorish Science Temple religious movement. Written by Noble Drew Ali in 1913, the Holy Koran provides a glimpse into how the movement defined its origins, lessons, and followers.  This glimpse demonstrates how Drew Ali adapted the language of Orientalism and the Freemasons and Shriners as a claim to the civilization and rights of African-Americans in the midwest amidst the turmoil of the Great Migration.


Amann, Peter H. “A ‘Dog in the Nighttime’ Problem: American Fascism in the 1930s.” The 

History Teacher. 19.4 (1986). 559-584. 8 Oct. 2011.

-This article details much of the history of the Black Legion and its status as a hybrid of a new form of American fascism and a long-running strain of nativism.  Much attention is given to the Black Legion’s origins in the Ku Klux Klan, and the Legion founder William Shepard’s decision to add more violence and mystique to what he perceived as an increasingly “commonplace” Klan.  This provides the inquiry module with an excellent look at the motivations behind the Black Legion’s founding and how it embraced a host of secretive rituals beyond even those of the Klan to increase its claim to mysterious, powerful knowledge.


Amann, Peter H. “Vigilante Fascism: The Black Legion as an American Hybrid.” 

Comparative Studies in Society and History. 25.3 (1983).  490-524. 16 Oct. 2011. 

-This article provides an analysis of the rise of the Black Legion in the Midwest in the early 20th century. Amann argues that the Legion represents a hybrid of nativist, racist, and fascist thought, one “steeped in the ethos and lore of American fraternalism, that curious blend of bigotry and good fellowship.” It is this fraternal combination that forms the thread connecting the Masons and the Shriners with the Black Legion that would go on to emulate many of their practices. 


Berg, Herbert. “Mythmaking in the American Muslim Context: The Moorish Science

Temple, The Nation of Islam, and the American Society of Muslims.” University 

of Alabama Department of Religious Studies.  9 Oct. 2011.

-This article analyzes Noble Drew Ali’s reconstruction of African-Americans’ racial heritage and creation of new racial origin myths upon founding the Moorish Science Temple. Berg studies the reasons for Drew Ali’s identification of African-Americans as “Moorish” “Asiatics” and his denial of the notion of a “black race.” This reinterpretation allowed Ali and his followers to avoid racist notions of blacks as less civilized by instead attaching themselves to a broad Orientalist definition of Asians said to hold the “key to civilization.” This argument (and the Moorish Temple’s communal economic and political support) was very appealing to Temple members at a time when African-Americans in the midwest faced incredible prejudice from those who viewed them as racial inferiors. 


DeHoyos, Art & S. Brent Morris. Freemasonry in context: history, ritual, controversy. Oxford: 

Scottish Rite Research Society, 2004.

-This historical analysis of Freemasonry provides an extensive overview of the rituals, services, and ideals central to Mason and Shriner membership.  DeHoyos offers detailed accounts of Shriner meetings and traditions, and identifies these practices as essential parts of transforming fraternal organization membership into a keystone of “respectable middle-class manhood” at a time of perceived threats to traditional gender spheres.  This situates the American fraternal movement in general and Shriners in particular in the context of larger social forces, ones that made the secrecy and claims of mystical knowledge the Shriners offered incredibly appealing to middle class men in the 19th century. 


Deutsch, Nathaniel. “‘The Asiatic Black Man’: An African American Orientalism?”

Journal of Asian American Studies. 4.3 (2001). 193-208. 9 Oct. 2011. 

-Deutsch’s 2001 article represents a study of how African Americans have constructed and interpreted their identity as in-between peoples in the United States throughout the past decade. In particular, it looks at how this identity gave rise to a form of “African American Orientalism” that linked the African American experience with Asia and its people while simultaneously adopting the “romantic...mystical Orientalism” prevalent in many Western cultures. This is then applied to the rise of the Moorish Science Temple by highlighting how Noble Drew Ali appropriated the Orientalist “symbols, terminology, and clothing” of the Masons  to reconstruct African American identity.


Grossman, James R. Land of Hope: Chicago, Black Southerners, and the Great Migration. 

Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1989. 

-A book profiling the African-American southerners who moved north to Chicago during the Great Migration and their lives once they arrived there. The book addresses the social, economic, and political causes of both the migration itself and Chicago in its aftermath.  This analysis serves my project primarily through its depiction of the de facto segregation (in contrast to the legal segregation of the south) and redlining that confronted African-Americans upon their arrival in Chicago and the community organization and tactics used to combat it.  


Mazucci, Liz. “Going Back to Our Own: Interpreting Malcolm X’s Transition From ‘Black

Asiatic’ to ‘Afro-American.’” Souls. New York City: Columbia University Press,


-A look at the ideological evolution of Malcolm X’s personal and private life.  Briefly addresses the Orientalism of Noble Drew Ali’s Moorish Science Temple and its influence on former member (and eventual founder of the Nation of Islam) Wallace Fard Muhammed and Malcolm X.  A helpful source for tracing the origins of many Moorish Science symbols and the Orientalist meaning they conveyed to African-Americans during the early 20th century. 


Nance, Susan. “Mystery of The Moorish Science Temple: Southern Blacks and 

American Alternative Spirituality in 1920s Chicago.” Religion and 

American Culture: A Journal of Interpretation. 12.2 (2002). 123-166.

10 Oct. 2011.

-An overview of the founding of the Moorish Science Temple by Noble Drew Ali and a look into the climate of the Great Migration-era midwest that allowed it to thrive.  Nance details how Drew Ali created an organization of ideological, social, and economic support that held great appeal for the African-American migrants facing a new, unfamiliar environment and pervasive racism.  The Moorish Science Temple not only offered a reinterpretation of African-Americans’ racial history to identify them as “Asiatics” with a storied, civilized history (as a counter to whites whose racism rested on notions of African-Americans’ “savagery” and uncivilized nature) but also offered a powerful sense of community, belonging, and political and economic mutual support for a group searching for roots in an unfamiliar and volatile environment.  


Nance, Susan. “Respectability and Representation: The Moorish Science 

Temple, Morocco, and Black Public Culture in 1920s Chicago.” 

American Quarterly. 54.4 (2002). 623-659. 10 Oct. 2011.

-An analysis of the Moorish Science Temple that touches on much of the same history that Nance addresses in the “Mystery of the Moorish Science Temple,” this article pays significant attention to how Noble Drew Ali’s movement grew into a political and social force in 1920s Chicago. Nance provides a look into how the pageantry and Orientalist Moorish symbolism was used to make a claim for African-American’s civilization and civil rights.  This serves as evidence of how Great Migration-era African-Americans were actively reshaping and reinterpreting their identity in response to their new environment. 


Trotter, Joe William. The Great Migration in Historical Perspective: New Dimensions of Race, Class, and Gender. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1991. 

-A book that offers a historical analysis of the motives and effects of the Great Migration on the industrial north.  Trotter places a lens to the “social movement” aspect of the migration, paying much attention to the way that this mass movement of people affected the social networks and relationships of both those people and the urban environments they were joining.  The book features many details of life in the urban factories that many migrants sought to join, and how the infusion of this new workforce altered the racial dynamics between northern whites and African Americans.  This paints a vivid picture of the turmoil this mass movement of people caused both in and outside of the group of migrants, and demonstrates why communal protection fraternal groups such as the Shriners and Black Legion had so much fear and uncertainty to draw on when recruiting new members. 


Annotated Bibliography
Annotated Bibliography