Little X

Growing up in the Nation of Islam, with a new Afterword

  • Author(s): Tate, Sonsyrea
  • Series:
  • Imprint: Univ Tennessee Press
  • Publication Date: 2018-05-09
  • Status: Active
  • Available in Paper: Price $26.95 | Buy Now


“Instead of writing a bitter condemnation of the Nation of Islam, Tate has adroitly described its purpose as well as its shortcomings.” —USA Today


When this book was initially published in 1997, Malcolm X, one of the most well-known Muslims in America, was celebrated in music, books, and movies for his rugged religious-based resistance to racism.  Muhammad Ali, another famous African American Muslim, was still heralded for his dogged determination to practice the religion of his choice. During that time, the late 1990s, controversial National of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan was still basking in the success of his historic 1995 Million Man March in Washington, DC, which had followed decades of his success giving lectures to capacity crowds at colleges and universities across the country.

This book was published in order to give a glimpse inside a little-known sect within the American Muslim community. But much has changed since, and a new afterword takes some account of it. After 9/11, Islam became a focal point as acts of terrorism, reportedly perpetrated in the name of Islam, exploded in countries around the world. Thousands of books about Islam—supporting and criticizing it—have been published in the past twenty years. However, the strength of Little X, lies in its simple revelation of an African American Muslim girl’s experience. In the tradition of Anne Frank’s Diary of a Young Girl, Sonsyrea Tate’s Little X offers a humane account of one family’s experience inside a little-understood religious community.

Sonsyrea Tate Montgomery is a former news reporter. In addition to Little X, she is the author of Do Me Twice: My Life After Islam.