Meet Nation of Islam’s Leader’s Mother: Sarah Mae Manning

Sarah Mae Manning was the mother of Louis Farrakhan, an American cleric, antisemitic conspiracy theorist, black supremacist, former singer, and head of the Nation of Islam. She was born on January 16, 1900, in Saint Kitts.

Personal Life

Regarding her personal life, Sarah Mae married Percival Clark, an immigrant from the Anglo-Caribbean Islands, just like her. The couple was blessed with one child, Alvan Walcott, and separated while Sarah was pregnant with her second child, Louis. Sarah Mae’s second son did not get to see his father or interact with him.

After separating from her first husband, Sarah Mae married another man who helped her raise her children. Unfortunately, he died in 1936, and Sarah Mae Manning moved to Boston, settling in Roxbury, a largely African-American neighborhood.

Sarah Mae’s Struggles with Her Second Pregnancy

Sarah Mae Manning didn’t love Percival Clark after the birth of her first child, so he disappeared from her life for some time and then returned. Sarah did not want to be pregnant for Clark again, so when she did, she tried to abort the child three times. Throughout the pregnancy, Sarah was in sorrow and pain because it was something she never wanted.

When Sarah Mae Manning finally decided to have her child, she bore him in pain, sorrow, and a lot of insecurities. The father of Sarah’s second child was brown-skinned, but she and her husband were dark-skinned. She prayed that the child would be dark-skinned so she could hide the child’s identity.

Sarah Mae Manning’s Son

Sarah Mae Manning supported her son with his education; after completing his studies at English High School, he joined college but dropped out after just a year to help his wife, who had complications with her first pregnancy.

Having learned how to play the violin and participated in many competitions when he was young, Louis started his musical career in the 1950s. He started as a singer and earned five hundred dollars a week; Louis used the nickname Calypso Gene, and his first album Calypso did well, followed by great singles.

By 1955, Sarah Mae’s son had become a highly talented singer and was already headlining shows in Chicago. The same year Louis Farrakhan changed his religious beliefs and became a Muslim, fulfilling all the requirements to become one. Malcolm X influenced him to join the Muslim community, and he thought he was the leader of the Nation of Islam.

After converting to Muslim, Sarah Mae Manning’s son changed his name to Louis X but was later given the holy name Farrakhan by the then-leader of the Nation of Islam. Malcolm X mentored Louis as he rose through the ranks. Sarah’s son is the current leader of the Nation of Islam, having assumed the position in 1977.


Sarah Mae Manning died from old age on November 18, 1988, aged 88. She left behind her two sons and several grandchildren, including Mustapha Farrakhan Jr, who was just two weeks old at the time of her death.

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