Randal Maurice Jelks is Professor of African and African American Studies and American Studies. He holds courtesy appointments in History, Religious Studies, and is the co-Editor of the Journal of American Studies. Jelks is a graduate of the University of Michigan (BA in History), McCormick Theological Seminary (Masters of Divinity) and Michigan State University (Ph.D.in Comparative Black Histories).
In 1964, Muhammad Ali said of his decision to join the Nation of Islam: "I know where I'm going and I know the truth and I don't have to be what you want me to be. I'm free to be what I want to be."