Born in 1924, C. Eric Lincoln was raised in Athens, Alabama by his maternal grandmother after being abandoned by both of his parents. His road to becoming a scholar starting early when he began attending Trinity school in Athens and picked cotton at the age of 13 years old to make money to pay the three dollars per year for his school tuition.
He was the editor of the Trinity school newspaper the Campus Chronicles. In 1939, he would graduate valedictorian and move to Chicago after high school to attend college. While in Chicago he worked and took night classes at the University of Chicago before joining the U.S navy in 1943.
In 1945, he would continue his education by attending LeMoyne-Owen College in Memphis, Tennessee, where he would receive his B.A in Sociology and Philosophy. In 1954, he would further his education by receiving his M.A from Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee, and getting a Bachelor of Divinity from the University of Chicago. In 1960, he would go on to complete his education by earning his master’s degree in philosophy from Fisk University and a Ph.D. in sociology and social ethics from Boston University.
In 1961, he released his first book titled The Black Muslims in America which was the first scholarly research on the Nation of Islam. During that time, he would begin working as a college professor at several different universities across America and would do so until the late 80’s. He would go on to write several other books about Melanated people’s experience in America that are still being read to this day. It is important to understand the courage it took to present so much powerful information at a time when racism in America was at an all-time high. Charles Eric Lincoln like so many scholars you have come before and after him needs to be acknowledged for doing what was necessary to liberate our people.