to learn more of the NOI are considered "registrants." They receive a certain amount of instruction and are furnished a letter which they must copy in their own handwriting and send to Elijah Muhammad's Chicago address. This letter is the sender's application for membership and closes with the statement: "I desire to reclaim my own. Please give me my original name. My slave name is ... "
Usually, the registrant must wait several weeks before receiving an answer from Chicago. If he made no error on his application, he is notified he has been accepted for membership and his name entered in the "Book of Life."
It is explained to the registrant that the "so-called Negro," during the centuries he was in slavery, lost his original name and was given his master's surname. When the registrant becomes an NOI member, his "slave" name is dropped and he is given an X (meaning unknown)- until his "true" name is given back to him. When entered in the "Book of Life," the first James was James X; the second, James 2X; and so forth. Members with a common given name are now being given "X" names in high numbers, such as James 78X, John 57X,, and Charles 37X.
But how he receives his "true" name, if ever, is somewhat of a mystery to even the NOI member.in his letter of resignation from the NOI, denounced Elijah and complained