Category: Black Muslim Politics

Black Muslim Politics

Black Muslim Politics: Points of Entry

Black. Muslim. Politics.

In 2015 we have commemorated the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Malcolm X/Al Hajj Malik El Shabazz and will be marching for Justice or Else. We have witnessed the questionable killing of an African-American Muslim by the federal government and school officials criminalize Black Muslim genius. That same Black Muslim genius got an invite to the White House by the first Black president of the United States, who is also a Christian, while another African-American Christian politician took it upon himself to declare that a Muslim does not have a right to the highest office in the land. In this complex and charged political landscape Sapelo Square’s second special feature takes a look at the Black Muslim political imagination, past and present. Political imagination refers to the different ways African American Muslims have imagined—envisioned and understood—their relationship to the nation and as a nation, and the various efforts to make that imagination a reality.

In acknowledgement of the 20th anniversary of the Million Man March, we feature an article that speaks to the spiritual imperative to demand justice and a reflective piece on why attending the March is crucial. From a different vantage point, we offer a selection of Imam W. Deen Mohammed’s guidance on “a healthy patriotism” and some rules for engagement for Muslims in the United States from Sheikh Usama Abdul Ghani, an American born, Caribbean descended Shia scholar. We look back to the Black Muslim political future through documents of early Black Sunni movements and photos of present-day Black Muslim protest. Further, because Black American Muslims are always global, we also include a reflection on what it means to be Black, Muslim and American, elsewhere. Culture is central the Black Muslim political imagination and to that end we offer some“anthems” and footage from a 2001 benefit conference for Imam Jamil Al-Amin, as well as some early recipes from the Nation of Islam as a reminder that political transformation requires mind, body and soul. This collection of posts is by no means exhaustive but are more like points of entry to begin a conversation on Sapelo Square, and elsewhere, about the past, present and future of being Black and Muslim in the United States.

Black Muslim Politics

Black Muslim Politics: In Photos

Click photos below for full-size images


Black Muslim Politics

Black Muslim Politics: A Healthy Patriotism- Insight from the late Imam W. Deen Mohammad

By Narjis Nichole Abdul-Majid

In “A Healthy Patriotism” Imam W. Deen Mohammad gives a brief overview of Nation of Islam history and the transformative growth of African-American Islam before beginning a discourse about Patriotism. The talk is frank and accessible, as was the nature of the late imam, but as much as it was historically framed the messages are as poignant now as they were in 2004.

Often we engage with speakers who expect or assume too much of their audience and Imam Mohammad brings the discussion of patriotism back to the simplicity of a dinner table chat. He reminds us all of the origins of the term patriotism and how that relates back to our understanding and self-identification of fatherland and fatherhood, which is still a challenge in the African-American and greater African-American Muslim population.

The 45-minute lecture intermixes humor and history with an optimism that is scarce in today’s African American population. What is refreshing is the hope that is grounded in what we know to be true as African-Americans. In part 3, which has been shared, Imam Mohammed reminds us that America is a land for all people, not just white Christians. He implores Muslims to follow the leadership of former U.S. President Thomas Jefferson and live, both mentally and physically as a people who have ownership of their country and are determined to be successful. This lesson is not far removed from the life lessons that we take away from our beloved Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) who taught us that a successful community, and by extension country, will only be successful with a strong connection and awareness of God. The entire lecture and its Q&A session are available on YouTube in 8 parts.

Narjis Nichole Abdul-Majid is a part-time lecturer in the departments of Pan African Studies and Humanities at the University of Louisville. Her research interests focus on the African American and Native American Islamic experiences (Slavery-Melungeons-20th Century Islamic Movements-Present Day) with emphasis on minority voices.

Black Muslim Politics

Black Muslim Politics: Anthems

First Posted on October 6th, 2015

anthem [an-thuh m] :
1. A popular song with rousing, emotive, qualities, often one identified with a particular subculture, social group, or cause. (Oxford English Dictionary)

Umi Says – Yasiin Bey/Mos Def

Muhammad Walks – Lupe Fiasco

Hallelujah – Amir Sulaiman

Black Heros – Alia Sharrief