[ View the story "Beyond The Nation" on Storify] Beyond The Nation What is it like to be an African-American Muslim in the US today?
The Stream· Wed, Feb 13 2013 10:16:17
Since the country was founded, and in
even earlier, there have been African-American Muslims in the United States. Experts believe many Africans who were enslaved in the US during the 19th Century had Islamic backgrounds.
When talking about Black History Month in the US, however, some people think the African-American Muslim population does not get its proper due.
Absolutely. RT @AJStream: Are African-American #Muslims left out of #BlackHistoryMonth in the US? #Islam #Muslim -
In the racially contentious backdrop of the United States in the 1950s, a man named Malcolm Little
converted to Islam
inside a Massachusetts prison. Upon release Little, later known as Malcolm X,
went under the tutelage
of the Nation Of Islam (NOI) leader Elijah Muhammed.
"Children lined up outside Nation of Islam meeting"instagram.com
Towards the end of his life however, Malcolm X had a change of heart. After visiting the holy city of Mecca, he
his black nationalist beliefs, citing an "experience of eating and drinking with 'fellow Muslims whose skin was the whitest of white'". He also split from the Nation of Islam.
When NOI leader Elijah Muhammed died in 1975, his son W. Deen Mohammed, became the
of the Nation of Islam. Eventually, Mohammed disbanded the group to instead align himself and many followers with mainstream Sunni Islamic beliefs.
By then, the US Muslim movement splintered and a man named Louis Farrakhan
his own existing movement as the New Nation of Islam.
Louis Farrakhan/EPA/TANNEN MAURYAJstream
In one of Farrakhan's most notable moments, he organised the
Million Man March
, in which anywhere from 400,000 to two million demonstrators participated.
After 9/11, many African-American Muslims said they believed their "identity is
". Below, YouTube user and African-American Muslim
addressed some of the stereotyping she faced online:
I am an African American Muslimbeetrue09
Some feel that African-American Muslims have still not reconciled their differences with Muslims from other countries.
Yes. There absolutely is. RT @AJStream Is there a divide between African-American #Muslims & other Muslim communities in the US? #IslamSana Rahim
An African American Muslim or Latino Muslim won't ever truly be accepted in the brotherhood of "brown" communities/MasjidsBrother Jamal X
One media group,
Black Public Media
, hosted a series called 'Ask a Muslim' in 2012 to educate the public on Islam in the US from the eyes of African-American Muslims. In this episode, Muslims answer a question about their experiences after 9/11:
Ask A Muslim (Documentary Web Series) 6 - "9/11"AskAMuslimSeries
I'm Muslim. I'm American. I vote. Happy Independence Day, everybody!tumblr.com
Today the popularity of Islam in the US is influencing different facets of pop culture, particularly the
hip hop music industry
. In the song below, Muslim hip hop group
expresses their frustration with the negative media coverage of Islamic culture.
Native Deen - My Faith My Voicenativedeen
Here, lyrics from the song:
Giving you the right facts, We keep repeating that Islam has been hijacked, We ain't like that, Then some lunatic goes on a rampage, Using violence and I'm outragedthekarmaoui.blogspot.com
@AJStream @zaheerali Islam mixed with hip hop culture can be a model for AfricanAmerican youth instead of turning to drugs & world of crime!Neslihan Kurosawa
The American advertising industry is also paying more attention to the diverse cultural spectrum in the US. The Prudential Insurance Agency advertisement below
one African-American Muslim man who recently retired:
Prudential | Day One | Mujahid Abdul Rashidunseenmusic