Although Black Lives Matter protests have erupted in Palestine and Syria and anti-Kafala initiatives are increasingly garnering attention in Lebanon, anti-blackness still infiltrates most Arab-Muslim societies. From Libya to the UAE, anti-blackness manifests institutionally and interpersonally.
With people across the world coming together to stand in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement, a new generation of Black Muslim activists are using their voice and platforms in a bid to rally non-black Muslims to join their cause.
The history of Black Muslims has often been disregarded; Black Muslims have existed in the US for centuries and played a huge role in the Civil Rights movement, with Malcolm X remaining as one of the most famous Black Muslim leaders of all time. Although he split with the Nation of Islam, he tirelessly fought for racism to be recognised not only as an American problem, but as a global problem. Muhammad Ali also became an icon for Black American Muslims.
Making up about a fifth of the American Muslim population, Black Muslims suffer from America’s systemic anti-black racism as well as Islamophobia. And in recent years they have been actively working to disrupt these systems, referencing both the Civil Rights Movement and the Quran to inspire their community to push for change.
Ready to check your own privilege and use your power and faith to fight racism? Here are 5 Black Muslim Black Lives Matter activists you need to follow.
Layla F. Saad
Writer of the best-selling book Me and White Supremacy, Saad’s goal is to make any person holding white privilege acknowledge it and become actively anti-racist. She’s a must-follow BLM advocate.
A passionate and resilient Black Lives Matter protestor, Umar was a speaker just a couple of days ago at a Jummah protest in Brooklyn, during which he gave a Khutbah (public preaching) and invited protestors to pray. He also shared a comprehensive guide of resources, which is accessible in his Instagram bio.
A community scholar and sexual health educator, Lindsey-Ali aka The Village Auntie, feels a responsibility to shift the narrative surrounding the body. She offers mindful feminist workshops for women within the framework of her African and Muslim culture. She’s been very vocal online about the protests, putting her energy on celebrating life and hope.
A stand-up comedian, Preacher Moss has recently been using his platform to call out anti-black behaviours within the Muslim community and inspire people to rise up and move forward.
An avid follower of Malcolm X, Kromah is an award-winning writer, poet and a host – but more importantly he is an avid activist who is committed to inspiring a revolution among his Muslim peers.