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.
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Today’s ShOUT Show Topic is “Muslims in Blackface.” This will be a frank conversation on the Muslim response to Anti-Black Racism and Anti-Black Muslim Racism. Blackface Comedy was a practice of making black comedians put burnt black cork on their faces to appease and make white audiences feel safe and secure by degrading ourselves. Now people are doing the same thing to make themselves to make themselves look fully aware or sympathetic of Black suffering. Funny huh? Link in Bio #muslimsinblackface #ShOUTShow #yeahisaidit #saveblackfatherhood #wearenotsafe #endoppression #whatwouldmalcolmsay #NOI #considerseparation #franzfanonwasright @mrchuckd_pe @bustarhymes @mosdefc @kevinhart4real @mutahbeale @teacha_krsone @repkeithellison @brotheraliisblind @amirsulaiman @mosesthecomic @youssef.kromah @guzkhanofficial @realmoamer @azharcomedy @hasanminhaj @trevornoah @nabilabdulrashidofficial @aliofficialuk @omarregan @imamomarsuleiman @georgelopez @georgegreenjourney
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.
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In the spring of 1967, exactly one year before the date of his assassination, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his first major speech on the Vietnam War. The civil rights leader, in speaking out about the conflict in southeast Asia, shared a succinct belief: “A time comes when silence is betrayal.” Much like those spring and summer months of 1967 were a tumultuous time in American history, we once again are a nation that is burning with anger. This time, however, it is not about a war in a faraway land; it is about a war that continues to be waged on unarmed black men in America. And as Minneapolis burns in the wake of the killing of George Floyd by the knee of a police offer, now is the time to ask: Who will stand and fight for black people in America? Until we are free there will never be peace in this country. | For more inspiration be sure to pick up your copy of Son of Sun & Moon and An Ocean of Oud via YoussefKromah.com (Link In Bio)
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.