It’s Black History Month and Black Twitter is making some serious music, per usual. A little after the sun danced across the celestial meridian on the day of Saint Valentine, in a beautiful declaration of self-love, #BeingBlackandMuslim made its glorious debut. This is what it had to say about itself, in case you missed it:
#BeingBlackAndMuslim means sometimes being erased from conversations on both Islam and Blackness. But always belonging to both.
— Sara (@princessofpunt) February 14, 2017
In this era of high racial tensions within and outside of the Muslim community and Islamophobia #BeingBlackAndMuslim is resistance in itself
— Asha Noor (@RajooWeyn) February 14, 2017
#BeingBlackAndMuslim means being too Arab for Africans and too black for Arabs
— Fatma Elsayed (@FatmaYasier) February 14, 2017
— Ms Scholarly Info (@msbmack) February 7, 2017
The conversations generated were not only of identity and erasure, but highlighted the resiliency of a community facing various oppressions and working actively against them.
— TheAntiTrump (@_SJPeace_) February 14, 2017
The battle against anti-blackness is two front; from outside their communities in greater white America, whose racism is so commonplace no one can forget it without actively trying, and from within the Muslim-American community, despite Black Muslims constituting the majority of Muslims, and the pioneers of local Islam for the past 300 years.
— Dawud Walid (@DawudWalid) February 2, 2017
While colorism and antiblackness are not inherent to Islamic discourse, from first-hand experience as an Arab-American, in this country, it culturally is. Islamophobia has its roots deep in antiblackness, even though they occupy separate spaces they overlap quite a bit.
#BeingBlackAndMuslim means broken tail-light and TSA screening could mean law enforcement trauma.
— TariqTouré طارق تورى (@TariqToure) February 14, 2017
Any Internet search of Breitbart comment threads under articles about Islam, and surveying the left-over crusader attitudes towards Islam coupled with the rising popularity of the alt-right (white supremacists) in secular American politics proves it enough. What shouldn’t be a present reality in the discussion regarding Islamophobia is the model minority ethos that has carried my Arab community this far without rewards. When any rights across the minority spectrum are at risk, we are all at risk.
#BeingBlackAndMuslim means hearing "free Palestine" often, but being told "Black lives matter" is too controversial.
— I'm SHOOK (@HalfAtlanta) February 14, 2017
— vimto mami Ⓥ (@lunarnomad) February 14, 2017
…Illustrates how language plays a powerful role in the way we see the world and relate to others. Growing up, kids in the neighborhood I played football with would often called the black children riding bikes through our block “Abeed” (slave) in passing. Never coming across the word before at Arabic school and not in our English-speaking household, later that day I asked my dad what it meant. I will never forget the anger my dad expressed when he ordered me to correct the neighborhood children, which I did, because it lives on through me to this day.
When any rights across the minority spectrum are at risk, we are all at risk.
Things like this shouldn’t be a thing:
Non-black Muslims dismissing you when you address racism with "But Bilal was black" #BeingBlackAndMuslim
— #BLM (@helnuh) February 15, 2017
— NbA Muslims (@nbamuslims) February 7, 2017
More of this, please:
Arab & Desi Muslims need to pass the mic more often & recognize that black Muslims were here long before we came. #BeingBlackandMuslim
— Widad (@WidadIndie) February 14, 2017
— Donna Auston (@TinyMuslimah) January 29, 2017
— Khaled M (@thisisKhaledM) February 13, 2014
In the words of the first Black activist thinker, the first Muslim-American that resonated with me in my days of public school who opened my mind to the intricacies and dualities of existence, helped justify the money I currently spend on books and pushed me towards the meaning of truth:
“We need more light about each other. Light creates understanding, understanding creates love, love creates patience, and patience creates unity.” – Malcom X
To our Black brothers and sisters, thank you for #BeingBlackandMuslim – and for opening up this necessary dialogue on ways to better our community.