Friday, February 22, 2013

The Identity of African American Muslims

The Muslim American of African descent has a cultural and religious identity that has survived in spite of external and internal assaults.
Indeed, no other socio-ethno-religious minority in America has had its sense of ‘being’ so challenged.  The African American Muslim nonetheless managed to carve out an identity and culture that is unique and specific only to African American Muslims.
Truly the African American Muslim cultural distinctiveness is found through name choice and spellings, dress of men and women, artistic development, marriage rites and practices, politics and spirituality.  Even something as simple as ‘the bean pie’ is distinct and unique to the African American Muslim.
The influence of African American Muslims in the outer society is often seen in attempts at Islamic names in the Black community, music and spoken word with political and uplifting messages, Afro-centric clothing like kufi caps or turbans and even slang as inner city youths refer to their friends as their ‘sahaab’.
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