Tag Archives: religion

Black History Month Weekly Theme: Intersections between Black communities and Religious communities

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This week, the BSU is sponsoring programming with the Muslim Student Union. The Williams College MSU recently just got their first Muslim director, Bilal Ansari. While we could certainly dedicate this post to the timeliness of his arrival, I instead want to focus on why Mr. Ansari means so much to the BSU and MSU. Not only is he Muslim, but he is also an African-American. Often times when discussing religion in Black communities, overwhelming we tend to focus on Christianity. If we do focus on Islam, we are often but not always bombarded with the negative images that surround the Nation of Islam. For those not familiar with the group, read the links below:

http://www.noi.org/about.shtml

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nation_of_Islam

The connotations surrounding Blackness and Islam both have their fair share of issues. To some, combining the two would seem like a nightmare, considering that those individuals may run the risk of facing more discrimination because of their multiple identities. While this is not the point of this post, it is something that I wonder about occasionally. More specifically, I wonder where do Black Muslims place themselves? Depending on one’s location, are there feelings of loneliness associated with carrying two larger identities that certainly shape your life’s trajectories?

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These questions are partially answered in the film Mooz-lum. The film is about an African-American family, struggling to find a balance in their religious life around the time of 9/11. For those who havent seen the film, check out the link below:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V4axp5V_j6E

I am extremely happy that the BSU and MSU are hosting this event together. It will surely spark plenty of conversation that is valuable to our overall understanding of intersections within Black communities.