chapel-on-the-hill

i dunno what im gonna do for college my parents want me to go to chapel hill but im not too sure if they have an art program there i really want to do art in my life but im probably not good enough and my parents probably dont want me to do art and i probably wont get a job and ill probably live miserably why cant i be good at something practical

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@UNCwomensSoccer: Anyone up for 30 seconds of @Ashlyn_Harris awesomeness? #StarHeelFlashback 2008 #WorldCupBound 🇺🇸 http://t.co/lZPZrVHYpT

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FROM THE VAULT: Lauren Bullock - “Love Notes” (CUPSI 2013)

“And when she broke your heart, did she also crack your spine so you would always fall in her direction?”

Lauren Bullock of UNC Chapel Hill, performing during semifinals at the 2013 College Unions Poetry Slam Invitational. Subscribe to Button on YouTube!

Because Black Muslims are not perceived as Muslim, they face rogue Islamophobic violence less often—but when that violence comes, their deaths do not garner as much outrage or mobilize Muslims in the same ways. Around the same time three young Arab Muslims were murdered in their Chapel Hill home, a Somali Muslim man was shot through the door of his apartment in Fort McMurray, Alberta. While Deah, Yusor, and Razan’s deaths trended worldwide, Mustafa Mattan’s murder was barely a passing blip outside of the Somali community. In a thought-provoking article co-written by UCLA Professor Khaled Beydoun and Muslim Anti-Racist Collaborative cofounder Margari Hill entitled “The Color of Muslim Mourning,” the authors pointedly ask the Muslim community who they prioritize and why. “Deah’s fundraiser for dental supplies for Syrian refugees went from $20,000 before his death to $380,000. In contrast, Mattan’s family still is struggling to raise $15,000 for his burial costs,” they write. The reality for today’s Black Muslims is bifurcated into a war fought on two fronts: a battle with one’s own community to be seen and respected as well as a battle to resist targeted state and vigilante violence. Black Muslims are also being surveilled, detained, and harassed by state operatives with increasingly alarming regularity. As Muslims, and as politically concerned citizens, we know the name of someone like Omar Khadr. How many of us can say the same of Mahdi Hashi, a Somali British national who has been stripped of citizenship and currently rots away in detention in Manhattan after refusing to spy on other Muslims? The Muslim community’s disinterest in his case speaks to the violence of what Frank B. Wilderson has termed “anti-Black solidarity.” Even when protecting his community, Hashi remains invisible.

At the turn of the 20th century, Du Bois mapped a conceptual understanding of the Black American subject: “One ever feels his twoness, an American, a Negro; two souls, two thoughts, two unreconciled strivings; two warring ideals in one dark body, whose dogged strength alone keeps it from being torn asunder.” Double consciousness signifies a subjecthood, a self whose several identities are at odds with one another. To be Black and Muslim in America today is to live a sort of Du Boisian double consciousness with an added dimension of dissonant interiority. To be Black and Muslim is to occupy a space of simultaneous invisibility and hypervisibility. Blackness is hypervisible, perceived and consumed through the historical aperture of the brutality of slavery. The stereotypes about Black people that guide our most quotidian and unconscious choices dictate that Blackness is dangerous: something to be contained; a threat. Blackness does not ask the Black subject to legitimize their Blackness, perhaps as a consequence of hypervisibility. It is simply a fact of one’s being, a physicality that signifies much more than just melanin.

But when you add the identity marker of “Muslim” to that of “Black,” something very different happens: erasure. Black Muslims are invisible to their faith communities and to wider society, for Muslims, unlike Black people, must actively legitimize their identities as Muslims—through practicing faith, maintaining proximity to a community, or a cultural inheritance. The hypervisibility of Blackness makes one’s identity as a Muslim impossible precisely because Blackness precludes Muslimness in the cultural imaginary. So to occupy both subject positions is to experience the downward thrust of cognitive dissonance: you will always be too Black to be a true Muslim, but you must live with all of the pain that America inflicts on both Black people and Muslims. How are we to understand ourselves and our social locations, if being Muslim precludes being Black, which cannot be reconciled with being an American subject? The historical and contemporary erasure of Black Muslims can only be situated in the context of a violent anti-Black solidarity; the Black Muslim in America must then contend with an economy of unresolved strivings—towards faith, visibility, resistance, and self determination.

The University of Maryland’s MSA is Being Targeted by Islamophobic hate

This semester, our student-run events group, Student Entertainment Events (SEE for short), announced that it would be screening American Sniper on campus as a part of the free movie screenings that they regularly hold here. Due to the level of hate and vitriol aimed at Muslims after the film’s theatrical release (see below), and due to the Chapel Hill Shooting that occurred just two months ago as a result of Islamophobia, student groups were obviously concerned about the safety of Muslim students after the screening. 

So, SEE reversed their decision and instead decided to postpone the screening until an undetermined later date when they could also hold a dialogue after the film to discuss its themes and impact.

And then, as if on cue, almost every post made by different Maryland-based groups – SEE, the University’s official facebook page, the Muslim Student Association’s facebook page – became flooded with disgusting and horrific Islmaophobic comments from current students and from middle-aged alumni from all across the country:

Implying that everyone who disagrees with American Sniper/who is Muslim isn’t an American! Nice!

The last comment there was made in reference to the fact that it was left on a Muslim Student Association post about a fundraiser for Dar-us-Salaam. There was another comment that I considered reposting here in which someone uploaded a picture of a Qur’an in a toilet bowl, but I’m honestly so horrified and embarrassed by it that I don’t ever want to see that image again.

There are literally hundreds of these comments scattered across various posts associated with the University. The only acknowledgement that the University has made regarding the situation is a post in which they distance themselves from SEE’s decision due to the fact that SEE is student-run. There have been no statements made asking for an end to the harassment of the Muslim Student Association at the time of writing.

If you’re a Muslim student at UMD: stay safe!

On the last day of class, students with The Real Silent Sam Coalition hung a banner over Saunders Hall that read “Hurston Hall” with an image of Zora Neale Hurston in the center.

Students of color, many from The Real Silent Sam Coalition and #NotSafeUNC, organized their own last day of class celebration on the quad. The People of Color Takeover of the Quad recognized a year’s worth of organizing around issues affecting people of color on campus, including the campaign to rename Hurston Hall.

“It’s about coming together and celebrating activism at the end of the semester by reclaiming a space on campus where it’s typically a very white-dominated space,” said Nicole Fauster, who participated in the #NotSafeUNC campaign.

During an open mic portion, students and faculty shared their thoughts on racism, freedom of speech and the campus climate.

“People have been misconstruing it as a protest,” said Mars Earle, who writes for Siren. “I find it really funny that it’s automatically a protest just because it’s people of color discussing political issues through some poems and people talking. These are heavy things, sure, but we carry these things on a daily basis, and we love each other so much that we’re still able to make this space fun and celebrate the fact that we’re here, we’re alive, and so many of us are graduating. So we’re just having a party.”

Students made T-shirts that read “Hurston Hall” and “#NotSafeUNC,” and signs around the area explained the history of William Saunders and the legacy of Hurston. The event was sponsored by UNC Monsoon, UNC Siren, RadAsians, Students for Justice in Palestine, Student Action with Workers and the Board of Governors Democracy Coalition.

“The thing about being visible is that it’s taking back, or taking over, a space where students are going to see you,” said Shamira Lukomwa, who contributed to the #NotSafeUNC campaign.

Organizers chose to congregate on the quad because of its visibility and its significance to the campus community.

“I think the quad signifies a larger part of what UNC campus is, so to be able to be free and actually be a part of this space as everyone else enjoys it is great,” Fauster said.

Although most students on the quad expressed their support for the event, some posts on Yik Yak complained about the activist presence.

“We’re saying we have the right to be here, and we’re going to share how we feel whether or not you want to hear it because if you’re just passing through to get drunk after class, you’re going to hear it,” Lukomwa said.

Fauster said she thinks people of color do not always feel welcomed in public spaces on campus.

“It’s empowering to be here,” Fauster said. “Personally, a lot of times I’ve walked past the quad and maybe sat here for 10 minutes doing some homework, but I’ve never actually felt that I could sit on the quad and chant and spray paint T-shirts and sing along to songs. I’ve just never felt that I’ve had that opportunity to use this space how I want to.”

Chapel on the Hill

The sun shines down
As I sit on the top of the hill
Under the dark, cool shadows
of the chapel

Surrounded by friends
Joining together in song
Sitting on wood benches
Praying that we’ll all be strong
Or that we’ll be wise
That we’ll find love
That maybe there is
A G-d above

As we pray and sing
As the guitars strum
I close my eyes
I start to hum
I hear the music
Filling the air
I’m lost in my own world
Lost in prayer

Sitting on the hill
Feeling the breeze
Under the chapel
Time seems to freeze

DID YOU KNOW:

Brooks Brown, when visiting Chapel Hill Cemetery, leaves cigarettes on the ground in memoriam of his deceased friend Rachel Scott. She had quit a week before the massacre, but Brooks and her used to take smoking breaks together.

Bonus: Though all thirteen murdered victims’ have crosses there in the Columbine Memorial Garden, only two (Rachel Scott and Corey DePooter) are buried there.

Chapel on the Hill- this church has a very unique flooring…i just wasn’t able to photograph it. anyhow it has what looked like a labyrinth. It is said that people who walk on it are usually people in prayer of the rosary…its calming and takes your mind of off distractions. They call it the “prayer circle”.