blackshikamaru  asked:

hi! my character is a black man converting to islam. hes engaged to another (black) muslim girl, although this isnt the reason hes converting. he sees it as the right path. is there anything specific i should keep in mind w a black muslim convert?

Black Muslim Converts - Perspective on Black Americans

I think you are on the right track with this, pretty much. The majority of African-American Muslims I know - in my friend circle and in my family - are very practicing and wouldn’t want their daughter to marry someone unless he was definitely interested in converting. One thing I would keep in mind is that converting is not easy. It doesn’t end at the actual declaration of faith, of the initial moment of joy from the witnesses as they embrace their new brother or sister in faith and ask them if they want to change their name or if there is any other help they need.

It is a hard road. My mother’s family was very accepting, and on the whole, I’ve seen that African-American parents and family are very loving and understanding about Islam, particularly since a lot of them had it in their roots or have family members who have always given a good example to them. But there are those who sadly aren’t. Issues with family is something that any convert can face and something you should keep in mind - even on small things like repeatedly telling a family member you no longer eat pork or don’t feel comfortable with something that you used to do before you were Muslim.

Another issue converts face is learning about their faith and assimilating into it; particularly when you’re African-American and have to face racism and prejudice from other Muslims. This is a sad fact of life that has been brought into Islam - which always preaches equality and universal love - by culture and that learned distaste for particular skin colors and stereotypes associated with that particular race or ethnicity.

I’d definitely recommend trying to find someone who has experienced that as a beta reader to tell you more about the particular struggles an African-American convert in particular might face while trying to find their place in their community. To be clear: not everyone goes through this. I also don’t want this to be twisted into a, “See! Muslims are bad and racist!” We have racist people, like everyone else. This is not a problem of faith, but a problem of certain people bringing their own issues and misconceptions into their community of faith.

I am glad to mention that we have a lot of support and forming organizations to help converts and keep them feeling positive and supported through this new change in their life. A lot of converts might find African-American masjids and communities, as well, and be able to find more sustenance and understanding in the changes and issues they particularly face there.

I hope this helps and isn’t too confusing!

-Mod Kaye

Certificate of Matrimony for Joseph and Mary Province of Nashville, Tennessee, 02/26/1866

Series: Freedmen’s Marriage Certificates, 1865 - 1869
Record Group 105: Records of the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands, 1861 - 1880

Established in the years following the Civil War, the War Department’s Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands-generally known as the Freedmen’s Bureau-provided assistance to tens of thousands of former slaves making the transition from slavery to freedom. 

Read more at Prologue Magazine: Sealing the Sacred Bonds of Holy Matrimony Freedmen’s Bureau Marriage Records.


Since it’s #BlackOutDay, and it’s also National Poetry Month; I decided to share something that I found soooo beautiful, in sooo many ways. #BlackLove

Hope you enjoy. Try not to cry lol better yet just grab your tissue.

The Slow Turbolift

One thing I hear a lot is “I can’t believe it’s 2016 and we’re still dealing with [social issue]”. But that’s the wrong way to look at it. It assumes that time is just this slow, progressive elevator, that racism, xenophobia, sexism and other social ills will slowly work themselves out as we work our way to… I don’t know, Star Trek.

Of course, as evidenced by last night, that’s not the case. Social progress is more like an enormous boulder that we have to roll up a steep slope. It takes constant work, vigilance and effort to even keep the boulder where it is. The structure of our society is designed to make it difficult, to roll back any progress that happens should anyone stop pushing, but that’s not even the worst part.

The Worst Part

The worst part is that there are people on the other side pushing down. It took herculean effort, but in 2008 and over the last eight years we experienced some real progressive victories; the first African American president, gay marriage legalization and a socialized health care system (which I have personally benefited from). That was all of us, pushing upward… but it was also a rallying cry for those that want to keep the boulder at the bottom of the hill.

Everyone who looks down from the top of the mountain and doesn’t like how gay and brown that boulder is looking mobilized last night, they all got together and pushed down hard. And this time, we didn’t have the numbers to hold them back, hell, some people even walked around to the other side and pushed down.


Today we have a huge task in front of us, it’s going to take all our effort to roll the boulder back to where we were, and more than that to make any progress. Still, we have to, because the U.S. is worth fighting for; and there’s a whole generation of little babies that are eventually going to replace us on the shady side of this boulder and we owe it to them to hand it to them higher up the hill than where we found it.