black women, islam, and hiphop

May 7, 2008 at 4:43 pm (anti-sexism, islam, middle east, palestine, women of color)

there is a great article at racialicious

on black muslim women and hiphop.  Okay actually the article originates on Muslimah Media Watch. Gorgeous pictures of Erykah Badu and Eve. And a discussion as to what consitutues Islam. It reminded me of my first visit to the West Bank and haing a discussion with a teeenager muslim woman named yasmmina about he connection between Black Muslims and Islam. Malcolm X and Sunni. Yasmina who considered herself an Islamist thought of Islam as both a policial as well as a spiritual idenity. And while we did not have a discussion about the dogma or beliefs of the Nation of Islam and 5 percenters, there was a definite connection and appreciation that people would be willing to take on the label of ‘Muslim’ especially in a post-9/11 world.

What struck me was how much variety and diversity Yasmina assumed to be a part of the Islamic world. And the variety of wary that Muslim women have interpreted the Koran and present themselves to the world.

I appreciate that Eve gives gratitude to Allah but says that she cannot follow Islam properly. I think that in the Black community, women identifying as Muslim in many ways gives them a hiphop cred that is difficult for women to achieve. In that Muslims in hiphop culture are considered to be ‘deep’, ‘strong’, and ‘dedicated soldiers’ that allows for Black women to be able to move through many of the sexist assumptions about women mc’s. There is also a sense within the Black community that Muslim women are somehow moe socially protected and respectable than other women. (ya know there are ho’s and then there are queens).

One of my inspirations to live in the Middle East was the respect I had for Muslimwomen in hiphop. So that political connection that Yasmina and I talked about matters.

I am going to try to get the original article by McMurray.

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1 Comment

  1. Antoinette Muhammad said,

    ASA (As Salaam Alaikum)

    What can I say except that we are everywhere. Interesting article.

    Peace….Antoinette

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