The Black Experience: Being Black and Muslim

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Hello, everyone!

Welcome to The Black Experience, a month long blog series through February, in honour of Black History Month, which features Black bloggers, booktubers and authors. This project aims at highlighting Black stories and experiences both in real life and in publishing, as well as showing our individual and collective struggles.

Today’s post is by Saoudia, a French Canadian Black book blogger. She talks about what it means to be Black and Muslim in her experience. You can find Saoudia on WordPress on @withlovesaoudia.


 

hi guys! my name is saoudia and i am book blogger @withlovesaoudia on wordpress! i’m super excited and happy to be part of this and can’t wait to share my thoughts with you guys. today i’ll be writing about intersectionality and being a black woman who is also muslim.

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i feel like there’s so much i could say in this post but at the same time nothing comes in my mind. it’s like i’m drawing blank, but at the same time i know that there are things i want to share. it just feels weirdly personal and i am not used to that.

i was born in senegal and my family is from benin, and like most west africans we are muslim. i never thought very much of it because i grew up in a mostly white environment and despite my parents being religious, we never really practiced a lot.

my parents pray and we celebrate muslim festivities with family friends and stuff, but i weirdly never felt part of the community. it’s like, i do my own thing and they do their own thing.

i got in the book community in april of 2019 and that’s where i realized i could be part of the muslim community because there is so many of them. and i could read muslim books and make friends who share this part of me, yet i haven’t yet. a part of me feels like as a black woman i am not as much as a muslim as them. and i get it, that’s stupid. but that’s how i felt, and still feel sometimes.

when people look at me, the first thing they see is me being black. and it’s like that has made me be more close to my black side instead of my muslim side, even if really i don’t need to keep both sides separate. i can be both, you know? but when you grow around people who all look the same (mostly white and middle class) you don’t realize that. you think, oh i’m black because well that’s what people see and that’s mostly all i know.

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i’m starting now to figure out how i feel about faith and while i still have a lot of questions i want to be closer to islam and make more muslim friends. i want to read muslim books with muslim characters written by muslim authors. and i want to read books with a muslim main character that is black. and i don’t want the trauma side of it. i am sick and tired of trauma stories.

i’ll be honest guys, being a woman is hard, being black is hard too, and being muslim in 2020 is super mega hard too. and i’m all that, while figuring out my sexuality. and let me tell you guys, it’s hard and annoying. because you feel like you have to justify yourself to every-fucking-body…

and i’m tired of that.

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Saoudia’s links

blog

twitter.


 


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5 thoughts on “The Black Experience: Being Black and Muslim

  1. Salam, I’m a revert and can relate to your dilemma of sticking out from the majority (of white middle class people). I’m not black but love & support the black power movement.
    Akala’s book ‘Natives’ is a good read – his music is incredible too but I digress. Also there’s a Jamaican revert called Ashley Belal Chin who published his autobiography titled ‘Faith’. That’s next on my reading list but maybe those books might be of interest to you 🌸🤲

    Like

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