News Brief

This New Web Series Explores the Experiences of Black Muslims in Britain

A New web series ensures that the Black British Muslim narrative won't be erased.

A new webseries on being black and Muslim addresses what co-founder, Mohamed Mohamed, calls an underrepresentation of the Black Muslim experience during Black History Month in the UK.


The series has even spawned a new hashtag: #BlackAndMuslimInBritain.

With almost 275,000 Muslims of African heritage in the UK, the absence of programming that specifically addresses African Muslims seems like a major oversight.

In an interview with BuzzFeed, Mohamed, pointed out the mainstream media's "sidestepping" of the Muslim faith of celebrities. He was triggered by media outlets saying that Muhammad Ali transcended religion and race, he said. In his estimation, religion and race was at the core of Muhammed Ali's identity, which he did not "transcend."

The series was born after an event last October where young black Muslims came together to talk about how their experiences were being erased from the larger narrative.



Co-founders Mohamed Mohamed, Sakinah Lenoir, and Saraiya Bah decided to tell the stories of influential Muslims in a way that did not erase their faith, and then committed to putting together oral Muslim histories.

With the importance of representation at its core, the series hopes to inspire black Muslims in Britain with the power of having a firm place in their nation's narrative. It will, hopefully, also make it harder to erase the experiences of black Muslims anywhere in the world.


Interview

Amadou & Mariam Forever

We talk to the legendary Malian duo about their rich past, songwriting process and their advice for young African artists with disabilities.

Amadou & Mariam don't require an introduction.

The couple has been making Afro-blues music for over 35 years, drawing inspiration from their home of Mali, for over 35 years.

Their 1999 albumSou Ni Tilé sold 100,000 copies. In 2005, their album Dimanche à Bamako won the French Victoire de la Musique prize for Best World Music Album of the year and the BBC Radio 3 Award for Africa. It also went platinum in France after selling over 300,000 copies. The duo have performed with U2, Coldplay, Blur and many others.

We caught up with them below for a conversation about their rich past, their songwriting process and their advice for young African artists with disabilities, ahead of the duo's performance at the upcoming London Jazz Festival 2021.

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