Artist Creates Inspiring #BeingBlackandMuslim Twitter Photo Series

NEW YORK – Visual artist Bobby Rogers posted a series of photos on Twitter as an homage to the #BeingBlackandMuslim hashtag and to highlight experiences Black Muslims shared about intersections of their race and religion.

Rogers gleaned posts from the popular hashtag and used his artistry to generate powerful visual messages for Twitter viewers reflecting numerous issues negatively affecting Black Muslims as well as their strength to combat them.

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The tweets presented with the exquisite imagery voiced Black Muslims concerns about cultural erasure and anti-Blackness from their correligionists. Despite comprising approximately one-third of the American Muslim population, Black American Muslim frequently experience erasure.

The photos highlight racial discrimination against Black Muslims that emerged in the tweets. In a 2014 study, 79% of Black American Muslims reported that they experienced racism in Muslim communities. Black Muslims conveyed that Muslims spaces are not always welcoming and safe but are frequently ripe with racial microaggression adversely affecting their ability to engage in positive worship.

Coupled with intra-cultural racism in Muslim communties, Black Muslims must still contend with systemic racism in the broader society, which creates layers of micro and macro socio-political discrimination.

The prevailing narrative in the United States fosters an immigrant Middle Eastern/South Asian type negates the existence of Muslims outside of specific racial and ethnic parameters. Consequently, African American and Black Diaspora Muslims often find the need to validate their Muslimness even in Muslim communities, something noted by Black Muslims in #BeingBlackandMuslim tweets.

The photo series is garnering a lot of appreciation from Muslims and non-Muslims from an array of backgrounds.

The Muslim Anti-Racism Collaborative launched the hashtag in 2014 to afford a space where Black Muslims can express challenges they encounter challenges to their humanity as Blacks in Muslim communities and as Muslims in the larger society.

The #BeingBlackand Muslim hashtag serves as a space for individual posts as well as occasional town hall Twitter Chats. Roger’s photo series demonstrates that it also inspires people to amplify Black Muslim experiences and increase awareness about and appreication for the dynamic and complex demographic.

More of Bobby Rogers’ photos can be seen on his website, Twitter thread and the #BeingBlackandMuslim hashtag.