Slice of American Muslim History

Hat tip to Zaynab Aden for writing me the following email:

There is an African American sister here in the area who entered a mini documentary about the Bean Pie into a contest geared towards Muslims. I think you will like it, if you do could you vote for it? I think what is refreshing about her take about the Muslim American experience is that unlike many of the others, it does not center around 9/11, how Muslims are patriotic or setting out to prove we are people too. It is just about the bean pie-simple.

You can see documentary here.
Umar Lee, Tariq Nelson, and AbdurRahman have also spread word about this delightful documentary. I am really excited about this type of work and I’m proud of Hassannah Tauhidi for pulling this together. She’s been working it out in DC. It is about time that we start to give our sisters like her their due props and support.

On of my friends who went to University of Chicago pointed out that many of the academics were really into “exotic” Islam. They enjoyed going to concerts with Middle Eastern music, eating Middle Eastern or South Asian food, wearing “Eastern clothes.” But when the students organized an event that was rooted in American Muslim culture, few of the academics showed up. Muslim hip hop didn’t do it for them, nor did the fusion of traditional Moroccan and jazz. Sadly, both academia and the media overlook African American Muslims and our cultural production. This is why this documentary is so important. It really touches upon the contours of Black American Muslim life. Sure, in the 90s many Black American Muslims began to distance themselves from Black nationalistic movements and Afrocentricism. Some brothers and sisters pushed aside the bean pie (and other American deserts) and turned towards baklava and Gulab Jani. But this documentary does remind us that there is a Black American Muslim culture and that we are a salient and dynamic community.

The film’s description states:

Bean Pie is an authentic American Muslim experience! Hailing from the Blackamerican Muslim community, Bean Pie has taken on iconic proportions. It has been the butt of many jokes, and dare we say, may even have been a catalyst for the proliferation of the Islamic faith, as we have come to learn while filming this documentary that many connoisseurs of this delectable confection have been introduced to Islam and have developed deep affections toward the Muslim community. So please, watch and learn and see if you don’t get a hankering for some Bean Pie!

Tariq Nelson pointed out that Hassanah and Imam Johari are working on a television series called, “Living Islam in America. Please support these projects by any means necessary. In the meantime, you can support sister Hassanah by voting here (I can’t cause I’m out of the US). So check it out and vote!!


2 thoughts on “Slice of American Muslim History

  1. Salaam ‘alaykum dear Aziza,

    Thanks for highlighting this fun doc – now I need a slice of bean pie! 🙂

    I also sent you an e-mail about a literary anthology while you were traveling – I hope you’ll consider writing and/or sending it to other American Muslim women you know.



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