Had the once again pleasure of hearing Sohail Daulatzai (My sister’s old Professor of African American and Film & Media studies at UC Irvine, Ca) at his book signing at Eso Won Books in Leimert Park. He is one of the most well versed, intelligent, personable, accomplished scholar I have came across.
No wonder my sister loved being a student of his! His new book Black Star Crescent Moon, The Muslim International and Black Freedom beyond American just released & is deep look into this political & cultural history of Black Islam, Black radicalism, and the Muslim third world.
In 1962, Malcolm X said “the same rebellion, the same impatience, the same anger that exists in the hearts of the dark people in Africa and Asia, is existing in the hearts and minds of 20 million black people in this country who have been just thoroughly colonized as the people in Africa and Asia.” Fifty years later, in 2012, with a Black President who’s middle name is Hussein as the face of American empire, Muslim hip-hop artists such as Yaslin Bey (aka Mos Def) and Lupe Fiasco have continued to carry on Malcolm’s legacy of Black internationalism in their music, connecting white supremacy/racism in the U.S. with American war abroad against Muslims and other non-white peoples in a post-9/11 world.
As Sohail Daulatzai reveals in Black Star,Crescent Moon, Islam and the struggles in the Muslim Third World have played a central role in shaping the Black radical imagination throughout the 20th century and the global struggle against imperialism. Whether it be through Malcolm X or Muhammad Ali, the poets of the Black Arts Movement or jazz musicians, Black Power activists or filmmakers, novelists or hip-hop artists, Daulatzai tells the story of how Black artists and activists linked discontent and unrest in Harlem, Los Angeles and Chicago to the anti-imperialist movements of the Muslim Third World for inspiration and solidarity in their struggles for social justice.
By resurrecting a past when the national liberation struggles in the Muslim Third World occupied a central place within the Black radical imagination, Black Star, Crescent Moon explores explores the significance of this forgotten history for contemporary politics and arts when Black artists and activists imagined themselves not as national minorities but as a part of a global majority.
Reviews by Yasiin Bey (formerly Mos def), Michael E. Dyson & Robin D. G. Kelley