The Black Muslim experience in America uniquely represents the shared story of American pluralism and international globalization in the modern age. Emerging from the turbulence of a racially fractured United States, the African American Muslim community, having undergone a number of transformations and transitions, now occupies an important space in the nation’s civic landscape. At a time when America faces continued social polarization, the African American Muslim community is particularly positioned to provide lessons of transformation, reconciliation, and survival in the continued quest for holistic social justice. By combining the efforts of local communities and organizations with the professional resources available to Georgia State University, The After Malcolm Research Collective is an ongoing and long-term project that will highlight the history of African-American Muslims in the city of Atlanta and beyond.
Spearheaded by Dr. Abbas Barzegar of Georgia State University and Dr. Bilal King of Morehouse College, the archive will serve as a resource for the wider Atlanta and Georgia public, providing the opportunity for researchers, educators, and civic groups to access Atlanta’s unique history of African American Muslim experiences. The long term possibilities of this project extend beyond the landscape of the Atlanta metropolitan area and will incorporate the state of Georgia’s unique Muslim history as it was home to the largest Muslim community in antebellum America. Launched in 2012, the project has created a series of pilot archives in conjunction with preexisting community-based documentation efforts. The pilot archives have digitized and catalogued the papers of key community leaders; audio and visual materials; and nearly twenty oral histories. In 2013 the research group was awarded a Georgia Humanities Council program grant to support the public launch of the project featuring a research symposium, guest speaker, and digital archive kiosks. The archive and its stake holders continue to work on data collection, grant acquisition, and cross-sector collaborations into 2014 to promote the invaluable legacy of Islam in the Black Freedom Struggle.