Figures like Muhammad Ali and Malcolm X are central to the history of the Black Freedom Struggle; however the larger story of African American Islam before, during, and after the Civil Rights Movement remains to be told. The religious tradition of Islam has been drawn upon by African Americans throughout history to foster a sense of freedom, dignity, and self-empowerment in the private and collective life of the community. From enslaved Muslims in the antebellum period to the meteoric rise of the Nation of Islam in the mid-twentieth century, the Islamic spiritual tradition has been a critical part of African American identity and history. Spearheaded by Dr. Abbas Barzegar of Georgia State University and Dr. Bilal King of Morehouse College, The After Malcolm Oral History and Document Preservation Project at Georgia State University and Morehouse College strives to record an important part of this national heritage by focusing on the many ways Islam impacted African American culture following the life and legacy of Malcolm X, also known as El Hajj Malik Shabazz. During the month of February 2016, The After Malcolm Project will have an exhibit in the National Civil and Human Rights Museum in Atlanta, Georgia. The exhibit will display African American Muslim artifacts, literature, photos, as well as a 30 minute documentary.
SIF fellows have a long history of involvement in the After Malcolm project. SIF’s designed the project’s web page and will assist in organizing the exhibit at the Civil and Human Rights Museum. In addition, the SIF’s programs resident videographer, Ameer Muhammad, will be making the documentary that will be on view.