To be a Black American Muslim Woman Is to be Both an Insider and an Outsider

Recently I read an article from the Root titled “To be a Black American Muslim Woman Is to be Both an Insider and an Outsider”. In the piece, the author mainly discusses what it is like living as both a black woman and a Muslim in the United states. What stood out to me the most about this article is the idea of never being American enough. In my opinion, America proliferates this notion of superiority when it comes to anything that doesn’t revolve around themselves. This can be seen in religion when someone professes to be anything other than Christian, or even in socio economic cases where minorities are historically disadvantaged.

Given my own personal experiences, and the long-term distain of Islam that America has projected for years, I felt a strong connection to some of the emotions that the author described. One of the strongest feelings I related too was the feeling of tiredness, which was clearly expressed by the author when she said “in short y’all, I can’t win. I can’t break even, and I can’t get outta the game.” I personally feel that the amount of time and energy that is spent rejecting other religions, races, or ways of life are wasted efforts that are entirely due to a lack of knowledge. If more people spent time studying those who they see as “different,” I truly believe that equality could be reached. However, I know that this solution is a long shot and most likely would not happen during my lifetime. Nevertheless, I found the piece to be very interesting, and it can be found through the following link:


Beloved by Toni Morrison

           Beloved is a book about the lengths a mother will go to to protect her children. The book takes place after the civil war. It follows a woman named Sethe in her incredibly dangerous struggle for freedom. The book is largely inspired by the chilling story of a former African American slave, Margret Gardner, who fled to Ohio from enslavement in Kentucky.

When discussing the topics of black women and their crucial involvement  in the Black Freedom Struggle and their maternal connections that come along with it, I can’t help but always think of Margaret Garner as a prime example of that. The book Beloved follows its own storyline to make readers critical think about and questions heavy topics such as infanticide. The book does an amazing job of detailing what freedom looked like for Sethe and the constraints she faced even after her escape to “freedom.”

The true story of Margaret Garner in brief is about a slave who ran away with all four of her children on one of the coldest nights recorded in Kentucky history.  As a result of the weather, their plan for escape failed. As the slave catchers and Mr Garner had a shootout, it became clear to Margaret that they were going to be returned, so Margaret grabbed a  knife and killed her two year old daughter.


Read the case here 



Kamala Harris Article

I recently read an article from the New York Times titled “Kamala Harris is Accused of Lying about Listening to Tupac” In the article, it is mentioned that while Harris was discussing marijuana legalization, she mentioned smoking marijuana in college and listening to Tupac. However, many members of the media were quick to point out that this could not have been true because he had not released an album yet when she was still in school. Fox News criticized her for this and other media outlets felt that she was making it up in order to appeal to voters.

I feel that the media should not waste their time focusing on this. Even if she did misremember what kind of music and which artists she listened to in college, the media choosing to focus on this instead of her views on issues is a problem. A presidential candidates music choices or other things like that should not matter when people are evaluating her candidacy for president. People look at many different media outlets to get their information and the media choosing to focus on things that do not even matter will not help voters make a decision on who to vote for, especially when the current president has said many controversial things that do not get much media attention.

The media needs to take their role in shaping public opinion seriously and focus on important issues instead of stories like this.

-Brian Lief


Mo’Nique and Steve Harvey’s Conversation on Telling the Truth in Hollywood

Mo’Nique and Steve Harvey sat down and had a discussion on his talk show about her treatment in Hollywood, but specifically Netflix’s offer of $500,00 for a comedy special. Mo’Nique was being offered significantly less than white female comedians like Amy Schumer and black male comedians like Chris Rock. Because of this, Mo’Nique called out Netflix and called for a boycott of Netflix as well. This discussion between the two was prompted because Steve Harvey did not approve of how she handled the situation. During the discussion, Mo’Nique explains that she was hurt by the fact that many black celebrities had reached out to her privately to support her, but were silent when she got backlash. Steve Harvey ended up explaining that he did not like how she handled that situation because speaking out on the truth in Hollywood costs money and he believed that she should have thought about that before speaking out. Mo’Nique ultimately said that integrity was more important than getting a check and Steve Harvey responded in saying that there were other ways to ‘win the war’ and fight for the cause without having to give up your check…

I find what Steve Harvey said incredibly frustrating because you rarely hear about backlash from members of the black community when black men stand up for inequality against themselves. But the moment when a black woman recognizes her worth, sees that she is not being paid what she deserves and speaks out against it and calls for action, she is handling the situation wrong. Steve Harvey’s comment saying she could have handled the situation differently makes me feel like he would rather her be quiet about the inequalities within Hollywood regarding black women. Black women rarely, if ever, tell black men to be quiet or not stand up or be vocal about inequalities they face and stand right beside them fighting for their cause, but it is so difficult to get that same support and solidarity from black men regarding black women inequalities. Black women are supposed to just take the inequalities and suffer in silence while still being expected to fight for their rights. It is also shameful that Steve Harvey cares more about obtaining more and more money rather than speak out against injustices. Steve Harvey earns more and more each year and as of 2017 had a net worth of $140 million. So he is telling us that he could not afford to speak out because he needs to be getting paid? That is ridiculous in my opinion. Almost as ridiculous as P Diddy saying “It is bigger than being billionaires, it’s about owning our culture and leading the revolution.” How can you honestly say that you, as a billionaire, are about a lead the revolution? The revolution must involve destroying our capitalist society which means that billionaires will lose their wealth and distribute it amongst the poor. There is no way to ‘lead the revolution’ without doing that.

It’s difficult seeing black Americans like Jay-Z and P Diddy being billionaires and wanting to achieve that same status through wealth while also knowing that our capitalist system in America was built on the backs of African slaves.  Mo’Nique choosing to use her platform to stand up for inequalities is a step in the right direction. Not holding back to continue receiving the paycheck from the white man is great. But at the same time black celebrities need to realize that the revolution will involve destroying capitalism which will negatively impact them in the short term, but create life better for everyone in the long run. Should we try to be like Jay-Z and P Diddy and fight our way to the top of a inherently racist system or destroy it and create a new one that makes life better for all?