To celebrate the UK’s Black History month, a new historic festival celebrating Black Muslim history and identity is launching on October 2.
The Black Muslim Renaissance Festival is a month-long programme of lectures, workshops, seminars, panel discussions, business showcases and special events to bring the global Black Muslim community together in a spirit of empowerment and racial justice.
It’s founder is award-winning author Na’ima B Robert who also founded the critically- acclaimed SISTERS magazine, a magazine focusing on Muslim women. She tells TRT World the festival is the first of its kind, and that the Black Muslim community has been long forgotten in conversations around representation and diversity from within the Muslim and the non-Muslim community.
She says, “the Black Muslim Festival is a celebration of the Black Muslim heritage, culture and experience and serves to not only uplift Muslims of African descent worldwide, but to offer an intriguing insight for non-Black audiences”
Speakers will include a host of different Black Muslim personalities from across all over the African diaspora and across different sectors including academics, authors, creatives, business owners, social media influencers and journalists. Topics of discussion include identity and mental health to relationships and parenting, from wealth creation and business to community activism.
The festival comes off the heels of the Black Lives Matter movement protests that took place globally during the summer, after the deaths of unarmed Black men and women in the US including Ahmaud Arberry, Breonna Taylor and George Floyd. Recent protests have sparked greater conversations around racial injustice and police brutality against Black people in other countries including the United Kingdom, France and Brazil.
However, issue of racism also exists when it comes to the Muslim community. Many Black Muslims say that they are a marginalized community in an already marginalized Muslim community. The festival is an opportunity to tackle the issue of racism within the wider global Black community.
In the United States alone, African-American Muslims make up 25% of the American Muslim community. Africa is also home to some of the largest Muslim majority countries including Guinea, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Nigeria.
You can find out more about the event and how to participate on the Black Muslim Renaissance website here: