By Zain Abdullah
The alterations to U.S. immigration legislation that have been instituted in 1965 have ended in an inflow of West African immigrants to big apple, growing an enclave Harlem citizens now name ''Little Africa.'' those immigrants are instantly recognizable as African of their wide-sleeved gowns and tasseled hats, yet such a lot native-born individuals of the neighborhood are ignorant of the the most important position Islam performs in immigrants' lives. Zain Abdullah takes us contained in the lives of those new immigrants and exhibits how they take care of being a double minority in a rustic the place either blacks and Muslims are stigmatized. facing this twin id, Abdullah discovers, is very advanced. a few longtime citizens include those immigrants and notice their arrival as a chance to reclaim their African history, whereas others see the immigrants as scornful invaders. In flip, African immigrants usually take a very harsh view in their new pals, paying for into the worst stereotypes approximately American-born blacks being lazy and incorrigible. And whereas there has lengthy been a wide Muslim presence in Harlem, and citizens frequently see Islam as a strength for social reliable, African-born Muslims see their Islamic identification skipped over through such a lot in their friends. Abdullah weaves jointly the tales of those African Muslims to color a desirable portrait of a community's efforts to carve out area for itself in a brand new nation.
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Additional resources for Black Mecca: The African Muslims of Harlem
In Harlem, West African Muslim communities have adapted their practices to ﬁt the demands of their never-ending work schedules. As they reach for the American dream, they are attracted to the opportunity to have two or three jobs, even while attending college. america dreaming 37 We cross the street and walk down to the masjid entrance. Cheikh is standing at the door, dressed in a long white boubou with gold trim. We greet, and I ask him about Aminata, a mutual friend from Senegal. “Oh, she was working,” he says.
I’m taking care of all my relatives, and my family is even larger than the family of my boss. ” It wasn’t atypical for a young Senegalese man to be the only one working in a family of twenty to ﬁfty people. But now he had to send home his younger brother, who had been living with him in Dakar, and ﬁre the housekeeper, a middle-aged woman he supported out of kindness more than anything else. Moustafa remembers that he stood up from the rickety chair, his face full of disbelief. “OK, it’s ﬁne” barely escaped his mouth, but he had stopped listening to his boss some time before.
But the sea was much too dangerous, and they feared being lost to the treacherous waters. 8 Around the same time, the boat’s GPS system failed. Huge thirty-foot waves made the unit useless. During the day, Modou struggled to steer the ship west, and at night, he followed the stars. Since they had left in the dead of winter, the frigid temperatures on the ocean were unbearable. The cabin was designed to accommodate just four people, but whenever possible, they all huddled together for warmth. “There was always something to do, and it was just freezing, really freezing,” says Laye, one of those remaining at the Detention Center.
Black Mecca: The African Muslims of Harlem by Zain Abdullah