My #MeToo Moment Happened During Umrah

Trigger warning: This piece may include sensitive information about sexual assault that may be triggering to survivors. It took me time to write this.  ____ In front of me there was an elderly woman crouched over. Her back contorted into the letter “c”. I could tell she was tired by the way her feet dragged behind her and, as her black dress was gliding on the ivory floor, a young man slowly walked beside her. The physical aspects of umrah… Read more

10 Things I’ve learnt from my convert momma

Thirty three years ago my mother took a leap of faith, both literally and figuratively, when she decided to convert to Islam. She was raised in a Black Baptist family and though they weren’t particularly practicing they held the church to a very high standard. Anyone who understands Black folks knows that for most the church is a vital part of family life. Since our roots were in the south, Mississippi to be exact, this fact held especially true. Like… Read more

Don’t ask, don’t tell…?

If you ask me there are some things better left unsaid. Over the years, I have had several of my friends in predicaments where they were talking to potential brothas for marriage. Things were going smoothly, actually things were going pretty good. The brotha was practicing Islam, had a decent job, came from a great family and was helllaaa tall. A perfect match. What else could you ask for? Then he pops THE question… No, not THAT question. Don’t get… Read more

Black+Muslim+Woman+Trump

It has been interesting experiencing the election and post election reactions in Africa. I was in Bamako, Mali eagerly anticipating the results. I constantly kept refreshing my computer screen and when the lights began to flicker I knew the electricity was about to give out. I decided it was time to give it a rest and I closed my laptop. Pulling the mosquito net across my bed I felt a world away, both physically and figuratively, from a place I… Read more

Garbage lady

The first time it happened I was walking down the driveway on my way to work. I paced down the narrow driveway with my purse in one hand and lunch in the other. I took a quick glimpse at my watch. It was starting to get chilly and I was happy I wore a long sleeved shirt underneath my scrubs. I took note that I would be hot later in the day. It wasn’t quite summer anymore but it still… Read more

Rat Tail Comb

I sat in between her knees Indian style. I could feel my right foot going to sleep. I didn’t care because I was too focused on the tugging and pulling of my hair. I squirmed. I made ugly faces. My eyes squinted with each yank. Sometimes I would cry or scream. She would hit my head with the rat tail comb. “Chiiiilllllldddddd, if these braids come out crooked!” This was a ritual. A black girl ritual. Getting my hair done… Read more

Being 30 & Twinkies

Thirty seems to be the magical number for a lot of people. It’s when they say you’re supposed to have a majority of your shit together. Additionally, you should be in a solid career, have a pristine family and be on the road to financial stability. In my early to mid-twenties this was my goal. To be honest, at that time, ten years seemed like more than enough time to get my affairs in line. Once 30 began to creep… Read more

Room #8

The only reason I remembered him was because of his name. The extra syllables indicated he was of African descent. North African to be exact. Algerian, if I wanted to be precise. I grabbed his leather wallet that had the word “Chicago” imprinted on the front and pulled out his ID. The leather smelled fresh and was still snug. It took me a couple pulls to get the card fully out. With his ID in my hand I looked at… Read more

Words

Titled: Words As he talks, I listen to his every word. Words. Enunciation. Breath. Pause. I marinate in his words. Lips moist. I tell him, Brotha, lift that tongue up. Search between the tight spaces of white teeth. Dig for words deep in your throat. And I remind, if Allah revealed the Quran slowly. Chapter by chapter, Sentence by sentence, Word by word, then I will reveal myself slowly to you. The key to my body lies lost in your… Read more

Lessons on love

I saw them walk around the edge of the water holding hands. Her chubby fingers laced into his. They both appeared to be in their mid to late 30’s. I could tell their love was new based on how his hands traced her body. Whether or not he realized it he was reading and studying her. His fingers did the work and his mind soaked it all in. I could tell he was enjoying it. I thought how I missed… Read more

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