Current Institutional Affiliation
Doctoral Candidate, New York University (NYU)

Award Information

International Dissertation Research Fellowship 2015
Institutional Affiliation (at time of award):
History, New York University (NYU)
Atlantic Crescent: Afro-Muslim Internationalism, Anti-Colonialism, and Transnational Community Formation, 1955-1990

This dissertation explores the creation of international Afro-Muslim networks as they were created in the United States, the United Kingdom, and the British Caribbean. I posit that beginning in 1955, in the midst of a period of rapid decolonization from European imperialism, there emerged a distinct Afro-Muslim identity that was defined by its refusal to be limited by national boundaries. This identity was formed by mutual conversations among Afro-Muslim communities throughout the Atlantic basin regarding the best strategies for fighting colonialism. As the nature of colonialism changed over this forty-five year period – from its focus on European decolonization; to American imperialism throughout Latin America, the Caribbean, and the Middle East; and then finally to an understanding of the urban inner city as a colonized and occupied space – Afro-Muslim understandings of how to position themselves vis-à-vis these varying forms of colonialism changed in tandem. From 1955 to 1990, international engagement among Atlantic Afro-Muslim communities was critical to the formation of an anti-imperial, Afro-Muslim political identity for both Muslims and, at times, non-Muslims as well. By engaging internationally, these groups were able to discursively and actively assert that they were not powerless minorities, but instead, part of a powerful, global majority. The critical intersection between Islam and race in this period, therefore, presents itself as crucial for challenging global and local power structures.