Duke Performances and the Duke Islamic Studies Center seek to harness the successful momentum of our “Building Bridges: Muslims in America” project to expand and deepen its reach—expanding to include spoken word poetry in addition to music and deepening with a specific focus on artists from the African diaspora. By featuring American Muslims of African descent, the project aims to bring much needed attention to issues of anti-black racism and anti-Muslim bias already salient in the work and lives of these artists themselves. In so doing, we strive to deeply engage in a process of reckoning, consciousness raising, and reconciliation through poetry and music, but also through a process of historical contextualization of this tradition.
Sadiyah Bashir is a freelance writer and award winning poet. Her work has been commissioned by Penny Appeal USA and Apple, she has also performed for international media outlets such as Al-Jazeera. Her first self-published book entitled “Seven” explores trauma and triumph through the lens of Black Muslim womanhood. And is currently working on a second manuscript documenting the history and lives of Black Muslims in America.