Have you seen those "Best of" list or "Get to know" list that are constantly put out by well intended non Muslim publications websites serving up the type of Muslims that they want other Muslims and non-Muslims to be impressed with or follow/buy from/support, etc as the next big thing? Yeah, I am not too cool with selection or representation that is chosen from outside of the community. Don't get me wrong now, I love supporting and cheering on Muslims who have earned acclaim. You will often see me using my own platforms to push other Muslim writers/artists/filmmakers because support is needed and is important to give. However, I truly believe that it's important that any Muslims who are looking for the community's support - should also support the Muslim community! If you're a Muslim artist and your only fans are outside of the Muslim community, something is a little off with the tea. No, a Muslim artist's work doesn't have to be solely attached to or rooted in Islam or in Muslims to be valuable or noteworthy. Buut, we should see you in the community, helping the community, praying in the community, building in some meaningful way with the Muslim community that you want to support you in return.
No, it's not too much to ask for Muslim artists to lend a hand - however they can, whenever they can. Many Muslim artists are doing just that and they still manage to put out dope works, stay fresh, and make connections across platforms and demographics. They don't forget us, even as they shine! Which is why I choose these 15* Plus* Black Muslim Poets/Artists that you SHOULD know and SUPPORT because they put in the work in and outside of our community:
2. Youssef Kromah, b.k.a Seff Al-Afriqi, is a Muslim first, published poet, author, entrepreneur, humanitarian, activist, HUDATV host in Egypt. His catchphrase is: "DoItFortheDeen"!
5. Asmaa "Bee True" Watts is born Muslim American poet and spoken word artist, business owner, and mother originally from Philadelphia, PA currently residing in Houston, TX. I had opportunity to see the sister perform in person last year and she was phenomenal!
7. Aginah Monique & Khadijah - sisters, by blood and faith, they are teachers, community workers, mothers, always smiling, giving and helping. I've seen them perform live in Boston and the chemistry is wonderful.
8. Tyson Amir (tysonamir.com) from the Bay, he is a published poet, a rapper, and an educator that has been putting in work over a decade. His book, Black Poems, on October 15th, 2016 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Black Panther Party.
13. Brother Dash
Brother Dash is an Author and Poet. He has been featured on BBC World Television, BBC Radio, Al-Arabiya, The Islam Channel and a variety of other media outlets in the U.S., Canada, England, Africa, and The Middle East. He is the author of the novel, The Donor: When Conception Meets Deception, a play (Black Mirrors), has released three spoken word albums, performed throughout the US, the UK and Canada and is currently working on a second novel and his first series of non-fiction books. He is a graduate of Rutgers University with a degree in English and Sociology and resides in New Jersey.
14. Muslim Belal is an English actor, screen writer, spoken work artist of Jamaican descent.
15. Miss Undastood - Brooklyn's finest and one of the first Muslima MC's, mother, youth worker, and independent artist. This sister has been hustling for over 15 years spreading her words and uplifting her sisters. I remember when I called her up for an sisters' Eid event in Western Mass and through a -----blizzard-- she showed up and entertained and shared a different
Bonus: Khalil Ismail
Bonus: Alia Sharrief
Bonus: Asim Sujud
Flashback 70's : The Propagators - Choose Al Islam