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Black Star, Crescent Moon

The Muslim International and Black Freedom beyond America

Sohail Daulatzai

Publication Year: 2012

“The same rebellion, the same impatience, the same anger that exists in the hearts of the dark people in Africa and Asia,” Malcolm X declared in a 1962 speech, “is existing in the hearts and minds of 20 million black people in this country who have been just as thoroughly colonized as the people in Africa and Asia.” Four decades later, the hip-hop artist Talib Kweli gave voice to a similar Pan-African sentiment in the song “K.O.S. (Determination)”: “The African diaspora represents strength in numbers, a giant can't slumber forever.”

Linking discontent and unrest in Harlem and Los Angeles to anticolonial revolution in Algeria, Egypt, and elsewhere, Black leaders in the United States have frequently looked to the anti-imperialist movements and antiracist rhetoric of the Muslim Third World for inspiration. In Black Star, Crescent Moon, Sohail Daulatzai maps the rich, shared history between Black Muslims, Black radicals, and the Muslim Third World, showing how Black artists and activists imagined themselves not as national minorities but as part of a global majority, connected to larger communities of resistance. Daulatzai traces these interactions and alliances from the Civil Rights movement and the Black Power era to the “War on Terror,” placing them within a broader framework of American imperialism, Black identity, and the global nature of white oppression.

From Malcolm X and Muhammad Ali to contemporary artists and activists like Rakim and Mos Def, Black Star, Crescent Moon reveals how Muslim resistance to imperialism came to occupy a central position within the Black radical imagination, offering a new perspective on the political and cultural history of Black internationalism from the 1950s to the present.

Published by: University of Minnesota Press

Title Page, Copyright

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pp. 2-7


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pp. vii-viii

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Introduction: An Empire State of Mind

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pp. ix-xxx

On January 20, 2009, Barack Hussein Obama was inaugurated as the forty-fourth president of the United States. On that day, perfectly planned to coincide with the national celebration of the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, more people gathered in Washington, D.C., than for any other event or protest in the nation’s history, ...

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1. "You Remember Dien Bien Phu!" Malcolm X and the Third World Rising

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pp. 1-44

“I am a citizen of Asia.” So read the draft card for Malcolm X upon his induction into the Korean War. Malcolm didn’t burn his draft card, as many would later. Instead, he used it as his declaration of independence. And when asked if he had filed a declaration to become a citizen of the United States, he replied, “No.” ...

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2. To the East, Blackwards: Black Power, Radical Cinema, and the Muslim Third World

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pp. 45-88

In 1970, Gil Scott-Heron released the song “Whitey on the Moon” from his album Small Talk at 125th and Lenox. As a response to U.S. astronauts setting foot on the moon on July 21, 1969, Scott-Heron, whose poignant songs about personal loss and public failure would continue throughout his brilliant career, ...

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3. Return of the Mecca: Public Enemies, Reaganism, and the Birth of Hip-Hop

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pp. 89-136

New York City, and by extension the United States, got remixed by the influence of Islam well before the idea of 9/11. But this time it was through hip-hop culture. For Muslim MCs in the 1980s, New York City and its surroundings were reclaimed by its Black inhabitants in more ways than one. ...

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4. "Ghost in the House": Muhammad Ali and the Rise of the "Green Menace"

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pp. 137-168

In October 1970, in his first fight back after his ban from boxing for refusing to fight in the Vietnam War, Muhammad Ali walked out of the dressing room and toward the ring to fight Jerry Quarry, with Ali’s charismatic cornerman, Bundini Brown, shouting, “Ghost in the house! Ghost in the house!” ...

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5. Protect Ya Neck: Global Incarceration, Islam, and the Black Radical Imagination

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pp. 169-188

In May 2001, a hip-hop benefit concert was held in Watts, California, for Jamil Al-Amin (formerly known as H. Rap Brown), who had recently been arrested and charged with killing a police officer in Georgia. Using hip-hop as a vehicle, artists such as Mos Def, Talib Kweli, Jurassic 5, Dilated Peoples, and Zion I, ...

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Epilogue: War, Repression, and the Legacy of Malcolm

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pp. 189-196

Guantánamo is still open. Drones keep flying, and more threats loom. Though there was a tremendous euphoria around the election of Barack Obama and a utopian belief that this was, in fact, a transformative moment, his presidency has meant very little to the “War on Terror” and next to nothing for racial injustice—except more of the same. ...

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pp. 197-200

I must first thank my fantastic editor, Richard Morrison, and everyone at the University of Minnesota Press. Thanks so much, Richard—we were on the same page from day one, and I couldn’t have asked for more from you. You are great to work with and brilliant, too! ...


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pp. 201-220


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pp. 221-222


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pp. 223-257

E-ISBN-13: 9780816681815
E-ISBN-10: 0816681813
Print-ISBN-13: 9780816675852

Page Count: 272
Publication Year: 2012