Black Star, Crescent Moon
The Muslim International and Black Freedom beyond America
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
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Title Page, Copyright
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INTRODUCTION: An Empire State of Mind
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...the forty-fourth president of the United States. On that day, perfectlyplanned to coincide with the national celebration of the Martin LutherKing Jr. holiday, more people gathered in Washington, D.C., than forany other event or protest in the nation’s history, eclipsing even theoriginal March on Washington, which Dr. King made as the highpoint...
1. "You Remember Dien Bien Phu!" Malcolm X and the Third World Rising
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...“I am a citizen of Asia.” So read the draft card for Malcolm X uponhis induction into the Korean War. Malcolm didn’t burn his draft card,as many would later. Instead, he used it as his declaration of indepen-dence. And when asked if he had filed a declaration to become a citizenof the United States, he replied, “No.” Hip-hop’s natural mystic Rakim...
2. To the East, Blackwards: Black Power, Radical Cinema, and the Muslim Third World
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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 con-tinue throughout his brilliant career, saw this national adventure as...
3. Return of the Mecca: Public Enemies, Reaganism, and the Birth of Hip-Hop
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...by the influence of Islam well before the idea of 9/11. But this time itwas through hip-hop culture. For Muslim MCs in the 1980s, New YorkCity and its surroundings were reclaimed by its Black inhabitants inmore ways than one. In the lexicon and imagination of Black Islam,New York was rechristened via Islam’s holiest sites, with Harlem be-...
4. "Ghost in the House": Muhammad Ali and the Rise of the "Green Menace"
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In October 1970, in his first fight back after his ban from boxing forrefusing to fight in the Vietnam War, Muhammad Ali walked out of thedressing room and toward the ring to fight Jerry Quarry, with Ali’scharismatic cornerman, Bundini Brown, shouting, “Ghost in the house!Ghost in the house!” That Ali was fighting a white boxer in his first...
5. Protect Ya Neck: Global Incarceration, Islam, and the Black Radical Imagination
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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 re -cently been arrested and charged with killing a police officer in Georgia.Using hip-hop as a vehicle, artists such as Mos Def, Talib Kweli, Jurassic5, Dilated Peoples, and Zion I, along with numerous others, sought to...
EPILOGUE: War, Repression, and the Legacy of Malcolm
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...loom. Though there was a tremendous euphoria around the election ofBarack Obama and a utopian belief that this was, in fact, a transforma-tive moment, his presidency has meant very little to the “War on Terror”and next to nothing for racial injustice—except more of the same. Obamatried to capitalize on the euphoria early in his presidency, in June 2009,...
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I must first thank my fantastic editor, Richard Morrison, and everyoneat the University of Minnesota Press. Thanks so much, Richard—wewere on the same page from day one, and I couldn’t have asked for morefrom you. You are great to work with and brilliant, too! To all the re -viewers of this manuscript who helped to make it better: thanks for the...
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...1. Dianne Feinstein, “Opening Welcome Remarks at the 2009 PresidentialInauguration,” speech given in Washington, D.C., January 20, 2009.2. Malcolm X, “The Ballot or the Bullet,” speech given in Detroit, April3. See Michael Eric Dyson, I May Not Get There with You: The True Martin4. See Robin D. G. Kelley, Yo’ Mama’s Disfunktional! Fighting the Culture...
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An earlier version of chapter 2 was published as “To the East, Black-counters in Sam Greenlee’s Baghdad Blues,” Souls 8, no. 3 (Fall 2006):An earlier version of chapter 3 was published as “War at 33 1/3: Hip-Hop, the Language of the Unheard, and the Afro-Asian Atlantic,” inThe Vinyl Ain’t Final: Hip Hop and the Globalization of Black Popular Cul-...
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Sohail Daulatzai is associate professor of film and media studiesand African American studies at the University of California, Irvine.He is coeditor (with Michael Eric Dyson) of Born to Use Mics: Reading...
Page Count: 272
Publication Year: 2012