MASS to host Black Muslims in America event

Students participate in the Dia de los Muertos event, Monday Oct. 31, in The Center for Student Inclusion and Diversity office.

For the second consecutive year, Central Michigan University's Multicultural Academic Student Services is sponsoring and hosting, "Black Muslims in America".

The presentation will take place at 6:30 p.m. on Feb 16 in the Center For Student Inclusion and Diversity (room 108) in Bovee University Center. 

The event is free and open to the public. Mahum Hakim, the main creator and project leader of the event said the MASS office received positive feedback from last year's event, so the office decided to hold it again.

She said the presentation is set up as a timeline of how Islam was brought to America, including the Black leaders who helped promote Islam. 

The first notable wave of Islam that came to the United States took place over 400 years ago when enslaved African people were brought the U.S. and 10 to 15 percent of them were Muslim. However, once landing in America, many people were forced into Christianity, making it difficult to maintain Islamic beliefs, PBS said. 

Hakim said this event offers insight into the history of Islam in America, specifically in Black communities.

“A lot of Black communities are very spiritual to this day and I think it's important to understand the roots and diversity of the Black community,” she said. 

With this event taking place during Black History Month, it highlights the diversity Hakim referred to within the Black community, she said. 

Hakim said doing events like this can help break down stigmas surrounding Black Muslim Americans and help better understand the intersectionality — the way these two identities interact with each other in a social setting.