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Showing posts from July, 2017

Disney's Cars 3 on White Male Privilege, Chauvinism and Supremacy

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We finally watched Cars 3, as a late birthday present to my obsessed three year old. For the past year, Siraj has watched Cars and Cars 2 interchangeably every other day so it was only right that he should see the next installment inside the theater.
Now, I'll admit that I'm not the biggest fan of Disney. There's a lot that can be written about its lack of representation, cultural diversity and privilege (looks sideways at Aladdin). The shows on its cable channel very rarely feature darker skinned girls as the lead of their sitcoms (hi...light skin Privilege) and they turn sadistic plunder into a love story that puts Native Americans and European land raiders on equal levels of ignorance (Pocahontas...Never Forget).
However, of late there seems to be a willingness to get it right (Yasss to China in Descendants, Lupita in Queen of Katwe, and recently, Auil'i Cravalho in Moana). The latter, Moana, hit all the notes in terms of respecting Polynesian culture, language, and u…

I'm A Teacher

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I’m a teacher, I’m suppose to impart knowledge, Give historical analysis, Make your head spin with my Analytical hypothesis.
I teach about the leaders, Pharaohs and Temples, False prophets, Mind boggling inventions The truth spit with the best of intentions.
I make you think critically, Challenge you mentally, Focus on the hypocritical, Western perspective Then I give you a different elective.
But,
It’s not my job to be a preacher, To teach em manners, That ain’t teaching to standards.
Nor is it my job when summer ends, To clean up the dust bunnies with mouse poop blends,
But it begins,
All the things that ain’t my job to do, Are all the things you expect me to,

Passion Economics vs. Apathetic Wealth Building: Navigating College Debt

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I owe well over $100,000 in student loans after obtaining a Bachelor’s Degree and Master’s Degree. I’m not proud of that. At one point, it gave me anxiety to the point where it made me nauseous. Now, not so much.
Lately, I often ask myself, “How did you get here?”
Part of the answer to that question was me growing up poor. For the first twelve years of my life, we lived in the projects. At some point, I became very familiar with how to use my mother’s book of food stamps and patiently waiting in line to receive food from the local foodbank. My grandmother on my mother’s side and my father were both participants at different times in the Great Migration. Our legacy is that of our ancestors first being enslaved and exploited for free labor. Post slavery, it’s migrating to the Northern States for work and/or a better way of life.
Education was always considered a top priority in my household. One of the things my dad always spoke about was the necessity of getting a good education in orde…

Black Muslim Psychology Conference

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This past weekend, I attended the Black Muslim Psychology Conference founded by a stalwart of the Philadelphia Muslim community and someone I consider a friend Kameelah Rashad. The Black Muslim Psychology Conference started out as an idea that Kameelah developed, spurred from the pain of the continual murder of unarmed and innocent Black Men and Women by the hands of those sworn to protect and serve. She knew that the community needed hope and love and community and psychological healing. What better way to do that than a conference for us, by us.
Honestly, I don't know what I was expecting from BMPC but I do know that while words usually come easy to me, putting my experience this weekend to pen was extremely hard. There are so many emotions that I experienced from sadness, to pain, love, awe, despair, gratitude, motivation, and finally but most important, hope. Only a space that has been expressly created for Black Muslim people could do this.

Setting the pace of day one was the…

Modesty for All: Why We Need a New Conversation About Hijab

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It’s not enough to say that Muslim women should cover because Allah commanded it when we’re speaking to teen girls about to embark on the journey of wearing hijab. As parents and elders in the community we must explain the benefits of hijab and the sense of empowerment that comes along with it. As a high school social studies teacher, I have a unique position to be able to ascertain the thoughts and emotions regarding hijab amongst young girls in the community. From those conversations, I’ve learned just how unimaginative and insipid young girls in the community find the discussions of hijab.
After attending/listening to panels or lectures on hijab, it’s easy to understand why many of them feel this way. The reasons given for the merits of wearing hijab tend to be monolithic in nature and oversimplified. While it’s understood that Allah has commanded hijab, we don’t usually go into the benefits and wisdom behind it. Instead, we reduce hijab to sound bites and metaphors of covered loll…