By Zain Abdullah
The adjustments to U.S. immigration legislations that have been instituted in 1965 have resulted in an inflow of West African immigrants to manhattan, growing an enclave Harlem citizens now name ''Little Africa.'' those immigrants are instantly recognizable as African of their wide-sleeved gowns and tasseled hats, yet so much native-born individuals of the neighborhood are blind to the an important function Islam performs in immigrants' lives. Zain Abdullah takes us contained in the lives of those new immigrants and indicates how they take care of being a double minority in a rustic the place either blacks and Muslims are stigmatized. facing this twin identification, Abdullah discovers, is very complicated. a few longtime citizens include those immigrants and spot their arrival as a chance to reclaim their African historical past, whereas others see the immigrants as scornful invaders. In flip, African immigrants usually take a very harsh view in their new acquaintances, procuring into the worst stereotypes approximately American-born blacks being lazy and incorrigible. And whereas there has lengthy been a wide Muslim presence in Harlem, and citizens usually see Islam as a strength for social strong, African-born Muslims see their Islamic id left out via such a lot in their friends. Abdullah weaves jointly the tales of those African Muslims to color a desirable portrait of a community's efforts to carve out house for itself in a brand new state.
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Extra info for Black Mecca: The African Muslims of Harlem
Despite the men’s harrowing ordeal, reports indicated that they were in remarkably good shape, with only one or two needing to be hospitalized. 9 This story demonstrates that migration involves more than the mere abandonment of poor material conditions in one country and access to better ones in another. 10 II During 2006 alone, nearly thirty thousand Africans emigrated illegally to the Spanish Canary Islands. 11 Such migrants endure multiple hazards, such as arduous treks on dangerous roads and through scorching deserts, rough sea voyages with barbarous passeurs or human trafﬁckers, and, ﬁnally, formidable patrols on both sides of the African-Spanish border.
With Europe in such close 24 black mecca proximity, African migrants have tried to use small ﬁshing boats, pateras, with the intention of sailing through the channel undetected. The new patrolling equipment has lessened their chances of success, and many have been arrested attempting illegal entry. Even on the rare occasions when these tiny boats survive the deadly waters, African expatriates sometimes die at the hands of smugglers, who may force passengers overboard to avoid being caught by authorities.
Khady boasts today, her face humbly beaming. “It was my dream to take care of my mother and brothers and sisters. ”31 The anecdotal accounts from African men and women such as Moustafa and Khady are revealing but not for the obvious reasons. In other words, the recollections of their early life in Senegal, the details of their stories, matter less than the meanings they draw from them. Not only do these narratives speak volumes about how they imagine home, but they also provide clues about how these images shape their identities in the diaspora, including what still matters to them and in what contexts.