Free Essay

The Relation of the Works of African American Authors with Islam

In: English and Literature

Submitted By Hassaant
Words 1255
Pages 6
Ali Alnasfan
Mary Mullalond
English 181
December 3, 2015
Literature Analysis: The Relation of the Works of African American Authors with Islam
The African American literature is full of enthralling stories, poems and riveting facts. The authors and poets have used various themes to express their depression, anger, plea and even hope. In this essay, various themes like racial discrimination, survival, honor and homeland will be discussed. Most of these themes that these authors have used in their work have a direct relation with the religion of Islam. All these themes have been discussed in Islam and the religion has provided answers to these problems.
Following works will be discussed in the essay. 1. If we must die (poem) by Claude McKay 2. A Litany for Survival (poem) by Audre Lorde 3. I have a Dream (speech) by Martin Luther King
Analysis # 1:
If we must Die:
Honor and honorable death is one such theme that is the main focus of the poem, “If we must die” by Claude Mackay. Claude McKay wants his people that are under threat from the white people and are being killed. He wants them to die nobly. Islam has given a huge distinction to the one who dies honorably i.e. in the way of Allah. This means if a person is doing something good, or is on his way to doing a going deed and dies, he dies a martyr. The Prophet [SAW] said: "Whoever fights to protect his wealth and is killed, he is a martyr. Whoever fights to protect himself, he is a martyr. Whoever fights to protect his family is a martyr." ( The sayings of the Holy Prophet of Islam (PBUH), can be related to the deaths of the black people that were killed due to the color of their skin. They are dying protecting their families and their rights. So this is an honorable death, like the poet says, “If we must die—oh, let us nobly die,” (McKay)
The killings of black people in the States was very common till the late 19th century and the use of stated theme by Claude McKay in the poem directly takes the reader into the era where black people were treated like deer and hunted down and killed by the hounds. “Hunted and penned in an inglorious spot, / While round us bark the mad and hungry dogs,” (McKay 1-3 ).So to die honorably and dying doing the right thing and standing up for is the best a person can do.
Analysis # 2:
A Litany for Survival:
The poem “A litany for survival” by Audre Lorde is a poem that uses imagery and discusses themes of survival. The poet through her words wants to give her people hope. The words of the author give the reader a hope, a future full of dreams unlike theirs. “Seeking a now that can breed / futures / like bread in our children's mouths / so their dreams will not reflect / the death of ours” (Lorde 10-14). The use of bread here is like a metaphor, used to describe the healthy future and life full of dreams for the children of now. Another important message given by the poet is to speak up because it is no use living like this. If there is no survival it is better to speak the truth, “and when we speak we are afraid / our words will not be heard / nor welcomed / but when we are silent / we are still afraid / so it is better to speak” (Lorde 38-42). In Islam, Jihad is a holy duty that is to be performed. It has different types, fighting in a battle, with the inner self, but according to the Holy Prophet (PBUH), “Indeed, among the greatest types of Jihad is a just statement before a tyrannical ruler.” ( Audre Lorde through her words wants the people to speak up against the injustice because only then they would be facing up to the tyrants. God helps those who help themselves.
Analysis # 3:
I have a Dream: The third piece that I have chosen to analyze and compare with the teachings of Islam is the speech of one of the most famous black leaders of the twentieth century. Martin Luther King’s address at the Lincoln Memorial in 1963. I have a dream is one of the most famous speeches of this era. It has since been taught in colleges and schools. The feeling of not being accepted and to be treated as slaves in one’s own country is the worst thing a man can endure. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was on the receiving end of such treatment.
So when King uses symbol to define freedom “And so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.” (King) The American Dream is a metaphor for freedom and opportunity that a day will come when all the Americans regardless of their color or creed will be treated as equals and will have equal and same opportunities.
Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) on his last sermon, one of the complete guidelines to life said “All mankind is from Adam and Eve, an Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab nor a non-Arab has any superiority over an Arab; also a white has no superiority over a black nor a black has any superiority over white except by piety and good action.”(Muhammad) This is one of the denouncements of racism and clearly states that superiority is only on the basis of good deeds. All men are born equal and deserve the same rights.
The conflict is evident in this speech given by King and this is an external conflict with the white people. “I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.” (King) He uses imagery and the audience believe that this will happen because of the firm tone of the orator. Martin Luther King had his own unique tone that captured the imaginations of his crowd and followers and he led them to believe that one day they will be equal and have same rights and opportunity at the American Dream.

So, basically most of the black American authors wrote about equality and freedom. They wanted equal opportunities and rights. Islam like all the religions in the worlds gives equal rights to all the human beings regardless of their color or caste. The works of Audre Lorde, speeches by Martin Luther King were all just statements and standing up to the oppressors and wanting equal rights. They have succeeded in doing that and their bravery and work has paid off and so has off the writers of the eras of 1700’s.

Works Cited
Gates, Henry Louis, and Nellie Y McKay. The Norton Anthology Of African American
Literature. 2nd ed. Print.
McKay, Claude. 'If We Must Die | Academy Of American Poets'. N.p., 1919.
Web. 3 Dec. 2015.
Lorde, Audre. 'A Quote From The Black Unicorn'. Goodreads. N.p., 1978. Web. 3 Dec.
King, Martin Luther. "I Have a Dream." March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.
Lincoln Memorial, Washington D.C. 28 Aug. 1963. Speech.
Muhammad, Prophet. 'The Last Sermon'. Speech., 'Sunnah.Com - Sayings And Teachings Of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).
N.p., 2015. Web. 3 Dec. 2015.

Similar Documents

Free Essay

Huntingtons Clash of Civilizations

...Amanda Pritchett Dr. Kenneth Currie ISS- 1200 3 September 2012 Clash of Civilizations “The West won the world not by the superiority of its ideas or values or religion, but rather by its superiority in utilizing organized violence. Westerners often dismiss this fact, non-Westerners never do.” Samuel P. Huntington, Eaton professor of the science of government and director of the John M. Olin Institute for strategic studies at Harvard, wrote a thought-provoking article; “The Clash of Civilizations” was published by Foreign Affairs in the summer of 1993. (Foreign Affairs). Huntington’s article given in nine topics, gives the reader a big-picture look at the world which nerved to imagine that a bi-polar rivalry between communism and capitalism was about to be reinstated by a multi-polar world of contradicting civilizations. He argues that the short-term warfare between ideologies is being replaced by the ancient warfare between civilizations. People’s cultural and religious identities will result in future conflicts. Huntington cautions that all this proposes that there will be cultural clangorings in the future. He says the troubling ones "are likely to arise from the interplay of Western arrogance, Islamic intolerance, and assertiveness." This is indeed a debated statement. Such clangoring’s are by no means an evident necessity, after all. Neither is it at all apparent that in the lack of such exterior issues, Western society would not have very uncompromising internal......

Words: 1392 - Pages: 6

Premium Essay

Multicultural Matrix

...people|What is something you admire about | | |States? |United States? |of this group may practice? |this group’s people, lifestyle, or | | | | | |society? | | |African-American history starts in the 17th |2005 U.S. Census figures, some 39.9 |Grandmother is usually in charge of the |Being a strong, determined people. | | |century with indentured servitude in British |million African Americans live in the |family. Many African Americans are Baptist|Strong family ties even without a | | |America and progresses onto the election of |United States, comprising 13.8% of the |Christians. The African American church is|father in evidence. Artistic talent | | |Barack Obama as the 44th and current |total population |their center focal point of their |Ability to survive. Beauty of their | | |President of the United States. Between those| |communities and homes. Music is very |ancestral culture. |...

Words: 1766 - Pages: 8

Free Essay

Kvinfo Programme

...Christians Brygge 3 1219 København K Denmark KVINFO is the Danish Centre for Information on Gender, Equality and Ethnicity. Since 2006 and with funds from the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, KVINFO has established partnerships with more than 70 partners in the Middle East, North Africa and Denmark with the aim of strengthening gender equality and women’s rights. PROGRAMME WOMEN IN A CHANGING MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA – FACING CHALLENGES AND SEIZING OPPORTUNITIES APRIL 16TH 2012 THE ROYAL LIBRARY, QUEENS HALL COPENHAGEN, DENMARK 09.15-09.45 09.45-10.00 10.00-10.15 10.15-10.35 REGISTRATION AND COFFEE Welcome speech by Director of KVINFO, Ms. Elisabeth Møller Jensen Opening speech by Danish Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Villy Søvndal Special address by Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, Ms. Tawakkul Karman AFTERNOON SESSION 13.45-15.00 “Seizing Change – Who are the promoters of change and how will they drive the agenda for equality and inclusion in the MENA region” Examples of and experiences from successful promotion of equality and women’s rights across the region. Panel of Experts: • Ms. Fatima Sidiqi, Professor of Linguistics and Gender Studies and President of the National Union of Women’s Organizations, Morocco • Ms. Jamila Garmouma, Member of the presidium of the Fédération de la Ligue Démocratique des Droits des Femmes (FLDDF), Morocco • Ms. Nadia Shamroukh, General Manager of the Jordanian Women’s Union, Jordan Ms. Tanya Habjouqa,......

Words: 1253 - Pages: 6

Premium Essay

Hostel Mis

...Baldwin’s nephew on the one hundredth anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation of 1863. Baldwin says that the celebration is a hundred years too early, because black people in America are still not free. He exhorts his nephew to approach life with love, even though he lives in a racist world. In the second essay, “Down at the Cross: Letter from a Region in My Mind,” Baldwin describes his visit to the leader of the Nation of Islam, Elijah Muhammad. Baldwin concludes that he does not agree with the Nation of Islam’s bitter beliefs about white people. In closing, Baldwin says that if Americans stop thinking of the United States as a white nation, it can transform the world. MORE ABOUT THE WRITER When James Baldwin was sixteen, he began one of the most important friendships of his life. As a confused and self-doubting teenager, he needed a mentor, and he found one in Beauford Delaney, a painter who lived in Greenwich Village in New York City. A black man and an artist, Delaney provided Baldwin with a model of how to respond to experience and transform it into works of art. Virtually taking the place of a father, Delaney introduced his young protégé not only to music and art, but also to a wide circle of friends, and Baldwin began to recognize new possibilities for himself. Through Beauford Delaney and his scratchy phonograph recordings, Baldwin became interested in jazz and blues, and he maintained a passion for music throughout his life. He listened to Louis Armstrong, Ella......

Words: 2111 - Pages: 9

Free Essay

Andes Strindberg Journal

...Middle East and beyond. Included among these are the Palestinian rejectionist factions and the Lebanese Hizballah, despite the fact that their roots, worldviews, and agendas are inimical to those of al-Qa`ida. This article argues that the scholarly and political effort to lump together diverse resistance groups into a homogenous “terrorist enemy,” ultimately symbolized by Osama Bin Laden, is part and parcel of neocolonial power politics whereby all “native” struggles against established power structures are placed beyond reason and dialogue. The authors contend that while the Palestinian rejectionist factions and the Lebanese Hizballah may be understood as local representations of the anticolonial “third worldist” movement, al-Qa`ida and its affiliates operate within a “neo–third worldist” framework, a dichotomy that entails tactical and strategic differences, both political and military. The article draws on an extensive series of author interviews with leaders and cadres from Hizballah and the Palestinian factions. In response to al-Qa`ida’s 11 September 2001 attacks, the United States declared war not merely against those who had set upon it, but against an open-ended range of “terrorist organizations and those who harbor and support them.”1 Within two weeks of the attacks, U.S. President George W. Bush informed Congress that the new war “begins with al Qaeda, but . . . will not end until every terrorist group of global reach has been found, stopped, and defeated.”2 The......

Words: 9034 - Pages: 37

Free Essay

Malcolm X motivator, responsible, assertive, self-confidence, firm and task orientate and most of all honesty. Leadership can be defined as a process of social influence in which one person can enlist the aid and support of others in the accomplishment of a common task. Leadership is also a process by which a person influences others to accomplish an objective and directs the organization in a way that makes it more cohesive and coherent. There are certain trait that a good leader must possessed such as excellent communication skills, be direct, be fair, capable and kind yet firm. Good leader also possess certain personal qualities. A good leader needs to have an exemplary character. A good leader should be enthusiastic about their work or cause and also about their role as leader. A good leader should be confident. A leader also needs to function in an orderly and purposeful manner in situations of uncertainty. Good leaders are tolerant of ambiguity and remain calm, composed and steadfast to the main purpose. A good leader always keeping the main goal in focus is able to think analytically. A good leader is committed to excellence ((White, n.d.). Leaders also exhibit certain type leadership behavior such as directive, supportive, participative, or charismatic. Malcolm X possesses most of these trait...

Words: 4864 - Pages: 20

Free Essay

Religious Conversion On behalf of: Association for Assessment in Counseling and Education Additional services and information for Social Compass can be found at: Email Alerts: Subscriptions: Reprints: Permissions: Citations: >> Version of Record - Sep 1, 1999 What is This? Downloaded from at University of Zambia on March 22, 2014 Social Compass 46(3), 1999, 259–271 Lewis R. RAMBO Theories of Conversion: Understanding and Interpreting Religious Change The author explores the nature of theory and provides an overview of resources for the study of conversion to Islam. Theory is valuable in so far as it illuminates different aspects of a phenomenon. Various theoretical approaches include some dimensions and exclude others. Scholars of conversion must be aware of theoretical issues and systematically utilize theoretical options with sophistication. Such an approach will expand understanding of conversion and also enhance comparative studies of conversion. Theoretical orientations considered in this paper include: globalization, post-colonial, feminist, cross-cultural, religious/spiritual, intellectualist, narrative, identity, ritual, psychoanalytic, archetypal, attribution, attachment, process/stage, and Islamization theory. L’auteur analyse et offre...

Words: 5949 - Pages: 24

Premium Essay

Effects of Sterotyping uphold the law, not to break it. Although stereotyping is not against the law, police officers have taken an oath to protect all human beings, regardless of their race or religion and stereotyping based on religion should not take place. Just because an individual is of a certain race does not give us the right to stereotype them as a bad human being. Thus stereotyping one’s religious beliefs is wrong, and it goes against what America is all about, that everyone is equal. The book American Dervish is a perfect example of diversity and religion in the United States. The book is good but some of the characters the author creates who are practicing Muslims or depicting themselves as practicing are all mostly hypocrites and also called out as sheep who cannot think for themselves. I almost wanted to take offense to this and say that the author shouldn’t make Muslims look that bad, but I realized that Ayad Akhtar did not set out to tell us a politically correct story about Islam and Muslims....

Words: 2392 - Pages: 10

Free Essay

Hate Crimes

...Hate Crimes in American Society in the Twentieth and Twenty-first Centuries Sample Student Research Paper Project of Sociology Table of Contents I. Thesis Statement…………………………………………….………….....Page 4 II. Introduction and Summary………………………………….………….....Page 4 III. Literature Review………………………………………………………....Page 6 IV. Methods………………………………………………………….......….. Page 16 V. Socio-Historical Analysis………………………………………………. .Page 18 A. 20th Century 1. Lynching 2. Ku Klux Klan 3. Rodney King and the Los Angeles Riots 4. Matthew Shepard B. 21st Century 1. Post 9/11 2. Jena Six VI. Cause and Effect Analysis…………………………………………… ....Page 24 A. Causes 1. Prejudice a. Stereotypes b. Scapegoats c. Presence of Hate in American Culture d. Need for Status and Power 2. Reasons for Crime a. Sending a Message b. Thrill Seeking c. Defensive B. Effects 1. Psychological Trauma 2. Undo Social Progress 3. Community Unrest 4. Threat of Retaliation VII. Descriptive Analysis……………………………………………….........Page 30 A. Description of Victims 1. Bias against a Particular Race 2. Bias against a Particular Religion 3. Bias against a Particular Sexual Orientation 4. Bias against a Particular Ethnicity/National Origin 5. Bias against a Disability B. Description of Offenses and Offenders This must be your new section? VIII. Comparative Analysis…………………………………………………. Page 36 A. United States Justice Department Definition of Hate Crime B. International......

Words: 11067 - Pages: 45

Premium Essay

Unethical Practice

...ethics" (based on the Quran) and is prohibited from "exploitative practices" (including the charging of interest). According to Islamic banking proponents, this allows banking to be an integral part of a moral society (governed by the Quran). In contrast, they believe capitalism is solely focused on money (profit) and this incites greed and the exploitation of others, which leads to the social problems in the West, including the division of classes and unequal distribution of wealth. They also believe the Islamic banking model would rid the West of these social problems and bring about a more equitable and fair society. Many of the scholars and clerics who sit on these Islamic Banking Advisory Boards come from the more radical elements of Islam, and the educational centers that promote and encourage violence against the...

Words: 5049 - Pages: 21

Premium Essay

Religion, Fundamentalism and Ethnicity a Global Perspective

...documents circulated in a limited number of copies to stimulate discussion and critical comment. The United Nations Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD) is an autonomous agency engaging in multidisciplinary research on the social dimensions of contemporary problems affecting development. Its work is guided by the conviction that, for effective development policies to be formulated, an understanding of the social and political context is crucial. The Institute attempts to provide governments, development agencies, grassroots organizations and scholars with a better understanding of how development policies and processes of economic, social and environmental change affect different social groups. Working through an extensive network of national research centres, UNRISD aims to promote original research and strengthen research capacity in developing countries. Current research themes include: Crisis, Adjustment and Social Change; Socio-Economic and Political Consequences of the International Trade in Illicit Drugs; Environment, Sustainable Development and Social Change; Integrating Gender into Development Policy; Participation and Changes in Property Relations in Communist and Post-Communist Societies; and Political Violence and Social Movements. UNRISD research projects focused on the 1995 World Summit for Social Development included Rethinking Social Development in the 1990s; Economic Restructuring and Social Policy; Ethnic Diversity and Public Policies;......

Words: 19278 - Pages: 78

Premium Essay


...A religion is an organized collection of beliefs, cultural systems, and world views that relate humanity to an order of existence.[note 1] Many religions have narratives, symbols, and sacred histories that aim to explain the meaning of life, the origin of life, or the Universe. From their beliefs about the cosmos and human nature, people may derive morality, ethics, religious laws or a preferred lifestyle. Many religions may have organized behaviors, clergy, a definition of what constitutes adherence or membership, holy places, and scriptures. The practice of a religion may include rituals, sermons, commemoration or veneration (of a deity, gods, or goddesses), sacrifices, festivals, feasts, trances, initiations, funerary services, matrimonial services, meditation, prayer, music, art, dance, public service, or other aspects of human culture. Religions may also contain mythology.[1] The word religion is sometimes used interchangeably with faith or set of duties;[2] however, in the words of Émile Durkheim, religion differs from private belief in that it is "something eminently social".[3] A global 2012 poll reports 59% of the world's population as "religious" and 36% as not religious, including 13% who are atheists, with a 9% decrease in religious belief from 2005.[4] On average, women are "more religious" than men.[5] Some people follow multiple religions or multiple religious principles at the same time, regardless of whether or not the religious principles they follow......

Words: 7947 - Pages: 32

Premium Essay

International Business

...Quazi Tasnim Hasan ID # 112 111 051 Assignment No. 4 What is economic integration? For the Last 65 years, the world has undergone significant changes. The decade of the 1970s was dominated by the two energy crises. Industrial economies were faced with a new “enemy”: stagflation—a combination of high inflation and unemployment. Developing countries were increasingly becoming more dependent on foreign borrowing and centrally planned economies were unable to secure economic growth. Furthermore, the world witnessed a radical transformation during the past two decades. The greatest economic experiment of the twentieth century was the movement from communism to a market economy, which began in Mikhail Gorbachev’s Russia in the mid-1980s, and then spread to Eastern Europe at the beginning of the 1990s and to China later on during the same decade. Although the transition to a free market has led to disappointing outcomes, most Eastern Europe countries have concentrated on integrating their economies with Europe and on becoming part of the EU. All these events led to the world becoming more and more global in nature and to defining globalization as a closer economic integration among nations through increased trade and capital flows. It also refers to labor movement and technology transfer across international borders as well as cultural and political issues, which are beyond the scope of this chapter. Globalization is the result of technological processes occurring mainly in the...

Words: 8839 - Pages: 36

Premium Essay

Emerging Adulthood

...Biological Sciences (BIOS) | 100 | Biology of Cells and Organisms | 5 hours | 101 | Biology of Populations and Communities | 5 hours | 104 | Life Evolving | 5 hoursg | | | | Chemistry (CHEM) | 100 | Chemistry and Life | 5 hoursg | 112 | General College Chemistry I | 5 hours | 114 | General College Chemistry II | 5 hours | 116 | Honors General Chemistry I | 5 hours | 118 | Honors General Chemistry II | 5 hours | 130 | Survey of Organic and Biochemistry | 5 hours | | | | Computer Science (CS) | 100 | Discovering Computer Science | 3 hoursh | | | | Earth and Environmental Sciences (EAES) | 101 | Global Environmental Change | 4 hours | 111 | Earth, Energy, and the Environment | 4 hours | 200 | Field Work in Missouri | 2 hours | | | | Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) | 115 | Introduction to Electrical and Computer Engineering | 4 hours | | | | Honors College (HON) | 130 | Honors Core in Analyzing the Natural World and Understanding the Individual and Society | 3 hoursbh | 131 | Honors Core in Analyzing the Natural World and Understanding the Past | 3 hoursch | 132 | Honors Core in...

Words: 8029 - Pages: 33

Free Essay

Ap Hug

...bordered by Turkey on the north, Lebanon and Israel on the west, Iraq on the east, and Jordan on the south. It consists of mountain ranges in the west, the Syrian Desert in the east, and the Jabal al-Druze Range in the south. 3. Syria is closest to the Mediterranean Sea and the Indian Ocean. 4. Syria is located in the Western Asia region. 5. What I know about Syria is that is holds a certain religious standing in my life. I visit Syria because of certain mausoleums that are currently over there. I also know that Syria’s government is republic under an authoritarian regime. I also do know that although Syria does consume a lot of oil, they do try to use renewable energy such as hydroelectric power. 1. Kigali, Rwanda is on the African continent. 2. The countries that border Rwanda are Uganda, which is located to the north, Tanzania, which is located to the east, Burundi, which is located to the south, and the Democratic Republic of Congo, which is located to the west of Rwanda. 3. There are a couple of lakes that are near Rwanda but the closest major body of water is the Indian Ocean and the Red Sea. 4. Rwanda is located in both east and central Africa because it runs through the equator. 5. There are a few events that come to mind when...

Words: 5744 - Pages: 23