In this episode of On The Square, Sapelo Square History Editor Zaheer Ali speaks with Sapelo Square Senior Editor and On The Square curator Dr. Su’ad Abdul Khabeer about her latest work, Umi’s Archive. The multimedia research project digs deep into the life of Dr. Su’ad’s mother, Amina Amatul Haqq (neé Audrey Weeks), to explore the meanings of being Black in the world. Dr. Su’ad shares her reasons for assembling and sharing the archive, some of her surprising discoveries, and the importance of archives to telling fuller, more nuanced histories of Black Muslim women and their communities.
To the question, “If Black Islam had a theme song, what would it be?,” Dr. Su’ad chose Suad El-Amin’s “Shahadah.”
Dr. Su’ad Abdul Khabeer, Sapelo Square’s founder and senior editor, is an associate professor of American Culture and Arab and Muslim American Studies at the University of Michigan, and a scholar-artist-activist who uses anthropology and performance to explore the intersections of race and popular culture. Her book, Muslim Cool: Race, Religion and Hip Hop in the United States (NYU Press 2016), is an ethnography on Islam and hip-hop that examines how intersecting ideas of Muslimness and Blackness challenge and reproduce the meanings of race in the U.S. You can learn more about her work at suadabdulkhabeer.com and follow her on Twitter @DrSuad or Instagram @doctasuad.
Opening contains audio from a video performance by Dr. Su’ad Abdul Khabeer, featured in “Why Umi’s Archive?”
This episode includes an excerpt from Suad El-Amin’s “Shahadah.”
On The Square theme music was created by Fanatik OnBeats.
Artwork for On The Square was created by Scheme of Things Graphics.