Assalamu aleikum. Jumah Mubarak!
I got a shout out by sister Umm Juwayriyah, Author of The Size of a Mustard Seed , with many other talented Black Muslim Writers masha’Allah, alhamdullilah. We’re on the road to fight the single story problem insha’Allah ;). Check it out here or below!
“Recently, a friend asked me, “Where are all the Black Muslim authors?” I quickly rattled off names of author friends that I knew of that were publishing new reading material or had already published solid works. The problem was that my own list was quite slim, but at least I had some names to give her. As the evening wore on, the sting of that question lingered. I decided to embark on some research. I was curious to uncover the cause for why my friend was having such a hard time finding books written by Muslims that looked like her – like me. I opened two new webpages: Google and Amazon.com. I started typing in different strings of words. Time and time again, the results on both sites turned up few and unreliable content. Exasperated, I was forced to echo my friend’s exact same words, “Where are all the Black Muslim Authors?”
Four hours into my search, the haze of under-representation began to break up and I began to net some real book jewels out there. What I learned is that there are some factors preventing readers from finding Black Muslim authors. Factor #1, there isn’t a black Muslim author category out there. Unless, the author is New York Times bestseller, we are always tucked into the corners and crevices of bookstores online and off. Define your search properly and you will net better results. If you are looking for black Muslim authors who have published cookbooks, you need to jump right into the Cookbooks, Food, and Wine section on Amazon, check out their new releases in the last 90 days and then hit their search tool with tags to further narrow down your results. If you know the name of the author you are looking for, that’s even better. Type the name into the search bar and you’re there. Amazon will suggest further reading from authors that are similar to the author that you are viewing.
Factor #2 is mostly a good thing and that is that a lot of Black Muslim authors are self publishing. Black Muslim authors are jumping into the market and infusing genres that lack diversity with representations that are by us for us. Black Muslim authors are relying on Facebook pages, Instagram accounts, Twitter, and good ole’ hustling outside masajid, in bazaars at Islamic conferences, at cookouts, fish frys, and other Muslim attended functions to spread the word about their publications and make sales. But let’s keep it real, there is a downside to self-publishing, albeit small, It can present some challenges. Often times Black Muslim self-publishers won’t have a large budget for marketing to create a huge buzz to properly let you know where to find and support them. Also, they may not find as much support within the Muslim community or at masajid to promote their works.
Staying in the know about any Muslim and Islamic authors and their books takes some elbow grease. Muslim readers have to be proactive. Some ways to stay informed are to join mailing lists, search Facebook and Twitter groups for Muslim authors. AfricanAmericanMusilmAuthors on Facebook is a great place for readers to find new literature and poetry by Black Muslim authors.
So now finally, let’s get to the fruits of my labor! Here are 30 + books by Black Muslim Authors you ought to have on your bookshelves like right now:
1. Love In Ramadan by Tohib Adejumo. Adejumo’s first published work. You can keep up with his short stories on his blog tohibadejumo.com and you can pick up Love In Ramadan at Amazon.com.
3. The Ramadan Survival Guide by Mubarakah Ibrahim aka the Fit Muslimah. Ya’ll know this sister! Alhamduleelah, from exercising in hijab, to cooking healthy meals, to motivational speaking – Mubarakah has been on it for years. Mubarakah has plenty of books and even work out videos and gear for you to cop. But if you must choose just one of her books, The Ramadan Survival Guide should be it! Filled with great fitness and health advice in order to survive and soar through one of the great pillars of Islam: Fasting. Find Mubarak at fitmuslimah.com and get her book on Amazon.com