Michael X (1933-1975)

Michael de Frietas, later known as Michael Abdul Malik and Michael X, was a controversial black revolutionary figure born in Port-au-Spain, Trinidad in 1933. He was mixed-race. Iona Brown, his mother, was working-class and a known African spiritualist in their community in Trinidad. His estranged father, Emmanuel de Frietas, was Portuguese and … Read MoreMichael X (1933-1975)

Hubert Brown (H. Rap) /Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin (1943- )

H. Rap Brown succeeded Stokely Carmichael as chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and was a prominent figure in the Black Panther Party. A leading proponent of Black Power and a polarizing media icon, Brown symbolized both the power and the dangers—for white Americans and for radical activists themselves—of the civil rights movement’s new … Read MoreHubert Brown (H. Rap) /Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin (1943- )

The Almoravids/al-Murabitun (1040–1147)

The Almoravids, or al-Murabitun as they called themselves, were an Islamic Berber dynasty that established an empire in Morocco and eventually took it over a wide region of Northwest Africa including modern Morocco, Western Sahara, Mauritania, and part of Algeria.  The emprire stretched as far south … Read MoreThe Almoravids/al-Murabitun (1040–1147)

An American Family’s Multigenerational Rise from Slavery to Harvard University

In the account below, attorney and historian James H. Johnston describes six generations of descendants of Yarrow Mamout, a Muslim slave made famous by Charles Willson Peale’s 1819 painting of him in Georgetown in the District of Columbia.  Johnston’s discussion of the evolution of his … Read MoreAn American Family’s Multigenerational Rise from Slavery to Harvard University

Islam and the African Diaspora in the Indian Ocean World

In the following article historian Omar H. Ali explores a lesser-known aspect of the global African Diaspora, the spread of African peoples and their cultures throughout the Indian Ocean basin. Africans had become a visible part of the Indian Ocean world long before the advent … Read MoreIslam and the African Diaspora in the Indian Ocean World