Prayer, Protest, & Police Brutality: Black Muslim Spiritual Resistance in the Ferguson Era


This article is a localized ethnographic exploration of African American Muslims within the context of a broad and diverse national movement surrounding police violence and related issues of racial justice: “Black Lives Matter.” Through fieldwork conducted simultaneously in physical spaces in the Northeast and Mid‐Atlantic region of the United States and on social media platforms, this work explores some of the internal diversity of Black Lives Matter through a focus on the lived experiences of Black Muslims as they engage with the movement and their unique positioning in relationship with the issues it aims to address. Through attention to the ways that they are rendered doubly liminal and intersectionally impacted as a result of the prevalence of both anti‐Black racism and Islamophobia, police violence as well as faith‐based profiling and surveillance, I examine the fusion of spirituality and protest that informs the worship and activism of my interlocutors, the crafting of protest repertoires that draw upon the legacies of African American freedom struggles and Islamic mandates to social justice for the purposes of resisting, reimagining, and reshaping the marginalization that they experience.

The full article was published in Transforming Anthropology, Vol. 25, Issue 1, (April 2017) and can be accessed here:

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