This project involves collecting, digitizing, recording, and storing oral histories and pictures of artifacts that reveal hidden knowledge about the lives of NC Muslim African Americans who converted to the religion of Al-Islam between the late 1950s -2000s. Their stories are different from those given by Muslim immigrants arriving in the United States of America from other countries. This history has not been recorded for posterity, so making their narratives a part of North Carolina's recorded history is crucial. An added benefit is that these stories can help build bridges, dispel myths, and close gaps in understanding Muslim life in the North Carolina.
Data collected will enhance an online exhibit that is currently planned for late spring or early fall of 2021.
Naomi Shakir Feaste is an independent researcher, historian, and curator living in Raleigh, NC. She serves on the advisory board for the annual African American Cultural event and co-curated the 2018 "Building Bridges through Good Faith" exhibit at the Museum of Durham History funded by Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art.
Upon receiving the grant, Naomi wrote: "I am so excited to receive this grant because it will allow me to hold collection days in several North Carolina cities, and it will allow me to produce additional panels for the traveling exhibit that I’m working on for this project."
Funded by Libraries (December 2020)