Being Black And Muslim

A poem by Hodan Khalif @sprinklesofblack
Being black and muslim,
Is more than the media labeling my brother a thug for his skin,
And my sister a terrorist for the scarf around her head,
It is more than my mother’s prayer every time we leave home and the relief that flashes in her eyes when we return safely in the evening,
Being black and muslim,
Means I am the least listened to yet the most discussed,
That my spine is made of steel and resilience that I can no longer question,
That I must hold all my pain in my throat,
Let it form its unmoving lump like a cancer,
Being black and muslim,
Means not ever fully being black or ever fully being muslim,
But occupying a vacuum in between,
Full of broken question marks because none of my identities will ever fully claim me,
It is my birth determining my death,
It is the truth behind “random searches”,
It is news outlets always labeling me as the enemy when I am a victim,
Being black and Muslim makes me a society taboo,
Makes my skin a sign of promiscuous behavior,
And my hijab a sign of oppression,
It is having one foot in my grave and the other in an interrogation room because I am always guilty until proven innocent – the black Muslim,
It is my white teacher pronouncing Jean Jacques but never Hodan Khalif,
It is you all waiting for this poem to take a 180 into a happy ending,
It is me thinking which will kill my brothers first? The police or a white man?
And that maybe they’re just synonyms in a grammar book,
It is me thinking my sisters are safe if they don’t wear a hijab because they’re “light skin enough” to not identify as black,
It is me believing my mother would be happier if she didn’t have a black husband and children to grieve for while they’re living,
Being black and Muslim,
Is the sin society has created for us,
We live by it’s charades,
So we all take the cards we are dealt,
Mine are black and Muslim.
  1. Maryam A

    February 13, 2019 2:26 pm

    So powerful! 💜

  2. Nour

    February 13, 2019 7:20 pm

    This!!!!! ❤️❤️

  3. Julie

    February 14, 2019 12:35 am

    This was very beautiful and heartbreaking. Thank you for your honest.

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