5 Black Muslim Creatives You Should Know
Mahershala Ali is one of many Black Muslim creatives changing the game.
Last night was a historical and epic evening for Moonlight. Not only did it take home Best Adapted Screenplay and the coveted Best Picture -- making it the first Best Picture winner with an all-black cast -- but Mahershala Ali, who played 'Juan', also took home a statue for Best Supporting Actor, making him the first Muslim actor to ever win an Oscar.
Given the contributions of black Muslims to the establishment of Islam in America, Ali taking home the statue is bittersweet. Ali is one of many black Muslim creatives who are making strides in the artistic community.
Here are five more black Muslims creatives who are making strides in the entertainment industry that you should definitely know about.
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Originally from the East Bay Area, Nijla Mu'Min is a writer and director who recently finished filming her first narrative Jinn. The UC Berkeley graduate has written for Vice, Bitch Media, Gawker and the Los Angeles Times. She is a Sundance fellow and recipient of a multitude of awards including the 2012 Princess race Foundation - Cary Grant Film Award for her film Deluge and the 2014 Urbanworld Film Festival Grand Jury Prize for Best Screenplay for her script Noor. Nijla is also an art teacher.
Buffalo, NY native Quadir Lateef has been in the Hip Hop game for over a decade. However, since joining the Ruff Ryders, more people have been introduced to the lyrically passionate emcee. Lateef has been releasing quality music for quite some time and is finally beginning to get the recognition he deserves. Check out his Freestyle from Sway In The Morning and his latest single Exorcism produced by Statik Selektah.
If you went to or watched the live stream of the Women's March this past January, then you should know who Alia Sharrief is. She graced the stage decked in black and gold and thoroughly represented for the Black Muslim Women. She is no stranger to the stage. Alia has shared the stage with many a hip hop notable, such as Yasiin Bey, Janelle Monae, and Kendrick Lamar just to name a few. She is also the founder of The Hijabi Chronicles, a website highlighting Muslim in Hip Hop and art. Check out her latest single Don't Forget Me.
If you happened to catch the Porgy and Bess while it was on national tour or even during its broadway revival, then you've definitely seen Sumayya Ali's radiant smile and powerful voice. Playing multiple roles in that production alone, Sumayya has been dazzling broadway audiences with her gorgeous soprano voice. Sumayya made her film debut in Spike Lee's Red Hook Summer and is currently part of the ensemble class of Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812. Check out her performance as Harriet Tubman singing I Am Moses the Liberator.
Leah has been making waves as a model and body positivity activist who has been featured in numerous publications including Buzzfeed. She is also a blogger and author. Leah recently released her first novel Impure, a sci-fi novel about division, inequality, and revolution. She also runs Beauty and The Muse, a style and positivity blog.