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Mansa Bilal Mark King, Ph.D.

I teach students who are primarily African American, and the vast majority of those are specifically Blackamerican (as opposed to being of recent Afro-Latino, Afro-Caribbean, Afro-Asiatic, or African immigrant background).

This booklist is minimally useful for my classes because, aside from the standard Malcolm X, it has nothing about the +1,000 years of Muslim narratives that are rooted in Sub-Saharan West African cultures. Even stories of Habesha, the Swahili coast, etc. can resonate with my students, who have to learn about Muslims as part of themselves (i.e. their African ancestors and cousins).

To start you off, let me suggest Alex Haley's "Roots." Many students will try to watch the TV series instead of reading the book. However, once you have read the first 250 pages, it is very easy to see how to reward the readers for reading.

Also, let me point towards two very imperfect, but nevertheless important books by Maryse Conde' entitled: "Segu," and "The Children of Segu." These are the only books that I have found which deal with West Africa's complex history of Islamic identity and community, and its links to the African Diaspora in America.

Another book in this line has been presented to me as a novel companion to Rudolph "Bilal" Ware's scholarly book "The Walking Qur'an." The author is Kaaronica Evans-Ware, and her book is "Fire & Clay: Book One." I have yet to read her book, but I have read his book. So, I am excited.

dennis gregory

great works.


The best way to teaching religion is to make them learn about other religions will always make them good human being otherwise orthodoxy will prevail without referensive studies

Rebecca Hankins

I will second Prof. King's suggestions and add Steven Barnes's two novels Lion's Blood and Zulu Heart. You can also add the flawed only work of historical fiction by Prof. Ali Mazrui's The Trial of Christopher Okigbo. I've shared and written on all three books.

Irfan Yusuf

As an award-winning Australian writer, I think your students need to read more widely.

Matthew Ingalls

I might recommend Saleh's "Wedding of Zein" in place of Seasons of Migration. There is a great guide on how to teach it in Wheeler's (ed.) Teaching Islam. I also loved to teach Zeitoun in the past, but it's become tricky in more recent years after what the protagonist Zeitoun did following the book's publication.

Youshaa Patel

Thank you for your constructive feedback on this list, which, by no means, is meant to be a comprehensive or definitive list of global Muslim experiences, past and present. It represents what I have used in my courses to date, with a bias towards novels, and will surely evolve as time passes. Besides the experiences of Muslims in subsaharan Africa, the experiences of Muslims in South and Southeast Asia (ideally) need to be represented as well. I should add that student feedback on the books mentioned above has been very positive.

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