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Black MeccaThe African Muslims of Harlem$
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Zain Abdullah

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780195314250

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195314250.001.0001

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Prologue: A New Blues People

Prologue: A New Blues People

(p.3) 1 Prologue: A New Blues People
Black Mecca

Zain Abdullah (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

A recent influx of West African immigrants is creating an enclave Harlem residents now call Little Africa. Because most Americans view Islam as an Arab religion, many disregard the Muslim identity of these Black immigrants. Still, Harlem is a Black space where African Muslims represent a new blues people with their own unique story to tell. After providing some background on African Muslims in New York, this chapter discusses the fieldwork, a multisited ethnography covering different locations and communities, and addresses issues of faith, struggle, and the emergence of a new Black Mecca in Harlem, U.S.A.

Keywords:   blues, African Muslim, Islam, story, Black space, fieldwork, multisited ethnography, Harlem, identity

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