As-Salaamu alaikum, Something is happening at The Apollo this weekend. IMAN is leading a Youth Movement with Muslims using art as tool of resistance to racism and discrimination. This event will connect American Muslims to their roots in the Afro-American community in Harlem on the ground that has been preserved by great leaders like Mayor Percy Sutton. I’m from New York and I remember Percy Sutton’s campaign for mayor “You’re on the button – with Sutton”. My mother took me to see Bill Cosby live when I was knee-high to a grasshopper and we went into the alley to the backstage door and I got my first autograph from a big name star. As a high school student I saw James Brown and his big band with Maceo Parker and Fred Wesley.
This gathering on the shoulders of the institution that Percy Sutton struggled to maintain from the era of the civil rights struggle until today will host Muslim cultural-warriors who are fighting the civil rights struggle today – the stereotyping of Muslim men, women and youth.
The media needs to give voice to this growing movement lead by cultural artists from the Muslim community; comedian- Preacher Moss-Allah Made Me Funny, from roots of rap, from The Last Poets to Amir Sulaiman, up from hip-hop with artisans like Mos Def and Lupe’ Fiasco.
We need to talk about this movement – A Muslim Cultural non-violent Youth lead resistance to racism, discrimination and oppression. This work will have implications for the de-radicalization of Muslim youth worldwide. The most power tool America has in the world today is its culture. We are exporting the Muslim Youth culture of speaking truth to power with non-violence and this is our contribution to bringing peace to the worldwide jihad that is targeting thw West but that is destroying the Muslim world; from Darfur, Palestine, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Somalia…..
Urban Muslims Use Art to Challenge Stereotypes & Work for Social Change
IMAN at the Apollo: Special Edition of Community Cafe.
WHO: Mos Def, Aasif Mandvi from the Daily Show, HBO Def Jam poets Liza Garza & Amir Sulaiman, Azhar Usman from Allah Made Me Funny and many more nationally recognized Muslim artists
WHERE: The Apollo Theater, Harlem, New York 253 West 125th Street, Harlem, NY
WHEN: Saturday, January 23rd, 2010 at 7:30-10:30pm
WHAT: Over 1,500 people will gather…needs to talk about the event itself.
IMAN will be hosting one of the first Muslim-led art & culture event of its kind at the Apollo Theater, a premiere institution in the Harlem Renaissance and a symbol of America’s rich and diverse cultural history. A diverse crowd of over 1,500 will come together to witness powerful performances that deliver a vast array of stories, sounds, movement and visual art from rich cultures all across the urban Muslim community. IMAN continues the Muslim tradition of creating some of the most powerful artistic movements in the world; movements that celebrate our oneness as humans.
WHY: American Muslims represent many ethnic and cultural traditions, placing them at the forefront in bridging differences between disparate communities. IMAN at the Apollo seeks to do just that by showcasing diverse Muslim artists that speak for empowerment and social change.
HOW: American Muslims will use the arts as a transformative tool to promote social change and bring together diverse communities
The Inner-City Muslim Action Network (IMAN) is a community-based nonprofit that works for social justice, delivers a range of direct services, and cultivates the arts in urban communities. Since 1997, IMAN has engaged the arts as a way to build bridges, increase cross-cultural dialogue and build mutual understanding. Signature arts events include Takin’ it to the Streets and Community Cafe, both based in Chicago and expanding tremendously since their inception.
Inner-City Muslim Action Network (IMAN)
2744 West 63rd Street
Chicago, IL 60629
(773) 434-IMAN; (773) 303-8858 fax
Visit our web site: http://www.imancentral.org
(773) 434-IMAN (day)
(773) 303-8858 (fax)