zohalsarwari

Malcolm X at a meeting in Paris, November 23, 1964

  • White interviewer: If it was our white ancestors who bought you and enslaved you, we are their children. We are the new generation. Why don't you call us your brothers?
  • Malcolm X: A man has to act like a brother before you can call him a brother. You made a very good point, really, that needs some clarification. If you are the son of the man who had a wealthy estate and you inherit your father's estate, you have to pay off the debts that your father incurred before he died. The only reason that the present generation of white Americans are in the position of economic strength that they are is because their fathers worked our fathers for over 400 years with no pay. For over 400 years we worked for nothing. We were sold from plantation to plantation like you sell a horse, or a cow, or a chicken, or a bushel of wheat. It was your fathers who did it to our fathers, and all of that money that piled up from the sale of my mother and my grandmother and my great-grandmother is what gives the present generation of American whites [the ability] to walk around the earth with their chest out; you know, like they have some kind of economic ingenuity. Your father isn't here to pay his debts. My father isn't here to collect. But I'm here to collect and you're here to pay.
navigatethestream

Although the Quran “[a]llows a believer to abstain from fasting if he or she is far from home or involved in strenuous work,” many enslaved Muslims demonstrated transcendent piety by choosing to fast while bonded. In addition to abstaining from food and drink, enslaved Muslims held holy month prayers in slave quarters, and put together iftars - meals at sundown to break the fast - that brought observing Muslims together. These prayers and iftars violated slave codes restricting assembly of any kind.

For instance, the Virginia Slave Code of 1723 considered the assembly of five slaves as an “unlawful and tumultuous meeting”, convened to plot rebellion attempts. Every state in the south codified similar laws barring slave assemblages, which disparately impacted enslaved African Muslims observing the Holy Month.

Therefore, practicing Islam and observing Ramadan and its fundamental rituals, for enslaved Muslims in antebellum America, necessitated the violation of slave codes. This exposed them to barbaric punishment, injury, and oftentimes, even death. However, the courage to observe the holy month while bonded, and in the face of grave risk, highlights the supreme piety of many enslaved Muslims.

Ramadan was widely observed by enslaved Muslims. Yet, this history is largely ignored by Muslim American leaders and laypeople alike - and erased from the modern Muslim American narrative.

watanafghanistan

watanafghanistan:

Attan is a form of dance that originated in the Pashtun regions of Afghanistan and Pakistan. Some styles of Attan portray themes of war while others portray celebration, especially for events such as marriage, engagements, family gatherings and also as a prelude to the arrival of spring. The performance of the Attan dance in the open air has long been customary in the Afghan culture . In Afghanistan each valley has its own unique style. Performed in a large circle to the accompaniment of drums and pipes, the dance begins slowly but grows in momentum without a break except for changes in tempo or changes in song. Its duration differs - anywhere from 5 to 25 minutes. Formerly a Pashtun ethnic dance, it is now considered the national dance of Afghanistan.

The dance by itself is believed to have originated from the Greek Pyrrhic dance, performed for the Greek goddess Athena.

image


[wikipedia]

smithsonianmag
smithsonianmag:

The Architectural Origins of the Chess Set
Prior to 1849, there was no such thing as a “normal chess set.” At least not like we think of it today. Over the centuries that chess had been played, innumerable varieties of sets of pieces were created, with regional differences in designation and appearance. As the game proliferated throughout southern Europe in the early 11th century, the rules began to evolve, the movement of the pieces were formalized, and the pieces themselves were drastically transformed from their origins in 6th century India. Originally conceived of as a field of battle, the symbolic meaning of the game changed as it gained popularity in Europe, and the pieces became stand-ins for a royal court instead of an army. Thus, the original chessmen, known as counselor, infantry, cavalry, elephants, and chariots, became the queen, pawn, knight, bishop, and rook, respectively. By the 19th century, chess clubs and competitions began to appear all around the world, it became necessary to use a standardized set that would enable players from different cultures to compete without getting confused.
In 1849, that challenge would be met by the “Staunton” Chess Set.
The Staunton chess pieces are the ones we know and love today, the ones we simply think of as chess pieces. Prior to its invention, there were a wide variety of popular styles in England, such as The St George, The English Barleycorn, and the Northern Upright. To say nothing of the regional and cultural variations. But the Staunton quickly would surpass them all. Continue reading at Smithsonian.com.
Photo by Flickr user Mukumbura

smithsonianmag:

The Architectural Origins of the Chess Set

Prior to 1849, there was no such thing as a “normal chess set.” At least not like we think of it today. Over the centuries that chess had been played, innumerable varieties of sets of pieces were created, with regional differences in designation and appearance. As the game proliferated throughout southern Europe in the early 11th century, the rules began to evolve, the movement of the pieces were formalized, and the pieces themselves were drastically transformed from their origins in 6th century India. Originally conceived of as a field of battle, the symbolic meaning of the game changed as it gained popularity in Europe, and the pieces became stand-ins for a royal court instead of an army. Thus, the original chessmen, known as counselor, infantry, cavalry, elephants, and chariots, became the queen, pawn, knight, bishop, and rook, respectively. By the 19th century, chess clubs and competitions began to appear all around the world, it became necessary to use a standardized set that would enable players from different cultures to compete without getting confused.

In 1849, that challenge would be met by the “Staunton” Chess Set.

The Staunton chess pieces are the ones we know and love today, the ones we simply think of as chess pieces. Prior to its invention, there were a wide variety of popular styles in England, such as The St George, The English Barleycorn, and the Northern Upright. To say nothing of the regional and cultural variations. But the Staunton quickly would surpass them all. Continue reading at Smithsonian.com.

Photo by Flickr user Mukumbura