How are black Muslims reinvigorating poetry in the US?

In an ever-changing and uncertain world where people are deluged with information, poetry retains its unique capacity to make the personal political and give voice to marginalized individuals and communities. Interest in the art form is reaching new heights, with the number of people in the US reading poetry almost doubling over the last five years.

Young black Muslims are in the vanguard of those presenting compelling poetry to new audiences. A trio of young artists will highlight the emotional power of poetry in a special episode of The Stream. Tariq Touré is a Baltimore-born writer whose work examines topics as varied as social justice, arts and sports, and black Muslim experiences. In his latest collection ‘2 Parts Oxygen’ Tariq explores questions of family and faith. Sadiyah Bashir is a two-time youth Grand Slam champion – her most recent book ‘Seven’ surveys the stresses and strains that contemporary society places on black Muslim women, yet also offers a spirited message on how to prevail against the odds. Mohamed Tall is 2017 Baltimore City Youth Poet Laureate and the 2016 Grand Slam champion. His poetry examines the power of protest and his experience of life as a young black Muslim in the US. As a breathless year draws to a close Tariq, Sadiyah and Mohamed will reflect on and share their motivations, influences and the artistic challenges they have faced and overcome.

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