Tag Archives: Slavery

The Bilal Movie: Why it still reinforces the Slave-Narrative of Black-People.

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The Bilāl Movie is actually a Sucka-Emcee Production: Bilāl ibn-Rabāh (May Allah be pleased with him) actually was Arab via his Father Rabāh, from Banī-Jumah, one of the Families of Quraysh, making Bilāl Tribally-Related to Muhammad (Peace be upon him).(The Sealed-Nectar) The mere fact that Rabāh is neither casted, mentioned, nor even referenced directly/by Name within the Film truly says a lot, as per the Agenda of the Producers of this Film: to do exactly what the Pagan Arabs did to Bilāl, which was to deny him his Arabness & replace it with Blackness. I’ll speak more on this-The Reason why Blackness was imposed upon Bilāl is because as a Slave (prior to his Liberation) he had 0-Rights, not even the Right to lay claim to his own Paternal Arab-Genealogy. This, of course, was due to the fact that the Arabs possessed immense disdain for Abyssinia/Ancient-Ethiopia & its People, resulting from the generational Military-Conflicts between them, based upon religio-political & socio-economic dominance in the region, which of course was imposed upon Bilāl, by virtue of him having an Abyssinian-Mother.

The Political-Discord between the Arabs & Abyssinians occured as a result of the Abyssinians of Yemen, then a Colony of Abyssinia, wanting to divert Commerce from al-Makkah to Yemen via making a Church named al-Qullays: a Mock-Ka`​bah, to draw Pilgrims to make al-Hajj/Pilgrimage in Yemen as opposed to al-Makkah. Once the Quraysh learned of this, a Man went to Yemen and desecrated this Church, infuriating the People of Yemen, thereby inciting War…this became known as the War of the Elephant. After the War/Year of the Elephant, which an Abyssinian-Army with an Elephant-Cavalry failed to invade/conquer al-Makkah and were defeated (resulting from Allah casting upon them Flocks of Birds dropping Sijjīl/Firery-Stones [Noble-Qur’ān: Chpt.105; at-Tabarī; as-Suyūtī]), in retaliation, the Arabs of al-Makkah: the Quraysh & their many Allies in turn invaded Yemen. When this happened, countless Abyssinians were captured by the Arabs, including the Mother of Bilāl, Hammāmah, of Abyssinian-Royalty, and Human-Trafficked to al-Makkah-These People became Slaves.(ibn-Ishāq, at-Tabarī, as-Suyūtī) And, this is actually why Bilāl ibn-Rabāh was referred to in a disrespectful way, by Abī-Dharr al-Ghifārī (May Allah be pleased with him)…by the way: the Narration never textually states that he called Bilāl “Son of a Black-Woman”…that was a Commentative Add-On, as is commonly told concerning this Story. This is exclusively based upon Scholastic-Conjecture on part of al-Bukhārī, which this Add-On exists within his Hadīth-Collection of Sahīh-il-Bukhārī.(Fath-ul-Bārī, ibn-Hajr) Ironically, even Abā-Dharr al-Ghifārī is described as being a “Black-Man”, relative to his Dark-Skin.(ibn-Ishāq, at-Tabarī, as-Suyūtī, Muslim, ibn-Sa`d, adh-Dhahabī, http://www.alajamwalarab.com)

This Film also (subliminally) simply is a Muslim-Version of 12-Years A Slave: it reinforces Subserviance, Destitution, Acceptance of Slave-Culture, etc. Why is it that Bilāl is the only “Black-Companion” highlighted/depicted in Film, Narrative, etc. as “the Slave/Ex-Slave”?!!! Why is it that none of Bilāl’s Military/Statesmanhood Accomplishments are ever highlighted/detailed in Film/Narrative?!!! For example: did you know that Bilāl participated in all the known Major-Battles during the Lifetime of Muhammad (Peace be upon him); did you know that Bilāl was the 1st Minister of Bayt-il-Māl/Secretary of the Islāmic-Treasury: the Chief-Administrator responsible for the collection of az-Zakāh/Taxation & distribution of as-Sadaqah/Philanthropy?!!!(Battles Of The Prophet, Lives Of The Companions, at-Tabarī, as-Suyūtī)

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The only Reason why Bilāl is still inaccurately portrayed as being “Black” is because he was once a Slave. Had he always been Free, no one would’ve ever attributed “Blackness” to Bilāl. Let’s actually take a look at what the Skin-Complexion of Bilāl actually was. According to Ahādīth/Narrations, recorded in various Collections: Bilāl really wasn’t any “Darker/Blacker” than any other Muslim/Non Muslim Arabs of his Lifetime, as per Skin-Complexion. In fact, it was common-place for Arabs to boast & laude their Dark-Complexions & ridicule the Complexions of Non-Arabs described as al-Humrah (Reddish-White), as well as al-Asfar (Yellowish-White).(Lisān-ul`Arab: Lexicon of the Arabic-Language, ibn-Manzhūr) There also various Other-Colors which the Arabs would use to describe one another as per DarkSkin, like al-Akhdhar/Green…do you have any Idea how Dark someone’s Skin-Complexion has to be in order to be called “Green”?!!! I’ve literally seen People so Dark that they have a Green-Tint to their Skin-Complexions. However, ironically, almost every single portrayal of him in Literature, Film, etc. depicts him as “Shaka Zulu Black” and/or the Darkest-Person around. Like, in the Film “The Message” for example…the Producers of this Film (in both the Hollywood & Arab Versions) purposely casted the Darkest/Blackest Human-Being they could find to portray Bilāl on Screen…the Question is why?!!! Simple, to continue the Pseudo-Narrative of equating Blackness to Slavery & Servitude. Even in the Hollywood version of “The Message”, Bilāl is emphatically called “Black-Bilāl”…Word4Word…that alone should tell you something.

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The Pseudo-Narrative of Bilāl is directly paralleled with the Pseudo-Narrative of Sally Hemings: the only Reasons why either of them are ethno-historically falsely-portrayed as being “Black” is because they were both Born-Slaves & both their Mothers were Black (Hammāmah, Betty Hemings: even Betty Hemings herself had a European-Father but cause she was a Slave she was considered “Black”). The Father, Paternal-Grandfather, Paternal Great-Grandfather of Sally Hemings were all White-Men/Slave-Owners. Her Slave-Owner, Thomas Jefferson (who essentially used her as a Sex-Slave) was actually her Brother-In-Law (Jefferson’s Wife, Martha Wayles & Sally Hemings had the same Father: John Wayles).(at-Tabarī; Hayāt-us-Sahābah; Virginia House of Burgesses: British Coastal Colonial Law of Slavery, 1660)

Muslim Matters actually published a Review of the Movie.(https://muslimmatters.org/2018/02/03/5-things-to-know-about-the-movie-before-watching-it-review-of-bilal-a-new-breed-of-hero/) Their Film-Commentary of Bilāl not only reinforces my Point, as per the continuation of a Pseudo-Narrrative, predicated upon al-`Asabiyyah/Xenophobia, but also the Major-Themes of Islām aren’t even highlighted. Once again, the important Narrative of Bilāl has been shamefully compromised, at the expense of wanting to capitalize on “Blackness” being at the forefront of World/US Politics via Libya, Police-Brutality, Racial-Profiling, Human-Trafficking, etc.

Gareth Bryant/2018

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Yasmin Mogahed’s position on the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict:

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Yasmin Mogahed pic

Author’s-Note:
Yasin Mogahed’s spin on the issue takes us to a place that we ca all relate to: it sets us up & forces us to truly reflect upon the different scenarios that she presents, and how we would view them, had they been in place of the Palestinian-Israeli issue.

I used to wonder why some Palestinian people would engage in actions that could only provoke the aggressor further. Then I realized that to ask a people to live quietly, while they have no justice and no freedom, is to ask them to live “peacefully” as slaves. “Peace” without justice or freedom is slavery. It’s like asking a battered woman to live “peacefully” with her abuse. We all want the bloodshed to stop. But what about the daily humiliation and institutionalized oppression?

I was reminded of a part in “The Hunger Games” when Katniss considers abandoning the resistance against the oppressor, in exchange for “safety”. Gale’s response was telling. He said: “Safe to do what? Starve? Work like slaves? Send their kids to the reaping?”

Consider this: If a woman is being raped, things would be a lot more “peaceful” if she didn’t resist. But, asking her not to resist–just because her attacker is physically stronger–is asking her to accept her own abuse and oppression for the sake of “peace”. This is what the world is asking Palestinians to do.

And sometimes what seems to the world as just ineffective tactics, like throwing a rock at a tank, is in fact an act of resistance. It is a powerful statement to the oppressor–and the world–that they refuse to be enslaved. That dignity and self-respect are even more beloved to them than their own lives.

It is a statement that you can take their lives. But not their freedom.

Yasmin Mogahed/2014

For more info. about Yasmin Mogahed:

http://www.yasminmogahed.com

Gareth Bryant’s Poetic-Commentary on the film, “12 Years A Slave”:

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Solomon Northup pic

Author’s Note:
“12 Years A Slave” is a movie, an internationally celebrated film, chronicling the life & times of a Solomon Northup, from 1841-1853, an African American, free, and not just free, but, born-free, a native of Saratoga, New York. An outspoken, well-spoken, intelligent, family-man, whom is also, well-traveled, well-experienced, well-skilled, in the musical & vocational-arts of the time in which he lived. Yet sadly, he was captured & subsequently sold into Slavery in the Antebellum American-South: his life turned for the worst, in ways that prior to him deceived & captured, thus thrown unjustly into the world of bondage, as well as forced-servitude, would’ve/could’ve never imagined, before that had occurred-This is his story, in my poetic-words.

Hope that Remains in the Heart:

Although a freeman from birth, he was coerced, forced, tricked by two menacing Slave-Hunters from the South.
They pretended to be his friend: lured him to the Nation’s Capitol and tainted the wine that went into his mouth.

These persons offered him an opportunity to earn extra-money for his family.
Little did he know that he was being set-up to endure a decade-long tragedy.

Drunk and helpless, he was bounded and sold to Men looking for someone else, he just fit the “description”.
Any Black in those days would’ve “fit the description” & all you needed to be guilty was a tanned-complexion.

But, as hard as those who held him hostage abused him, they couldn’t make him a Slave in his mind and heart.
He did not know what would become of him next. But, yet, he had held on to fact that he was free from the start.

His first trials of being a Slave were being held, against his will, within the same exact city which was the center of false-liberty.
These United States, who fought Great Britain decades yore, for freedom, had denied its own natives of the taste of Humanity.

He himself was beaten & whipped, in order to tear away his dignity, just as the lash had teared his tender flesh.
He, along with his ethnic brethren, had been subjugated to toil day and night, appeasing their masters, no rest.

Men were separated from their wives, and daughters, forced to know the heinous violations, set-out by their captor’s lusts.
These Women were the play-things of Slave-Owners, to be used, manipulated sexually, they couldn’t dare make any fuss.

These unspeakable rapes of the body, mind, and spirit, caused many to prefer death over life, better to succum to demise than strife.
However, this Man, born a Human, lowered to a boy, an animal, learned to become a Man, once again, through ambition, endurance.

Yet, throughout all of which was imposed upon him, he was never bitter or lost any Hope.
Constant thoughts and yearning of being reunited with his family always helped him cope.

He was betrayed by those whom he trusted, yet still learned to confide & be confident in the goodwill of his fellow Man.
Little did he know that all of what he had suffered would yield him light at the end of the tunnel, all part of Allah’s plan.

Divine-Providence triumphed, regardless of lack of consequence on part of Slaveowners, Taskmasters, who dehumanized.
After 12-years of wrongful captivity, he was founded, by the help of a Man of conscience & his freedom was finally realized.

He authored his incredible experiences, becoming internationally renown, helping to spark, catalyze the movement called Abolition.
Being an inspiration, to all those who were freed & bondaged, that Hope is not lost, that there are in fact ways to achieve liberation.

His life is now a celebrated open-book…
…Learn about him take a peek, a look.

He has been able to relate his story, which has been lived by so many others…
…Through him, we have a clear glimpse of the suffering of our Human brothers.

How he died and where he’s buried isn’t now known, but that’s okay…
…His resolve, courage, legacy, must be shared with the World today.

Gareth Bryant/2013

This is what “True-Freedom” tastes like:

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Honestly, it doesn’t matter whether you release an individual of their physical-shackles, if you don’t release them of their spiritual & mental shackles,as well, they’re still a Slave. Slavery can only truly be abolished if the soul, mind, and body are freed…all three must be freed, in order for someone to truly experience True-Freedom. And, the greatest taste of Freedom that one will ever experience is by eating the fruit of Guidance, which Allah, the Creator/Lord of the Universe, has grown for us, using the seeds of Revelation, picked from the tree of Islam, so that we make all partake in & enjoy, thereof.

Gareth Bryant/2013

My Wounded-Knee & my Broken-Heart: The Untold Tragedy of the Native American

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Map of Native American lands pic

Author’s note:

The infamous Wounded-Knee massacre, in 1890, officially, marked the official end of true Native-American sovereignty, within North America, particularly within the newly expanding United States. This, even though a massacre more than a battle, is historically considered the last armed-conflict of the officially recognized “Indian-Wars” era. This event once and for all broke the backbone of the Native American in a way that suited the interests of the United States, but, dealt a serious blow to the Native people of this continent, particularly within the newly confiscated lands, inducted into the United States (the Western-Frontier/Territories which later became states). This poem is a very short history, of how the Native peoples of the Western-Hemisphere were exploited, some by their own doing, and also by sheer manipulation, military-force by invading European as well as Euro-American entities.

 

From the time Columbus came here, this pale-face being, with two-tongues, has been trouble.

We were just fine, being isolated from the rest of this World, in our naturally beautiful bubble.

 

Then, he got lost, on route to India, to land here, and then gave us names that we never gave ourselves.

We showered them with welcome, they showered us with unsheathed blades & bullets from their rifles.

 

Oh, let’s not forget spreading of smallpox.

Diseases which caused our bodies to rot.

 

All throughout the Caribbean, the Spanish, Portuguese, turned us into slaves, killing us with labor.

When we couldn’t handle it, they killed us systematically and brought Africans to work via torture.

 

In what is now Latin-America, people like Cortez, Ponce de Leon, the Pizarro Brothers, took lands.

They left us destitute, we found ourselves begging for basic-necessities, on our knees, opened-hands.

 

During the American-Revolution, treaties were made, secured alliance with us, to ward-off the British.

They never honored the return of original, native territories; they reneged, after their war was finished.

 

Andrew Jackson initiated the Indian-Removal Acts…forcing thousands of us to march…

…from Georgia to Oklahoma…to our very deaths…these atrocities were just the start.

 

During the American Civil-War, we fought for both the Union and Confederate…

…as though either of them had our interests at heart…it was just for their benefit.

 

The Buffalo-Soldier, the Black-Man, our brothers in the struggle, were vehemently used against us…

…ironic is that they were cotton-pickers, not too long ago, now supporting the oppression of the U.S.

 

Then, the last-stand, at Wounded-Knee, was the nail in the coffin, for our nation.

The long road of armed-resistance was ended, and we succumbed to decimation.

 

Then, they forced us upon mass reservations, and modern schools, to receive a Euro-centric cultivation.

They destroyed our ways of life, then, forced their culture upon us, as though they possessed civilization.

 

They didn’t even give us the right to vote in America, until 1870.

The way they stripped us of everything was low-down and dirty.

 

We should’ve never welcomed the Pilgrims, we should’ve never sold Manhattan.

Ever since then, they’ve managed to keep us subdued, with our very own hatchet.

 

We never should have involved ourselves in that Slave trade…

…helping the White-Man keep others in bondage is our shame.

 

This was our land & they nearly destroyed us, attempting annihilation.

But, we’re still here, we must never give in to unforgivable oppression.

 

Gareth Bryant/2013

My thoughts on the 4th of July:

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Author’s Note:

July 4th-Weekend is where people put up their American flags, on their home doors, front lawns, windows, and/or cars & have day-long BBQ’s in their backyards, or go to beaches, celebrating the commemoration of how American Colonists stood against the British Crown & resisted tyranny. I would just like to present this poem, about the reality of fallacy & self-deception, of being patriotic, to a nation, like the United States-Even though she, herself, has felt the sting of tyrannical suppression, has, ironically, been historically known to oppress other peoples & nations, robbing them of independence, freedom, justice, and equality, while portraying to be the torchbearer of independence, liberation, freedom, justice, and equality-Everything from the establishment of the 3/5th Compromise, constitutionalizing the further dehumanization of the African-American, as not even being even Human, rather, only beasts of burden, to the violation of peace & land treaties, made to Native-American nations & tribes, to the Indian Removal Act, to the Fugitive Slave Act, to the Indian-Wars, which further decimated the power, majesty, culture, and population of the once proud & dignified original peoples of the Americas, in North America, to the 1st Red-Scare of the 1920’s, after World-War I, to the internment of Japanese-Americans, during World-War II, to the 2nd Red-Scare of the 1950’s, during the Cold-War era, to the assassination of JFK, which exposed the shadow-rulers & shadow-government of this nation, to the Vietnam-War, and all other unjust military invasions of nations, before & thereafter, to COINTELPRO, to the fallacy of 9-11, in which an entire religious populace has been made the perpetual subject of political, & social religious-profiling, to the Patriot Act, the prelude to the NDAA, and so many examples-Is this a nation truly worthy of your patriotism? You must all ask yourselves this important question!!!

The Pledge of Illusion:

What good is a pledge, when the loyalty is always one-sided?
This pledge of allegiance of the United States is often biased.

The false cloak of “American-Values” has tragically consumed the trust & good-will of many.
When our hands are on our chests, do we think of those oppressed by this nation’s tyranny?

Patriotism has become fanatical Fascism, the motivating force being power & racism.

The “Founding-Fathers”  built this nation using free-labor of captives during slavery.
The carnage committed against Native-Americans was deemed as justified savagery.

We forgot about the Black-Codes & Jim-Crow; most of us are oblivious, we really don’t know.
What happened to “Black Wall Street” isn’t found in any school-books that they want to show.

Patriotism has become fanatical Fascism; the motivating force is power & racism.

America wants no one with nuclear-weapons, yet they’re the only ones who ever used them.
Hiroshima & Nagasaki, cities full of civilians, were they ever a threat to America’s freedom?

Vietnam was a country used as a testing-ground for Agent-Orange and Napalm.
The U.S. tried to force Democracy upon them, with the policy of the strong-arm.

Patriotism has become fanatical Fascism; the motivating force is power & racism.

So, the next time that you want to pledge allegiance to the flag, think clearly of the past.
Decide for yourself, whether your loyalty to a regime is valid; do a compare & contrast.

Gareth Bryant/2012

My thoughts on Freedom!!!

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“Regardless of the weightiness of any physical shackles placed upon someone, so long as they possess a free mind & heart, they will always be free.”

Gareth Bryant

Nature’s narrative:

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American-Trees!!!

If only these Trees could talk:
They would tell of the first Africans arriving at their shores.
The men turned into slaves, the women turned into whores.
Constantly beaten, told to work & serve.
Torturing anyone, with courage or nerve.

If only these Trees could talk:
They would recall our people being stripped of our religion, languages, and cultures.
They would tell of our people being presented as a feast for the blood-thirsty Vultures.
They cry to Allah, that He may save these people, from their oppression.
But, they were used as an example, to teach the world a valuable lesson.
The atrocities done to our people are a proof that tyranny is wrong.
Still, we endured. We accomplished so much, because we are strong.

If only these Trees could talk:
They would weep, over countless Black men, who hung from their branches.
They would yell out in fury for those who were cut down, by rifles & lances.
They would remember those who resisted slavery, and decided to fight back.
They killed every Cracker they saw, sought revenge, and went on the attack.
These Trees would never forget Nat Turner. He had every White man living in fear.
They couldn’t wait to catch him. The Trees are the only ones who tell the story clear.

If only these Trees could talk:
They would rejoice at Harriet Tubman, leading others to freedom.
Taking them north and to Canada, seeking a Slave-Free kingdom.
They would tell us of the Mass 54th, fighting for their freedom & their lives.
Showing bravery & skill on the battle-field, they caught everyone by surprise.

If only these Trees could talk:
They would tell of the hard road to freedom, equality & justice.
Telling the world what strength we had to deal with all of this.
That we’re not leaving, we built this country & are here to stay.
That we have conquered every challenge placed in our way.
They would tell of a people degraded to the lowest degrees.
But, still, they emerge & succeed. They are as strong as trees.

Gareth Bryant/2009