These Photos Capture What #BeingBlackAndMuslim Means

Several months ago, photographer Bobby Rogers created a project celebrating the lives of people living at a particularly difficult intersection of identities — those who are both Black and Muslim.
Like the subjects in his photos, we all live at intersections of race, sexuality, gender identity, socioeconomic class, disability status, and more identities that shape our experiences.
Some of these intersecting identities hold power and privilege over others (i.e., a straight white cisgender man has a much easier life than a queer trans woman of color). Those of us living at the crossroads of multiple marginalized identities know that attempting to overcome that privilege, or even just live with its constant, suffocating presence, can be disheartening — which may be why this photo series is striking for so many.
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Rogers tweeted several photos of Black Muslim people, whom he calls "some of the most resilient human-beings in the world," last week and the project has since been picked up by outlets such as Mic and Mashable.
The project was inspired by people using #BeingBlackAndMuslim on Twitter, Rogers said in the stream of tweets when he shared the images.
"There is an increasingly prejudicial connection being made between Blackness & Islam which fuels the erasure of Black Muslims in pop culture," he wrote. "Simply existing at the axis of #BeingBlackandMuslim can be exhausting. You're always not enough. Always having to validate your existence."
Rogers has posted nine photos so far, accompanied with quotes about #BeingBlackAndMuslim, but plans to continue the project.
Check out his photo series here.
1 of 9
"#BeingBlackAndMuslim means sometimes being erased from conversations on Islam and Blackness. But always belonging to both," Rogers wrote alongside this image.
2 of 9
"#BeingBlackAndMuslim means dealing with Anti-Blackness, Arab-supremacy, and Islammophobia within and outside of the Ummah."
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3 of 9
"#BeingBlackAndMuslim means having to recite a verse from the Quran to non-Black Muslims to prove that you're muslim."
4 of 9
"#BeingBlackAndMuslim means that you are the largest group of American-Muslims, but you are the last to be asked to speak on Islam."
5 of 9
"#BeingBlackAndMuslim means if you're not being called a nigger, you're being called a terrorist."
6 of 9
"#BeingBlackAndMuslim: 'Abeed isn't a racial slur, we're all slaves of Allah,' then why is it only used to describe Black people?"
7 of 9
"#BeingBlackAndMuslim means understanding there is no American Muslim identity without exploring Black religious thought and political identity."
8 of 9
"#BeingBlackAndMuslim means celebrating the legacy of Black Muhaddithin and Fuqaha and passing on their legacy to the next generation."
9 of 9
"#BeingBlackAndMuslim means constantly being asked to choose between your race and your religion because society has tried to convince you that only one can exist."
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