Videos and Lesson Plans: Experiences and Contributions of African American Muslims in History

Designed to bring attention to the experiences and contributions of enslaved African Muslims beginning in the 16th century, and African American Muslims in the early 20th century to ensure that their history is included and accurately represented in discussions about African American history, the following videos and lesson plans were developed.

Published: February 1, 2023 (in honor of Black History Month)

Subjects: African American History, US History, World History, Social Studies, Religion

Grades: 6-12, colleges and universities

The material is divided into two parts:

Part I: Enslaved African Muslims in the United States

Video Chapters #1-6

This first part features Dr. Sylviane Diouf, a scholar at Brown University, who discusses “Enslaved African Muslims in the United States,” including their forced displacement in the Americas beginning in the 16th century, the number of enslaved African Muslims in the US, Abdul Rahman Ibrahima Sori and other prominent enslaved African Muslim men and women, communities on islands in Georgia and South Carolina which had the highest concentration of enslaved African Muslims, and the influence of enslaved African Muslims on American culture, including in struggles for emancipation and the preservation of their religion, scholarship, and musical genres.

Part II: African American Muslims in the Early 20th Century 

Video Chapters #7-11

The second part features Imam Faheem Shuaibe, a former minister of the Nation of Islam who converted to mainstream Islam in 1975. He discusses “African American Muslims in the Early 20th Century,” including some of the historical and social factors that led to their rediscovery of Islam, the origins of the Nation of Islam, the lives and legacies of Elijah Muhammad, Warith Deen Mohammed, Malcolm X and Muhammad Ali, Clara Muhammad and other significant African American Muslim women during this period, and contributions to American culture, including in civil rights, politics, religion, music, cinema, sports, and other areas.

Lesson Plans

To download the lesson plans, register below. They include full transcripts of the videos, classroom discussion questions, activities, as well as additional resources, including articles, videos, and music.

Please share these lesson plans with educators and refer to them for your own use.

These new lesson plans expand on our existing online curriculum titled A History of Muslims in America, which is taught by educators across the country.

To download, register here.