A few hours from now, Black Muslim women will take to the internet, post selfies and share stories of being sidelined - for being black, for being Muslim.
They will use hashtags such as #BombBlackHijabis and #BombBlackMuslimahs to reclaim their pride, the narrative.
Because it is important for brown-skinned and black women to see themselves as beautiful. Because it is important to share their stories, their pain.
The timelines are buzzing with reminders.
And it's not just black women who are participating. "The darker the berry, the sweeter the juice", reads a tweet by Fauzia, a brown-skinned woman, asking women to reclaim their narrative.
"I look cross eyed but you should watch anyway," tweeted Safura Salam, who started the hashtag movement along with Mikel Aki'lah.
In a piece on Muslimgirl.net, Salam writes, "When I decided to get involved, my first thought was of my daughter; a lively dark-skinned girl with an infectious laugh and an insatiable appetite. I thought about the year she started school and how much I agonised over making the right choices for her."
She didn't enrol her daughter in an Islamic school, but in a school with a majority of black students and teachers. Not because there were too few of them, but because she didn't want her daughter to be a recipient of racist slurs.
She decided to send her 'dark-skinned' daughter to a normal school. Where little boys didn't tell her that she wasn't pretty. She wanted to delay that first moment of overt racism.
"I didn't want her to struggle in finding a place within the tapestry of our Ummah. An Ummah where South Asian, Arab, and - to a lesser extent - Persian expressions of Islam pass for orthodoxy, but her own cultural and historical roots are often ignored," she wrote.
This isn't the first time that a hashtag is being used to highlight racism. Hashtags such as #UnfairAndLovely and #BlackinMSA have been used earlier to draw attention to racism that is still a real problem in most communities.
Fair-skinned women have been chosen over the dark. Dark women have been humiliated. Their marriages have fallen apart. Even though Black women have always been a part of Islam.
"I want the millions of women who had to endure glib remarks about 'preferring' fair skin to drop kick the small minded haters who said it with a stunning selfie...I want to celebrate you, the originator of Muslim swag, an innovator of Muslim expression, #BombBlackHijabis and #BombBlackMuslimahs."
The black beauties are going to get dressed, take selfies and bomb your timelines with #BombBlackHijabis. Are you ready?
Edited by Payal Puri
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