Powerful photo series captures what it truly means to be black and Muslim

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Jasmine Andersson
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In a world of white privilege, it can be difficult for people of colour to navigate their identity, never mind how the intersection of religious and political identity relates to their beliefs.

That’s why photographer Bobby Rogers decided to create a photo series about what it means to be black and Muslim today.

The stunning shots, which illustrate the “essence of black culture” through young adulthood, have gone viral since they were released on the micro-blogging site.

The subjects have also detailed their experiences with these identity intersections, which are written next to the portraits.

“#BeingblackandMuslim means sometimes being erased from conversations on Islam & blackness. But always belonging to both,” one muse wrote.

“#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,” said another.

“#BeingblackandMuslim means understanding there’s no American identity without exploring black religious thought and political identity,” added one contributor.

Rogers, a Minnesotan photographer and illustrator, was inspired by the popular Twitter hashtag, #BeingblackandMuslim, and decided that he wanted to capture “the most resilient human beings in the world”.

Discussing the photo series, Rogers said that he wanted to explore how “exhausting” the erasure of cultural identity can be.

“There is an increasingly prejudicial connection being made between Blackness & Islam which fuels the erasure of Black Muslims in pop culture,” wrote Rogers on Twitter. 

"Simply existing at the axis of #BeingBlackandMuslim can be exhausting. You're always not enough. Always having to validate your existence."

According to the American ISPU, 25% of the Muslim community are black or African American, making it one of the most racially diverse religion in the country.

Rogers, who has released nine photos under the theme so far, plans to continue the inspiring project. 

Images: Bobby Rogers


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Jasmine Andersson

When she isn't talking about her emotional attachment to meal deals or serenading unfortunate individuals with David Bowie power solos in karaoke booths, Jasmine writes about gender, politics and culture as a freelance journalist. She wastes her days tweeting @the__chez