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Guide to the Muslims in Brooklyn oral histories 2018.006

Brooklyn Historical Society
128 Pierrepont Street
Brooklyn 11201

Brooklyn Historical Society

Collection processed by Elena Locascio

This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on June 13, 2019
Finding aid written in English using Describing Archives: A Content Standard

 Revised by Maggie Schreiner to reflect updated access restrictions.  , April 2019

Container List

Oral History Interview with Darlene Bashir, September 10, 2018

Biographical / Historical

Darlene Bashir was born in 1958 in New York City. She was raised by a Baptist family in the Harlem neighborhood of Manhattan and the Bedford-Stuyvesant and Brownsville neighborhoods of Brooklyn. She married her husband and embraced Islam in the mid-1970s. She earned a bachelor's degree from Baruch College and graduate degrees from Metropolitan College of New York and Adelphi University, all in Manhattan. She worked in the corporate world before entering the education field, becoming the director of the Clara Muhammad School of Masjid Khalifah in 1998.

Scope and Contents

In this interview, Darlene Bashir discusses growing up in a racially mixed family in the Harlem neighborhood of Manhattan and the Brownsville neighborhood of Brooklyn, including her early experiences within the White Rock Baptist Church in Harlem; her education in primarily white schools; and meeting her first husband. She also speaks at length about her Muslim faith, especially regarding her early exploration of Islam, her admiration of Warith Deen Mohammed's teachings, and her experiences at Masjid Abdul Muhsi Khalifah in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn. She expands on becoming the director of the Clara Muhammad School of Masjid Khalifah in 1998 and marrying Masjid Khalifah's imam, Rodney Adib Rashid (also interviewed for this collection), in 2006. In addition, she talks about raising her five children, losing one of them in infancy, and her work in the corporate world. Interview conducted by Zaheer Ali.

Conditions Governing Access

This interview can be accessed onsite at Brooklyn Historical Society's Othmer Library and online at the Oral History Portal.

Subject Names

  • Bashir, Darlene
  • Rashid, Rodney Adib

Subject Organizations

  • Clara Muhammad School of Masjid Khalifah (Brooklyn, New York, N.Y.)
  • Masjid Abdul Muhsi Khalifah (Brooklyn, New York, N.Y.)

Subject Topics

  • African American Muslims -- New York (State) -- Kings County
  • Black Muslims -- New York (State) -- Kings County
  • Child rearing -- New York (State) -- Kings County
  • Death -- Religious aspects -- Islam
  • Interfaith families -- New York (State) -- Kings County
  • Muslim converts from Christianity -- New York (State) -- Kings County
  • Racially mixed families -- New York (State) -- Kings County
  • Racism in education -- New York (State) -- Kings County
  • Religious education of children -- New York (State) -- Kings County

Subject Places

  • Bedford-Stuyvesant (New York, N.Y.)
  • Brooklyn (New York, N.Y.)
  • Brownsville (New York, N.Y.)