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Guide to the Muslims in Brooklyn oral histories 2018.006

Brooklyn Historical Society
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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 Fahiym Abdul-Wasi, August 7, 2018

Biographical / Historical

Fahiym Abdul-Wasi was born in 1973 in New York City. He grew up in the Bedford-Stuyvesant and Crown Heights neighborhoods of Brooklyn. He explored different Muslim traditions throughout his teenage and adult years, including the Five Percent Nation, the Ansaaru Allah Community, the Nation of Islam, and Sufism. His work as a hip-hop journalist was featured in a variety of publications and he served as the editor-in-chief of the music magazine The Source under the byline Joshua Fahiym Ratcliffe.

Scope and Contents

In this interview, Fahiym Abdul-Wasi discusses his childhood in Brooklyn, his education, and his social life. He speaks at length about his experiences with religion, including his involvement with the Jehovah's Witnesses as a child and his exploration of different traditions of Islam, including the Five Percent Nation, the Ansaaru Allah Community, the Nation of Islam, and Sufism. He expands on his memories of Muhammad Mosque No. 7 in the Harlem neighborhood of Manhattan and the police standoff that occurred there in 1994. He also talks extensively about his work as a hip-hop journalist, particularly with regards to the music magazine The Source. 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

  • Abdul-Wasi, Fahiym

Subject Organizations

  • Five Percent Nation
  • Muhammad Mosque No. 7 (New York, N.Y.)
  • Nation of Islam (Chicago, Ill.)
  • The Source (Magazine)

Subject Topics

  • Black Muslims -- New York (State) -- New York
  • Caribbean Americans -- New York (State) -- Kings County
  • Education of children -- New York (State) -- New York
  • Hip-hop -- New York (State) -- Kings County
  • Interfaith families -- New York (State) -- Kings County
  • Islam -- Customs and practices
  • Jehovah's Witnesses -- New York (State) -- Kings County
  • Journalists -- New York (State) -- New York
  • Muslims converts from Christianity -- New York (State) -- Kings County
  • Muslims, Black -- New York (State) -- New York
  • Nuwaubian movement -- New York (State) -- Kings County
  • Police-community relations -- New York (State) -- New York
  • Rap (Music) -- Periodicals
  • Religious pluralism -- New York (State) -- Kings County
  • Sufism

Subject Places

  • Brooklyn (New York, N.Y.)
  • Bushwick (New York, N.Y.)
  • Crown Heights (New York, N.Y.)
  • Harlem (New York, N.Y.)
  • Manhattan (New York, N.Y.)