African-American Stories

In honor of Black History Month, MALA would like to highlight some of the compelling stories we have collected from the African-American community.

Browse the collection of individuals’ stories below. If you would like to participate in share your story with MALA, here is information on how to submit your story and apply to participate in a recording session.


Zeina Mohammed: The Anxiety of Identity

Zeina Mohammed is a member of the 2018-19 MALA Young Leaders Fellowship. Fellows participate in monthly digital seminars, dinner discussions, and other MALA events. As part of the program, Fellows reflect on their multiple layers of identities – as daughters, sons, professionals, athletes, and so much more – and share those reflections into the MALA […]

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Yaasha Abraham: Calling On My Tribe

Yaasha Abraham talks about the way she reconciles strict religious ideas with the way she expresses herself artistically. She illustrates how much of an influence her religion plays in her understanding of the world and her individual art.   My name is Yaasha. I was not raised Muslim. I am what people now call a […]

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Lina Mohammed: A Muslim Ethiopian American’s Journey to Success

“I want to change the global perception on the media that Muslim and African American are oppressed, depressed, and repressed in society when it comes to having a voice.”

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Clyde Amin: The Ability To Create Change

“My advice to young people is that the time that you are living in is the time that you are prepared to live in.”

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Halima Hagi-Mohamed: Finding “Amilah”

“As a Black, Muslim and female I’m faced with so much. Last year I published my first book of short stories titled, Amilah. It’s an anthology of fictional short stories dealing with the lives of Somali-Americans.”

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Mohamed Sanwidi: An Appreciation For Life

“Reflecting on my life in Burkina Faso, I realized my current life is amazing even without Jordan’s, or an Xbox, or the latest iPhone. Living in an underdeveloped country made me appreciate the American life and the opportunities it has to offer.”

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Bintou Tunkara: Double Worlds for One Journey to Success

“The next chapter in my life, which is attending a college or university will strengthen my brand, and I will get to further define what it means to be me: Muslim, Gambian-American, and Female.”

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Twen Beyene: Home is Where the Heart is

“I became a better person through my struggles and through my happiness. Life allows us to grow up, and experiences shape us to be who we are.”

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Zaynab Abdi: Nothing Gets in the Way of Education

“When I came to the United States, I witnessed many people talking about refugees’ issues without knowing what it really feels like to be one. I decided to take action and stand for myself and for many refugees and immigrants who are like me.”

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Safiyyah Abdul-Qawiyy: Prioritizing the Needs of My Community

“I came to the United States at the age of eleven from Jamaica and settled in Staten Island, New York. Life was very interesting for me being in a new country. I experienced immigrant culture shock for a few years before adapting to life in the U.S.”

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