Today we wish our Muslim brothers and sisters Ramadan Mubarak, or Blessed Ramadan.
For those of you who are not familiar, Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, begins today and ends on April 21st. This month is significant for Muslim people as it is a pillar of their faith and involves prayer and fasting from sunrise to sunset each day.
In reflecting on what to share today, I thought about the often forgotten black women history makers President Weber has shared with us this month, as well as the most famous Black American Muslim I know of; Malcom X.
Google and these two topics produced three names I would like to share with you today. If it were not for these three women, there would be no Malcolm X. Louise Little was his activist mother, Ella Collins was his older sister, leader, and financer, and last but not least Betty Shabazz his loving wife.
In 2021, Yale University invited Dr. Donna Auston to present her lecture: If it Wasn't for the Women: The Activist Legacies of Louise Little, Ella Collins & Betta Shabazz. During the lecture, Dr. Auston says:
We want to begin to think about Black women's perspectives in a different way. I would like to try or implore us together to begin to take these women out of the margins and move them into the center. And help us to understand them not just as accessories to Malcolm's legacy, but actually the creators of it.
I think during this important month of reflection we could all accept that charge and begin thinking about the legacies of women in this way. I encourage you all to follow the links in the above message and learn a little about these amazing women and also reflect about the amazing women in your own life. And on behalf of the NAACP Des Moines Branch, we wish the Muslim community a blessed Ramadan! May God accept your fast and prayers on this holy month.
In Solidarity, Rev. Joshua Milam, Faith Missionary Baptist Church Co-Chair Religious Affairs
NAACP Des Moines Branch