We are officially down to the last 10 days of Ramadan and Muslims all over the world are eager to get their blessings, alhumdulilah! As you probably know, I was living in Cairo, Egypt for six years and just moved back to the United Staes in January of this year. One of the many thingsContinue reading “How Silence Cultivated My Artist Voice”
Ramadan Mubarak! For weeks I’ve been looking forward to fasting and reflecting more deeply this Ramadan, and here we are. We need a Ramadan! I recently watched a news report that stated that right now, about 2 Billion people on this planet are detaching from food and drink from sunrise to sunset to observe theContinue reading “Ramadan Mubarak from Nsenga Knight’s Studio!”
“Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing, There is a field. I’ll meet you there..” -Rumi I was recently talking to a friend who is also an artist and in our conversation, she said that she thinks I have a more expansive view about art than she does. Later, in a conversation with my sister, she gaveContinue reading “Art In An Open Field”
I grew up in a predominately Black American mosque community in Brooklyn, NY – which I later learned was really more specifically a predominately Black Caribbean American mosque community in Brooklyn (it’s been that way since the 1960’s) and I was raised by parents who encouraged me to do whatever I wanted so long asContinue reading “Art Can Hold This”
Last week was the launch of the Fitra: Amber watercolor series on Artfare’s website. The Instagram takeover went brilliantly and I’m so grateful for the love and support I was shown throughout it. I went live to share more about the series with my community and you can still watch the videos on my FacebookContinue reading “Fitra painting series launch, my Queens Museum studio, and finding the Aida Opera – a Cairo original in the Archives”
Black Muslims like Omar Ibn Said form a bridge to understanding Africa, Islam and important aspects of Black and American history which have been ignored for too long.
I was raised by parents who are converts to Islam and Afro-Caribbean immigrants to the United States. In the immediacy of our home, family, mosque and neighborhood we were normal. It was only when I peaked out into the larger context of New York City or the media that I realized we were different. DominantContinue reading “The Archive Tells a Different Story: Why I Create and Use Archives in My Artwork”
I share why the Timbuktu manuscripts and the writings of African Muslims who were enslaved in America – like Omar Said and Ibrahim Sori are important to my artistic practice, and why they are an important opportunity for all of us to learn more about ourselves (especially Black people and Muslims) from those who came before us.
I don’t know about you, but when I was growing up all of my school teachers told us that Africans couldn’t read or write! They weren’t just talking about slaves either. These teachers, both Black and White said that Africans had an oral tradition so writing was just not their thing. Well, that’s a lie!
When I first moved to Cairo, I admittedly felt a little lost. I didn’t understand the language, I felt like I looked so different from most the people who I passed by from day to day, and I had a hard time wrapping my mind around how I might continue to grow as an artistContinue reading “A Deeper Connection to Cairo”