"I spoke to many people. Mostly I spoke to men who sat in large chairs, peering at me over manila folders; the space between us felt like lifespans."
What do you think of when you think of Muslims? Who do you picture when someone says American Muslim? Chances are you are not picturing the largest demographic of American-born Muslims in the United States: Black American Muslims. “Eastwick Ummah,” is a celebration and journalistic look at my hometown of Elizabeth, New Jersey. An ummah is a community of Muslims who live and care for each other. To our community, Islam was nothing out of the ordinary. Once 9/11 left its mark on the United States, many Black Muslims found themselves suddenly at odds with the images being poured out of the screen. Even now, the idea of who and what a Muslim is has been twisted and convoluted to fit a narrative that is inconsistent with what the reality is. This project seeks to peel back the curtain on everyday Black Muslim family lives and show just one piece of the American ummah, Eastwick style.