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Longing for Home

BMPC2024

2024 Black Muslim Psychology Conference

...A Place Where A Soul Can Rest

 

The 2024 Black Muslim Psychology Conference (BMPC2024) explores the multifaceted intersections of belonging, home, migration [voluntary or forced], and identity. It will center the diverse narratives that shape individuals and communities in an ever-evolving landscape from past, present and into the future.

In bell hooks’ Belonging: A Culture of Place (2009), she writes,

“...The idea of place, where we belong, is a constant subject.. we want to know whether it is possible to live on the earth peacefully” and, “African Americans have a long history of struggling to stand as subjects in a place where the dehumanizing impact of racism works continually to make us objects.“ In the chapter titled ‘A Place Where A Soul Can Rest’, hooks uses the metaphor of the porch as a place or site of resistance to this dehumanization. At MWF and BMPC, we argue that these places - porches or otherwise resistant and nourishing spaces - are keys to mitigating the harm caused by the violence of anti-black racism as well as religious marginalization.

 

"O my believing servants! My earth is truly spacious, so worship Me alone."

-Holy Quran 29:56

2024 Black Muslim Psychology Conference
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"Home is memory,

home is your history,

home is where you work.

Some people want to abandon it and become truly local. But the questions are all there."

-Toni Morrison

2024 Black Muslim Psychology Conference

A fundamental psychological human need is for safety and belonging - deep connection, acceptance and support. This need is undoubtedly more urgent and necessary for Black Muslims who are under constant threat of white supremacy, violence and systemic discrimination. Yet, history reminds us that we have sought and created deep wells of belonging and freedom - from the resistance of maroonage and efforts towards establishing autonomy and self-determination. Black Muslims cultivate “places where our souls can rest” and this cultivation leads to collective well-being and fortification. This year, our discussions invite a deep and soulful exploration of HOME & HIJRA, and of LONGING.

  • Longing for Home delves into the concept of home as a physical space, a cultural anchor, and an emotional sanctuary. 

  • Longing for Home invites critical examination and appreciation of intentional African American communities in the US and West Africa (for example Medina Baye in Senegal) to migration of African descended people to Europe and North America (countries of former colonizers).

  • Longing for Home acknowledges feelings of grief and nostalgia associated with the dispossession of Black/African people due to climate crises, gentrification, political instability.

At BMPC2024, we will explore these questions:

  • In our pursuit of knowledge of the past - how do we gather, preserve and embrace our personal and collective stories of migration, identity, belonging, and rootedness?

  • How do we challenge ourselves to think deeply about who we are, who we are becoming, the wounds we are carrying, the spiritual fortitude we possess, and the values we are striving towards to imagine and cultivate a healthy future?

  • Sankofa comes from the Akan/West African proverb: Se wo were fi na wosan kofa a yenkyiri - It is not wrong to go back for what you have forgotten (or left behind). As we look forward towards an uncertain, yet potentially abundant future - what must remember and bring with us in order to thrive?

2024 Black Muslim Psychology Conference
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Homesick blues, Lawd,

‘S a terrible thing to have.

Homesick blues is

A terrible thing to have.

To keep from cryin’

I opens my mouth an’ laughs.

-Langston Hughes

2024 Black Muslim Psychology Conference

This unique gathering was held for the first time in Philadelphia, in the summer of 2015, on the auspicious coinciding occasions of Ramadan and the 150th anniversary of Juneteenth. Our inaugural conference brought together a small, but diverse group of Black Muslims from across the nation, representing a range of Afro-diasporic identities and approaches to Islamic practice—to create a community centered on the intersectional lived experiences that make up Black Islam in America. That inaugural conference relied on the insights of a talented, insightful cross-section of our community’s best and brightest: our community activists, physicians, psychologists, anthropologists, spiritual leaders, poets, historians, artists, educators, and other experts on the Black Muslim experience. The result was amazing—and we have been blessed to continue to grow the space, improve upon and expand what we offer to more members of our community. Alhamdulillah, we are approaching our 9th year of organizing a one of kind experience centering Black Muslims and healing.

2024 Black Muslim Psychology Conference
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