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US: Muslim American slave’s autobiography goes online

17th Jan 2019
US: Muslim American slave’s autobiography goes online

By Vakkas Dogantekin

 

(AA): The U.S. has made the “only known surviving slave narrative written in Arabic” in the country available on the internet.

According to a statement by the Library of Congress on Tuesday, the Omar Ibn Said Collection consists of 42 original documents including a 15-page autobiography.

As one of the rare examples of a personal story of a slave written by himself, this unique collection of texts acquired in 2017 shed light on the early history of Islam and Muslims in the U.S.

In 1831, Omar Ibn Said described his experiences and shared his intriguing rags to riches story in the autobiography.

“It is a historically unique and important primary source for those trying to understand the connections between the Muslim communities in Western Africa and the slaves who continued to practice Islamic faith after being captured during the Atlantic slave trade,” said the statement.

The collections will be discussed in a special program hosted by the library during the celebration of African American History Month on Feb. 5.

[Archive image: US Anti Slavery Engraving from the American Anti-Slavery Almanac 1840 by American Anti-Slavery Almanac/Public Domain]

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