New series on 'The Secret Life of Muslims' aims to subvert stereotypes
By Debra Mason
When Egyptian-American actor Ahmed Ahmed decided to tell his agent to stop bringing him in for parts of terrorists and villains, he found his acting career come to a halt. However, instead of maintaining complacency, he discovered how he could use his words to fight stereotyping through stand-up. Ahmed stated that it “allowed him ‘to have a voice to talk about being Muslim in a funny way’” (Blumberg, 2016). Now, he has taken his efforts a step further by combatting this view through his new web series, “The Secret Life of Muslims,” which recently premiered on Vox (Blumberg, 2016). In altering negative or fearful perceptions that plague over half of the nation, partially as a result of Hollywood’s portrayal, Ahmed hopes to show a new perspective regarding the truth about American Muslims and all they do and accomplish in the nation (Blumberg, 2016). To watch the first episode, click here.
Blumberg. (2016, November 4). New Series on 'The Secret Life of Muslims' Aims to Subvert Stereotypes. Retrieved from Huffington Post Religion: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/new-series-on-the-secret-life-of-muslims-aims-to-subvert-stereotypes_us_581b9c9ee4b0d9ce6fbab859?section=us_religion
Televised redemption: Black religious media and racial empowerment
By Debra Mason
Televised Redemption: Black Religious Media and Racial Empowerment discusses religious media’s role in empowering black people in the face of “institutional structures of white supremacy” (Rouse, Jackson, and Frederick, 2016). Through the use of anthropological theory and ethnographic research, the authors explore how this medium has served a role in changing the perception of black people by humanizing and adjusting attitudes toward the race, defending blacks’ “goodness and reason” as compared to whites, and arming African Americans with the necessary knowledge and skills to handle an often discouraging world with a new self-perception (Rouse, Jackson, and Frederick, 2016). The book elaborates on the history of African American religious media’s role in legitimizing blacks’ existence as moral citizens and promoting racial justice (Rouse, Jackson, and Frederick, 2016). “Ultimately, our goal has been to make visible the extraordinary labor and conceptual brilliance that has gone into trying to articulate a postcolonial blackness that effectively counters racism” (Rouse, Jackson, and Frederick, 2016). The book is separated into several parts, including “Black Christian Redemption,” “Racial Redemption,” “Divine Redemption,” “Reimagined Possibilities,” “Race, Islam, and Longings for Inclusion” and “Citizens as Stewards. Televised Redemption: Black Religious Media and Racial Empowerment can be purchased here.
Rouse, C. J., Jackson, Jr., J.L., & Frederick, M.F. (2016). Televised Redemption: Black Religious Media and Racial Empowerment. New York: New York University Press.
One-in-five U.S. adults were raised in interfaith homes
By Debra Mason
Even though mixed religious backgrounds in American families is still rare with 80% of U.S. adults raised within households of a single religion, interfaith homes are slowly becoming more common (Pew Research Center, 2016). Roughly 1 out of every five adults were brought up in interfaith homes, 10% of whom had parents of differing religious and 12% of whom had one religiously affiliated parent and one religiously unaffiliated (2016). Read more
Pew Research Center. (2016, October 26). One-in-Five U.S. Adults Were Raised in Interfaith Homes. Retrieved from Pew Research Center: http://www.pewforum.org/2016/10/26/one-in-five-u-s-adults-were-raised-in-interfaith-homes/