Video of Umi describing her conversion to Islam. 9 min.
Notes: What I love most about her storytelling is how candid she is. She is both drawn to Islam through Malcolm and Black radical activism and repelled because of Arab enslavement of Africans and Islamic norms around modesty, celibacy and partying. Eventually, she took her shahadah after visits to the Sankore Masjid at the Green Haven Correctional Facility in Upstate New York. The Sankore Masjid at Green Haven was founded in 1968 and scholars note that from 1975 to 1976 it had more conversions than any other mosque in the United States. Many of the converted, like Umi, were not inmates.
This clip was first published on as part of an article on Sapelo Square.