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Concluding Ajam Book Club “Black Star Crescent Moon” with Sohail Daulatzai

Click here for a written discussion of this section, and here for an overview of the book.

Sohail Daulatzai is the founder of Razor Step, a creative media lab that works at the intersection of art, politics, and culture. He is the author of Black Star, Crescent Moon: The Muslim International and Black Freedom beyond America and co-editor of Born to Use Mics, a literary remix of Nas’s album IllmaticHe is the curator of the exhibit Return of the Mecca: The Art of Islam and Hip-Hop, and editor of the limited edition, companion commemorative book of the same name, which includes an interview with Yasiin Bey (aka Mos Def), essays by Chuck D and Sohail Daulatzai, the work of Jamel Shabazz, Ernie Paniccioli, and others, as well as album cover art, photography, flyers and other ephemera.

He has written liner notes for the 2012 release of the 20th Anniversary Deluxe Box Set of Rage Against the Machine’s self titled debut album, the liner notes for the DVD release of Freestyle: The Art of Rhyme and the centerpiece in the museum catalog Movement: Hip-Hop in L.A., 1980’s – Now, and his other writings have appeared in The Nation, Counterpunch, Al Jazeera,and Souls, amongst others. He also curated the exhibit Histories Absolved: Revolutionary Cuban Poster Art and the Muslim International, which showcased the work of the Havana-based OSPAAAL (Organization of Solidarity with the People of Africa, Asia and Latin America) and their political graphic art of the 1960’s, ‘70’s and ‘80’s with Palestine, Egypt, Syria, Afghanistan and other Muslim majority countries. He is the founder of Groundings, a conversation series that has included Immortal Technique, Chuck D, Rosa Clemente, dream hampton, Robin D.G. Kelley and Jasiri X. He is an Associate Professor in the Department of Film and Media Studies and the Program in African American Studies at the University of California, Irvine. For more of his work visit and Follow him @SohailDaulatzai.

Mishana Garschi completed her B.A. at UC Irvine, and received her M.A. from George Washington University in American Studies and is currently a research assistant at Georgetown University. Her research focuses on race and racialization of Black Muslim and immigrant Muslim communities, and Black radicalism in the late 20th century US. Follow her @mishanaaaa.


About Beeta Baghoolizadeh

Beeta Baghoolizadeh was born and raised in Los Angeles. She finally left Southern California for graduate school and has felt (oddly) nostalgic for the diaspora capital ever since. As a child of Isfahani parents, she takes great pride in her family’s hometown and relishes in speaking Persian with the notorious accent. Her last name has given rise to a number of different nicknames, including “baghali” and “baghali polo” which remain ever popular in Iranian circles. Beeta’s research deals with constructions of race and the transition from subject to citizen during the late Qajar period, particularly concerning the legacy of slavery and racism in Iran.


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