Black Baptist Muslim Mystic: From the Cosmos
By Tasleem Jamila
Diverse set of writings (mostly poems) covering author's life experiences (faith, family, environment), often with a seamless transition between literal and allegorical language. Thought-provoking read --highly suggested for those interested in free-form artistic expression. I especially like how the author imparts a biography (her history, thoughts, conclusions, etc.) within the language of poetry instead of the standard narrative. Also, the tone throughout the book is instructional but conversational, the author striking a keen balance between the controversial and the comfortable. Note poems such as "Nation of Islam", where such a misaligned organization is "humanized" within the eyes of a youngster searching for spiritual meaning and physical strength, and " Seven", where numerology gets infused with music to "drive-home" a metaphorical message. Overall, the author's approach, intellect, creativity, and passion come alive in Black Baptist Muslim Mystic: From the Cosmos, ensuring that, as she so eloquently put it, "With words we've overcome death..." - Tah
"This book is a fascinating read. As the title indicates, it belongs to a genre unknown to many but worth experiencing. Its author is a woman who is an African American Muslim of the Hip-hop generation, from the Mid-west urban northern regions of the United States, namely Chicago ("Chi-town"). It's style evokes Black American poetry of the late 1960s and early 1970s, rendered classic by Amiri Baraka, Sonia Sanchez, The Last Poets and others. This is affirmed by the performance style of El-Hakim -she actually sings some of the poems live, and has music videos of them for the FB/You-Tube generation . Check it out. Most interesting, entertaining." - Talib A.
"Amazing words that I use as a teacher in my English class with high school students. They love the lyrical genius of her writing. It is a great book for students and adults." - Ms. Tammie