Educating Muslim Women

It’s a Friday late afternoon, on a sunny but cool mid August day in Cotonou, Benin. I just
completed Jaji Jean Boyd and Dr. Beverly Mack’s monumental work Educating Muslim Women and came to a realization about the growth and development of Islam among the Africans of the Americas. I realized that each generation of our people have been collectively in a state of sankofa (reaching back to move forward).

Sankofa is originally a Yoruba concept which literally means: ‘return and get it’ and represents a state of becoming where the individual, family, community or nation reaches back into its historical memory in order to know itself and be itself. Sankofa is an individual and collective proactive state of becoming.

This state of becoming is amazing because each generation that reaches back has access exponentially to more authentic historical data about itself (thanks to the kind of research diligently put forward by Jaji Boyd and Dr. Mack). Thus each time a generation reaches back into a more accurate collective memory it moves forward with more individual certitude and collective purpose.

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Jaji Nana Asmau

Maryum Bint Shehu


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