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Black Heroes

As Black people continue to suffer psychologically, economically, and socially under the confines of an anti-black  society, there has always emerged strong black heroes who resist white supremacy and tirelessly work to inculcate within blacks a sense of pride and dignity, and to correct the Eurocentric distortions that masquerade as truth

The song, “Black Heroes” by Alia Sharrief featuring Aminah Bell, is a notable tribute to such courageous individuals who have been at the forefront in the battle against white supremacy, seeking to liberate the minds of Black men and women from the shackles of mental slavery, and spread useful knowledge about the true history of black people.

 Alia Sharrief,  from Sacramento California, raps upon a platform of modesty—something she refuses to compromise due to her strongly held Islamic  beliefs. “There is no God but God and Muhammad is his messenger” she joyfully exclaims on twitter. Alia Sharrieff epitomizes lyrical piety and her modesty does not at all take away from the strength of her vocal denunciation of white supremacy but only enhances it.

Like her black foremother Nana Asmau, who once stated in a  poem “knowledge enables you to follow God and the Prophet”, the lyrics of Alia Sharrief  stays true to a trans generational theme within  the black-Islamic  tradition which emphasizes the importance of knowledge.With a black power fist held high in the air, Alia Sharrief proclaims, “We come here with knowledge which is power.”

Mansa Musa of West Africa.

The imagery in the Black Heroes video is laced with Afrocentric Islamic themes conveying a spiritual message of Black love, an authentic depiction of black history removed from Eurocentric delusions, and an adamant rejection of white supremacy and its value system.  Through this powerful video,  iconic images of black figures display throughout different epoch’s world history, from Sister Souljah to Mansa Musa, from Malcolm X to H. Rap Brown, from Muhammad Ali to Assata Shakur.

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Aiyana Jones assassinated by white police officers.

Furthermore, Alia Sharrief unabashedly indicts white racism and its destruction of black lives. “Every 28 hours a Black man is assassinated” she informs her listeners.  Some of these victims of  assassination include Emmit Till, Travyon Martin, Amdala Dailou, Sean Bell, Oscar Grant, Micheal Brown,Aiyana Jones,  Eric Garner, and Tamir Rice.  This  powerful line from Alia Sharrief confirms that in the eyes of white America, black life has no value or worth, and that the killings of blacks are not accidental, but intentional, political in nature, designed to maintain the white supremacist status quo.

In addition to the physical impacts of white supremacy, their are also psychological ways in which  the system seeks to instill within the psyches of blacks that they are inferior, animalistic, and barbaric. The naps in the hair of black people to their well-defined lips, and their black skin, it is these attributes that have come to serve as a scarlet letter to white society denoting ugliness and filth.

White supremacy has caused many blacks to internalize anti-blackness leading to self-hatred. This is painfudolltestlly shown in a study in which a young black girl is asked whether she prefers a white doll or a black doll. The black child prefers the white doll, lauding it as “pretty”, and the black doll, she debases as “ugly”,  yet, when asked what doll most looks like herself, she painfully points to the  black doll.

To combat this self-hatred, Alia Sharrief embraces her blackness  calling upon prophetic traditions to do so, “I’m black like the first man who called the Adhan.” Alia Sharrief  proudly calls upon the black companion of the Prophet Muhammad, upon whom be peace, Bilal Ibn Rabah, who called believers to prayer.  She draws upon this black history to spiritually fortify her self against  self-hatred.  For when it comes to oppression,   Alia Sharrief says,”black heroes won’’t stand for it.”

Alia Sharrief  sends a powerful message through her poetry. We should all strive to be black heroes of our own by enjoining the good of black love  and forbidding the evil  of white oppression,  being firm in fighting anti-blackness even if it be perpetrated by black themselves who have internalized this self-hatred (we see you Charles Barkley ), and vigilantly challenging racism and classism by  calling for justice  regardless of whether an individual is white and rich or black and poor.   Though Willie Lynch sought to rewrite history and instill within blacks hatred of themselves, black heroes must not swerve nor falter  in their battle against  white supremacy, for Allah is well acquainted with what we do.