Library of Congress has acquired & made available online The life of Omar ben Saeed a Fullah Slave in Fayetteville, N.C. Collection, which includes the only known surviving slave narrative written in Arabic in the United States.
In 1831, Omar Ibn Said, a wealthy and highly educated man who was captured in West Africa and brought to the United States as a slave, wrote a 15-page autobiography describing his experiences. This manuscript is important not only because it tells the personal story of a slave written by himself, but also because it documents an aspect of the early history of Islam and Muslims in the United States.
The Omar Ibn Said Collection consists of 42 original documents in both English and Arabic, including the manuscript in Arabic of “The Life of Omar Ibn Said” – the centerpiece of this unique collection of texts. Other manuscripts include texts in Arabic by another West African slave in Panama and from individuals located in West Africa. “It is an important documentation that attests to the high level of education and the long tradition of a written culture that existed in Africa at the time. “ It also reveals that many Africans who were brought to the United States as slaves were followers of Islam, an Abrahamic and monotheistic faith.
Such documentation counteracts prior assumptions of African life culture.” According to his autobiography, and to articles written about him in the American press while he was still alive, Said was a member of the Fula ethnic group of West Africa who today number over 40 million people in the region extending from Senegal to Nigeria. Omar Ibn Said, son of a wealthy father, spent over 25 years as a prolific scholar and Muslim in West Africa. When Said was about 37 years old, however, an army came to his home, killed many people, captured him & sold him into slavery. #rememberthe400 #makeamericapayreparations #NewAfrikan #ConversationReparations #REPARATIONSNOW #WECHARGEGENOCIDE #natchez #NewYork #NewJersey #Chicago #Detroit #NewOrleans #Virginia #RVA #fula #newafrikan77wordpress #Africa #thisisamerica #slavebreedi