By: Nadia Abuelezam
I've struggled with releasing a "Black History Month" specific episode. I've asked myself questions like: "Is it Palestinians Podcast's place to speak about Black History Month?" or "Does it make sense for a podcast about Palestinians to focus on Black History Month?" or "Will an episode on our podcast be a genuine contribution to such an important topic?" These issues of voice, tokenism, and representation are elements of the podcast I am always wary of as a producer.
Ultimately, I decided to release Ahmad Abuznaid's story during Black History Month. Ahmad is not a black man, Ahmad is a Palestinian man. But Ahmad's lived experiences in the United States have put him in a unique position to advocate for rights and equality for Black Americans (and other traditionally disadvantaged Americans like LGBTQ, undocumented, and Native individuals). His role in a historically Black fraternity and his founding of Dream Defenders make Ahmad a Palestinian representative who is actively involved in freedom fighting movements around the globe.
Dream Defenders recently released a statement highlighting their support of movements aiming to free child prisoners around the world, including Ahed Tamimi in Palestine. Their statement included from Black activists, actors, and other public figures including Danny Glover, Rosario Dawson, Alice Walker, Angela Davis, and many more. We commend Dream Defenders on bringing together freedom fighting movements from across the globe to advocate for the rights of the marginalized.
We also decided to incorporate Palestinian hip-hop music throughout the episode. The hip-hop scene in Palestine has been growing and has been highly influenced by Black American artists. This music featured, by Project Chaos, aims to "to influence and develop the culture of the young generation in Palestine to make them able to participate and interact efficiently in local societies." Project Chaos using hip hop and music production as tools to help improve the talent and skills of young Palestinians to generate passion, team building, and drive.
So is this episode an ode to Black History Month? Likely not. But this episode emphasizes the great influence that Black history has had on the Palestinian freedom fighting movement, on culture, and on freedom fighting movements across the globe. It's a small contribution, but it's Ahmad's unique story that brings us closer to the cause.
We dedicate this episode to those fighting for freedom in any form across the world, including Ahed Tamimi.