In his talk at the Exploring Contemporary Muslim Art, Culture and Heritage in Britain Conference held at the University of Birmingham in September 2017, Ismael Lea South charts Islam’s influence on Black British urban rap and poetry.

He details the historical importance of poetry in Islam and the progression to rap, examining the spiritual, political and social contexts in which it developed, from slave rebellions to the impact of Malcolm X. He discusses the influence US rappers and hip-hop artists converting to Islam had on the scene in the UK. He concludes with a look at the flourishing decades of the 1990’s to the present day where Black British female spoken word artists, poets and rappers are building a new stage for themselves and the history of this artistic expression amongst the Black, African and African Caribbean Muslim communities in Britain.

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