「我々を人間として迎えてくれたのは、アフリカと日本だけだ」 ―アート・ブレイキー/ “Only Africa and Japan have welcomed us as humans” ーArt Blakey

Translation / 翻訳

English is after Japanese

我々を人間として迎えてくれたのは、アフリカと日本だけだ ―アート・ブレイキー



(Hussein Rashid, Hofstra University, “Muslim Voices in America: The Making of a Modern Music Scene”)







Only Africa and Japan have welcomed us as humans-Art Blakey

January 17th was “Martin Luther King’s Day” in honor of the achievements of Rev. Martin Luther King, a leader of the civil rights movement and the winner of the Nobel Peace Prize.

Muslims arrived in the United States dating back to the 1600s, with one-third of the slaves brought to the geographic range that later became the United States were Muslims.  The Muslim slaves were forced to abandon his faith.

(Hussein Rashid, Hofstra University, “Muslim Voices in America: The Making of a Modern Music Scene”)

Jazz drummer Art Blakey (1919-1990), who visited West Africa in the late 1940s, said the reason for his visit was “I had no choice but to go to church by nature, but I didn’t believe in white Christianity. I visited Africa to get in touch with the world’s religions. ” He recalls that his visit to West Africa was not for drums, but for learning religion and its philosophy. For Art Blakey, the conversion to Islam was also a “rebellion” against white-dominated politics and society. The 1940s were the time when Malcolm X converted to Islam, and Islam had an important influence on the civil rights movement.

Art Blakey and his wife Pinterest

Art Blakey converted to Islam in the late 1940s and his Muslim name is Abdullah Ibn Buhaina. Other Muslim jazz musicians who were active in the 1950s and 1960s include Ahmad Jamal (pianist), Yusef Lateef (multiplayer), and Kenny Dorham (trumpet player, Muslim name: Abdul Hamid).

Islam, which they were influenced by, is the teaching of Ahmadiyya, which was founded in North India in 1889. The Ahmadiyya Peace Prize was also set up, and in 2016 Setsuko Thurlow, who appealed for a ban on nuclear weapons, received the award.

Many of Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers members are Ahmadiyya believers. There is a  theory is that the name Messengers itself has something to do with the Islamic religious spirit that sought to disseminate the teachings of God (Allah).

When Art Blakey came to Japan in 1961, when a Japanese fan offered to take a picture with him, he asked, “I’m black, but do you really want to take a picture with me?” Japanese jazz fans had respect for him, but in the United States, the civil rights movement for the elimination of racial discrimination was rising, and discrimination against blacks was strongly conscious. “Only Africa and Japan have welcomed us as humans,” he said before leaving Japan.

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