I just got back a little while ago from the D.C. premiere of the stunning documentary, Prince Among Slaves. Let me just say that it is events like this that keep me in Washington, DC. A sell-out crowd of 1500 people were in attendance at Howard University’s Cramton Auditorium insuring the film will be a financial success. But more importantly, the story of Abdul Rahman Ibrahima Sori, the African Muslim Prince enslaved in America for 40 years before winning his freedom, was a wonderful opportunity for folks to come together. It really was a nice mix of all ethnic and racial groups, including a healthy assortment of Muslims and non-Muslims. So in this sense too I’d have to say that the program was successful. I also thought that the story was executed well and provided some important, thought provoking commentary on the brutality of American slavery. It also contained some very emotionally charged scenes which at times were very disturbing to watch. I’ll admit I choked up a couple of times. And of course, the fact that the subject of the film was a Muslim undoubtedly opened up some healthy discussion of (and hopefully dawah to) Islam.
At the conclusion of the showing, cast members took to the stage to a rounding applause, including Artemus W. Gaye, a seventh generation descendant of Prince Abdul Rahman. Later in the evening, the bookstore and cafe “Busboys and Poets” hosted a stimulating discussion group were participants, after ordering their meals, were allowed to share their own personal reflections and whatever lessons they took from the film.
Having already said that the program was a success, and that I am glad I went, nevertheless I have some comments both on the film and those who produced it that I would like to share. I just have to collect my thoughts and I’ll post them soon (inshallah).