Tariq Touré is an Award winning Muslim Writer and Social Justice Advocate born and raised in West Baltimore, Maryland. As a citizen writer Touré covers Social justice, Black Muslim Narratives, Arts and Current events. As a Social Justice Advocate Toure has spent the all of his adolescent life organizing programs for at-risk populations within the Baltimore and D.C. region.
Few months ago, I had a chance to do an interview with Tariq via email. you can read it below.
BLMNews: Mr. Tariq, in your website, you introduced yourself as an activist, poet and lecturer. So introduce yourself more for our readers.
Tariq: I’m been a writer pretty much all of my life. It wasn’t until about three years ago that o was made aware that I could create a platform to share my art with others. I also have been a community servant since I was in high school. It’s what my formal education in college has been for, that is community development and human services.
BLMNews: “Black Seed” was a great success in your career. How you’ve got its idea?
Tariq: So it’s really weird but I got my laptop stolen while I was sleeping on a bus, on the way from Nairobi to to Mombasa Kenya. A guy got up in the middle of the night at a stop we were making and said to “this is my stop.” When I realized I didn’t have my laptop I knew the guy had run a game on me. The laptop had tons of my writings on it. So I decided to put my work in the form of a book the first chance I got. That’s it.
BLMNews: I read in somewhere that you described your parents “conscious”. You had told that they have inspired you. Please, tell us more about your parents.
Tariq: So both of my parents are educators. My father teaches Arabic grammar and my mom is a retired elementary school teacher. They accepted Islam through Black Nationalism and have always kept a diverse perspective on what was best to be informed about in the world. Their wisdom still flows through me.
BLMNews: In Baltimore, you have been grown as a black Muslim. What were your difficulties to get your aims?
Tariq: I think the toughest part as a millennial is being unmosqued from time to time. I think we have to reevaluate how mosques are positioned for our cohort. Beyond that I don’t see anything hold long me back Islamically but my own work ethic and soul.
BLMNews: There are many images of Malcolm X and his friend Mohammad Ali in your website. Do you get inspired of their thoughts and educations? Why they are important for you?
Tariq:I revere both of their legacies. Malcolm was astute, strong minded and a strategist. Ali was witty, electric and natural people person. They both taught me how to be unapologetically Black and Muslim. I think today we are afraid to do both.
BLMNews: You talk less about politics. I remember that you had written an article about the thoughts of Bernie Sanders and Hillary about the black community. Both of them failed in the election. Now, Trump is the president. How do you see black people situation?
Tariq: I think Black people will fight the same battles no matter whose in office. The institutions in America have run so well for so long on racial inequality that no one person could change it. Black people just have to stay the course.
BLMNews: In your point of view, which one of famous black movements, like NOI, NACCP, BLM and etc., could be the real voice of the Black community?
Tariq: There is no one voice of the Black community. The forcing of a singular voice is a tool of oppression. Many of us have different stories that deserve to be told.
BLMNews: Tariq, let’s talk about your family again. You tweeted a picture of your nice little girl and your wife. How they influence your life? Does your wife help you for promoting your works?
Tariq: My family is the light of my life. I fight against oppression because I want a better world for them. Without family I’m nothing. My wife helps out a lot with my business stuff. She is more responsible than me ha ha.
Be the light.
— TariqTouré طارق تورى (@TariqToure) April 5, 2017
BLMNews: As the last question, tell us about the future. What’s your plan? You said that you want to see the world; do you have any program for travelling to other countries?
Tariq: My current endeavor is building a writing collective for people of color called Broken English Co. in 2017. I don’t have a program for travel just yet but I love traveling. Maybe one day I’ll create it!