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Searching for Omar Ibn Said: A Conversation with Jennifer Berry Hawes and Gavin McIntyre

Event Date:

November 15, 2021 | 11:00 AM EST TO 12:00 PM EST
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The Post and Courier hunts for clues to the only enslaved person in the U.S. to pen an extant...

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Multiple Authors

In a multi-part series for The Post and Courier, journalists Jennifer Berry Hawes and Gavin McIntyre explore the world of Omar Ibn Said, a Muslim scholar who was captured in Senegal and sold into slavery in South Carolina. The life of Omar Ibn Said—who was known in his time for reportedly converting to Christianity and authoring an Arabic-language autobiography—provides important insight into the historical dynamics of race, religion, and slavery in Africa and the American South.

Hawes and McIntyre, with support from the Pulitzer Center, interviewed scholars and imams in Senegal and conducted archival research in the United States to learn more about the story of Omar Ibn Said from an African point of view.

This event will bring together Hawes and McIntyre, who will share findings from their reporting on Omar Ibn Said. Author and literary critic Paul Elie, a senior fellow at the Berkley Center, will moderate the discussion, which will explore what lessons the life of Omar Ibn Said might provide for today. Michael Kessler, executive director of the Berkley Center, will introduce the event.

This event is part of the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs' collaboration with the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting.


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