Event - Bilalian Night at the Museum

Bilalian Night at the Museum

09.23.23, 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Lester Muhammad, a brown skin middle-aged man wears a brown kufi, scarf and coat. He stands in front of an exhibition of books and photos.

Lester Muhammad, Archivist New Freedom Works, Inc.

Please join us for Bilalian Night at the Museum, an evening focused on preserving the Black Muslim legacy. Organized as part of In Situ artist fellow Nsenga Knight’s social practice project Muhammad School of Language and Martial Arts, Knight’s studio will be transformed to host this one night exhibition. 


The Bilalian Night at the Museum showcases an archive that preserves and safeguards an African American Muslim community’s 90+ year history and culture. It is an initiative under The WDM Collective (Cultural Heritage Preservation Project). The exhibition will include photographs, books and records that demonstrate the evolution of this community–from the Nation of Islam (under Hon. Elijah Muhammad) through its transition with Imam W.D. Mohammed. This project is curated by Bilal Hassan, a local Queens community organizer who will lead a guided tour through this unique archive. 


The program will conclude with a financial education workshop on investing and preserving the legacy of the Black Muslim community. Bean pies and other Black Muslim specialty refreshments will be served. 


RSVP Required. Please RSVP here. 



  • 6-7:30pm: Introduction by Nsenga Knight and guided tour of the archive led by Bilal Hasan. Refreshments will be available.
  • 7:30-8pm: Workshop on financial literacy and investing by Hud Williams of Amana Mutual Trust Fund
  • 8-8:45pm Q&A and discussion moderated by Nsenga Knight 


About the Muhammad School of Language and Martial Arts:


Nsenga Knight’s Muhammad School of Language and Martial Arts highlights bold, independent thinking by African Americans by focusing on the Black Muslim community’s system and aesthetics. The project is inspired by the Sister Clara Muhammad School system– founded at a time when homeschooling was illegal, these schools were early pioneers for the homeschooling movement. Sister Clara Muhammad took her children out of the public schools because she said the schools taught Black children to hate themes and love their oppressors. With a current network of over 75 schools around the country the Muhammad schools are the largest private African American school system, are attended by students from pre-K to 12th grade of all faiths, and are some of the oldest Black run private primary education schools in the nation. Muhammad School of Language and Martial Arts was originally presented in winter 2015/ 2016 for four months as a social practice and installation project at Project Row Houses. With the motto: “Bring Your Soul and Your Body Through”, Muhammad School of Language and Martial Arts served as a gathering space for the Houston Muslim community, and as a space to engage with Black Muslim culture. The project centers on Knight’s experience growing up in a Black Muslim community and how they utilize space and time to foster self determination, self-love, independence, and build community. 


Special thanks to Amana Mutual Funds Trust for their support of this program.