Today B.C. & Mordant welcome Tariq Touré: poet, writer, journalist, activist and humanitarian born and raised in West Baltimore. His interview was recorded at the IRUSA Grand Iftar this Ramadan, shortly after the death of Muhammad Ali.
He shares the impact that Muhammad Ali’s death, and more importantly, life, had on him.
“I think Muhammad Ali stood for this type of pluralism that could touch everybody and a type of humanity and really just altruism that we really need to adopt,” he says. “Imagine if everybody loved like Muhammad Ali.”
Muhammad Ali embodied the sort of human service that Tariq wishes to continue through his own work. Through organizations like the Muslims Social Services Agency (MSSA), Tariq has helped mentor at-risk African American men in Baltimore and Washington D.C. He was on the ground during the Baltimore uprising and is ready to offer his services wherever they can help. He recently released a new book entitled Black Seeds: The Poetry and Reflections of Tariq Touré.
He is a popular headliner for charity events, and his engaging poetic style has captured a wide audience. His words particularly have resonated with young activists. In this episode, he shares his motivation behind some of his poems, and his hopes of infusing compassion into the world just as Muhammad Ali did.
“We need ten times more compassion than we had yesterday. We have to practice more compassion in the world,” he says.
Tariq’s work is not always met with praise as he often touches on controversial topics. Yet he insists that the work must continue even if people are unappreciative. “It takes 100 years for the olive tree to grow,” he says, likening activism to planting seeds. The work continues even when the fruit cannot be seen.
Tune in to hear more about the work Tariq is doing, and enjoy a special performance just for the podcast audience featuring his piece on Muhammad Ali.
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“What a Relief!” is the official podcast of Islamic Relief USA. Co-hosted by social media specialist B.C. Dodge & Mordant Mahon, IRUSA’s “What a Relief!” puts a human face on what’s going on in the world and how you can enact positive change in it. New episodes every week!
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