Oral History Interview with Hajjah Tamra El-Amin on October 3, 2020 and January 2, 2021
El-Amin, Hajjah Tamra
Cook, Samayyah; Cook, Ayesha, and Perkins, Dr. Alisa (Research Director)
All video segments are in the same file. Oral history interview with Hajjah Tamra El-Amin. The first segment of the interview was conducted by Samayyah Cook on October 3, 2020, and the second segment was conducted by Ayesha Cook on January 2, 2021. Interview written by Dr. Alisa Perkins (Research Director), Samayyah Cook, and Ayesha Cook. Hajjah Tamra El-Amin was born in Tampa, Florida in December 1951 to parents who hailed from Alabama and Florida. She moved to Detroit, Michigan with her family in the late 1950s. Hajjah El-Amin was raised in a strong faith community, with family members belonging to both the Methodist and Baptist traditions. Hajjah El-Amin reverted to Islam when she was seventeen years old after being introduced to the religion by family members. After graduating high school, she pursued higher education and worked as a registered dental hygienist. In 1985, Hajjah El-Amin was one of the founding members of the Muslim Center Mosque and Community Center. Over many years, Hajjah El-Amin volunteered with Imam Abdullah Bey El-Amin to help with the Muslim Center’s janaza services. Inspired by these experience, she obtained a degree in mortuary science from Gupton-Jones College for Funeral Service in Decatur, Georgia and launched her successful career as a mortician. Hajjah El-Amin currently serves on the Muslim Center’s Executive Board. In 1994, she began teaching the Muslim Center’s Hajj and Umrah classes which continue to be well-attended. In the interview, Hajjah El-Amin discusses her aspirations to open her own funeral home to serve the Muslim community, and the importance of business-ownership for local African American Muslims. She also elaborates on her work teaching Hajj classes, her experiences completing the Hajj three times, and the importance of Hajj as a foundational and transformational experience.
Date of Interview
Location of Interview
Detroit, MI (Muslim Center Mosque and Community Center)
African American community, African Methodist Episcopal (AME Zion), African-American history, African-American Muslims, Alabama, Apprenticeship, Arab-Americans, Arabic language education, Ashura board, Bereavement, Bible, Bible Belt, Black consciousness, Baptist Christianity, Building fund committee, Businesswoman, Catholic school, Shaykh Momodou Ceesay, Charity, Childcare, Christianity, Civil Rights Movement, Community founder, Connecticut, COVID-19 pandemic, Death customs, Decatur, Dental assistant, Determination, Detroit, Discrimination, East Side Detroit, Education, Dr. Cheryl El-Amin, Imam Abdullah Bey El-Amin, El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz, Entrepreneurship, Family values, Minister Louis Farrakhan, Florida, Fundraiser, Funeral, Funeral home, Gender roles in Islam, Georgia, Goal setting, Grief, Gupton-Jones College for Funeral Service, Hajj, Hajj class, Imam W. Deen Mohammed Annual Muslim Convention, Interfaith relations, Intergenerational relations, Intergenerational wealth, Internship, Intra-Muslim relations, Islam, Islam in America, Islamic community, Islamic education, James H. Cole Home for Funerals, Janaza, Janaza preparation classes, Imam Saleem Khalid, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Literacy, Malcolm X, Mecca, Michigan, Imam Warith Deen Mohammed, Mortician, Mosque, Mosque fundraiser, Mosque governing board, Motherhood, Mourning, Clara Muhammad, Master Wallace Fard Muhammad, Prophet Muhammad, The Honorable Elijah Muhammad, Muslim Americans, Muslim Center Annual Women's Convention, Muslim Center Mosque and Community Center, Muslim Girls Training & General Civilization, Class (MGT & GCC), Muslim women's retreat, Muslim-owned business, Muslims, Nation of Islam, New Jersey, New York, Pakistani-Americans, Philadelphia, Pilgrimage, ‘Prayer and Al-Islam', Qur'an, Qur'an education, Qur'an memorization, Racism, Ramadan, Reading, Registered Dental Hygienist, Religious community, Retirement, Saudi Arabia, Scholarships, School fundraiser, School incentive program, Segregation, Self-acceptance, Self-educated, Self-love, Selma, Dr. Abdul-Mumin Shakir, Sick and shut-in visitation, Sister Clara Muhammad Foundation, Sister Clara Muhammad Schools, Sunday school, Systemic racism, Talladega College, Tampa, Teaching, Ten Commandments, The Great Migration, ‘The Message to the Blackman', The Nation of Islam, Trans-Atlantic slave trade, Umrah, University of Islam, Volunteerism, Waterbury, Wayne County Community College, Wayne State University, Women's education, Women's religious education, Catherine Ziyad
African American Studies | Africana Studies | American Studies | Civic and Community Engagement | Digital Humanities | Inequality and Stratification | Islamic Studies | Nonprofit Administration and Management | Politics and Social Change | Race and Ethnicity | Religion | Urban Studies and Planning
Dream of Detroit Interviews were made possible by funding from the Pillars Grant and Whiting Foundation. Content is for educational purposes only and non-reproducible; interviews are not to be duplicated, but may be linked through ScholarWorks with appropriate attribution. Please direct any questions about copyright to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pillars Fund and Whiting Foundation
Dream of Detroit
Length of Video
Dream Storytelling Project Team, "Oral History Interview with Hajjah Tamra El-Amin on October 3, 2020 and January 2, 2021" (2020). Dream Storytelling Interviews. 22.