In October 2017, I submitted the final corrections for my PhD on the clothing practices of Black Muslim women in Britain: it can now be accessed here.
There are so many people who have helped me to develop a space from which this thesis could be written. I’m sure to miss out on some people, but I have to at least attempt to put into words the support that I am so grateful for receiving.
First, I would like to thank all of the Black Muslim women who contributed to this research. This includes Black Muslim women who participated or helped to find people to participate in this project as well as my mum, sisters, aunts, grandmothers and cousins. The time you took to speak about your experiences and to respond with care and recognition to my experiences has shaped both my personhood and this project. This thesis is only possible through that support. Time and again, you helped me to understand the importance of doing this work: more than anything, this is a project of love for you.
Thanks to my supervisors, Richard Phillips, Eric Olund and Yasmin Hussain who’ve helped this project take shape. Special thanks to Richard and Eric for helping to rework (what felt like) endless drafts. You have helped me to navigate the highs and lows of this PhD and I am so incredibly grateful for all the work you’ve done.
I am also deeply indebted to Pat Noxolo who consistently took time out of her own busy schedule to support a panicky PhD student. You’ve shown me how to be within this institution, and how to care for myself and others. I hope to follow in your ever-thoughtful and inspiring footsteps.
Beyond that, I would like to thank all of the critical race scholars that have helped me develop spaces to think and dream about other ways in which we could be. Remi Joseph-Salisbury, Muna Abdi, Katie Markham, Beth Kamunge, Maryam Jameela, Derrais Carter and Carol Dixon (to name a few): you are all such amazing beacons of critical and loving thinkers, and words cannot express how much your friendships mean to me.
I would also like to thank all of the people who have supported me in the Geography department over the years. Special thanks to the excellent examples and support that Marcia Vera-Espinoza, Aisha Giwa and Nick Clare provided (and for not killing me when I shared a moderate lack of sympathy whilst you were finishing your theses). Thank you to Phil Jones and Tom Broomhead for your continued appreciation of my advanced sense of humour, and for making the office a place for support and sarcasm.
I would like to specifically thank Beth Kamunge and Maryam Jameela who have provided support and encouragement in this final lap of the PhD. In a world with consistent misrecognition and objectification of our lived experiences, you continue to astound me in the ways that you care for me and help me to understand how to better care for others. Your brilliance and (some may argue unnecessarily incisive) wit has been a fount of hope and respite for me. I can only hope that you know how much you teach me about being a better friend and academic.
As I am worried about how I might “ruin familial ties,” I would like to thank my siblings Rukayat (since I know the order matters most to her), Basirat, Kamar and Hauwa for all of their support. You have already credited yourselves for doing this, but whenever I got caught up in the stresses of this work (and world), you’ve kept me grounded. Your continuous encouragement and humour have reminded me of the joys found through connecting with others. I am incredibly grateful for all that you do and are.
Finally, I would like to thank my parents. You have supported me through so many ups and downs in my life, and no matter how different our experiences and outlooks are, I have never doubted the love and support that seem to be in endless supply. You’ve taught me how to think and care for myself and my loved ones. You’ve taught me how to take a stand and take pride in who I am and where I come from. You’ve taught me so much that has led to the construction of this project. Thank you doesn’t seem like enough considering all that you’ve given me (ungrateful children, am I right?!), but that’s really down to the limitations of language. Thank you so much for being my parents.