This Ain’t My Life by Bilal Alaji is the newest memoir everyone is talking about and it will immediately tug at your emotions. At a very young age, Bilal Alaji knew he was destined to be great. To find his calling, Bilal experienced many changes: he was a dancer, a minister, a rapper, and later became a father. Bilal give us an up-close-and-personal look into his life as a black Muslim man living in America. Here are a five reasons This Ain’t My Life resonated with its audience:
1. Bilal was Aware of How Different He was Compared to His Peers
Growing up Muslim, Bilal noticed just how different he was compared to other kids in school and in his neighborhood—specifically his clothes, and the way other kids were dressed. This can be one of the hardest things for children to experience at a young age. We all want be accepted and not judged. People who have experienced this as a child will be able to relate to Bilal’s story.
2. The Feeling of Growing Up too Fast
We see Bilal let a piece of his childhood go as he begins to think he has to grow up early so that he can become the man of the house. What he once believed about manhood and fatherhood had been altered. There are lots of occasions, similar to Bilal’s, that happen in life that make people feel like they have to step up and be there for someone they love, even as a child. It’s a common feeling and predicament that happens frequently.
3. Finding Passion Through Music
We need music. The worlds need music. And Bilal found his passion in music, watching celebrities perform hits on television, and finally discovering and falling in love with Hip-Hop. Music or any kind of creative arts can make an impact.
4. The Corrupt Justice System
In This Ain’t My Life, Bilal battles with the criminal justice system. In America, the court system has a bad reputation when it comes to black men. They often receive harsher punishments. The author uses his story as a platform to shed light on how minorities are often persuaded to take plea deals by their appointed lawyers instead of taking their case to court because of fear— the outcome of losing their case.
5. Speaking Against Your Circumstances
At Bilal’s lowest point, he refused to believe that he had to accept his situation. He rejected the hardships of his life. He talked himself out of believing that rock bottom was his only destination. He spoke the words: “This Ain’t My Life.” It was a reminder that he would not settle.
This Aint My Life by Bilal Alaji doesn’t hold anything back. It is the story of a man who refused to do any running, a man who chose to push forward, to forgive. A man who has faith in God and now how as entirely new outlook on life.