Mohamed Abdulkadir Ali, a peace activist and human rights advocate, is the founder and director of the Iftiin Foundation, a nonprofit group based in Somalia that aims to develop innovative ideas and solutions to foster peace in fragile states. His writing has been published in The New York Times, Time Magazine, Harvard International Review, and The Guardian. (June 2020)

Follow Mohamed Abdulkadir Ali on Twitter: @mohamedaali.

NYR DAILY

Trey’s Rage: An African’s Education in Being Black in America

When my family first immigrated to the US from Somalia, we were placed by a refugee agency in Buffalo, New York, in one of the city’s seedier neighborhoods. Our neighbor Trey, a hulking giant of a man and a trainer at a local boxing club, had quickly come to befriend and watch over this strange family from this strange country he’d never heard of. One day, he took my brother and me shopping for school supplies. I remember walking alongside him on the crumbling sidewalk, amid a forest of run-down houses, and Trey nodding his head toward a police car idling across the street. “Look at that motherfucker over there. Just waiting to pounce.”