Linda Sarsour Is a Brooklyn Homegirl in a Hijab

Linda Sarsour at the Arab American Association of New York's annual Arab American Bazaar. Credit Sam Hodgson for The New York Times

Linda Sarsour at the Arab American Association of New York’s annual Arab American Bazaar. Credit Sam Hodgson for The New York Times

Behind schedule as usual, Linda Sarsour rushed into the Times Square office of the civil rights group the Gathering for Justice last month, 40 minutes late for a meeting with its founder, Harry Belafonte. On the way in from Brooklyn, the Uber driver she had hired made a wrong turn and wound up in New Jersey. Now, wearing her head scarf and hungry from fasting for Ramadan, Ms. Sarsour scurried into an auditorium packed with some of the city’s most prominent social-justice warriors.

There was just enough time for her to speed-hug friends and take a quick selfie with “Mr. B.,” as everybody called him, before he took the stage and told the assembled activists that they — the younger generation — were continuing the legacy of “Malcolm X, Fannie Lou Hamer and Dr. King.” As Mr. Belafonte sonorously spoke of how he had devoted his life and art to activism, Ms. Sarsour, already a half-hour tardy for her next event, was quietly bent over her phone, scanning Uber for the nearest available car.

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