The African Giant: From Burna Boy to The World

If Beyoncé wrote a love letter to Africa through “The Lion King: The Gift”, then Burna Boy just penned down the marriage vows with his recently released album, The African Giant.

Infused with African culture, Nigerian history and musical melodies, this 19 track album awakens in each of us a renewed feeling of Afro-optimism in ways you couldn’t imagine were possible before. It took me a while to jump into the Burna Boy boat but listening to his album (which I have been playing on repeat all day) I dare question, is this the new Fela? Situating his music along a lineage of African greats, his Afro-fusion sound is Sankofa in practice. Not only does he create a new sound that the world is eating up in chunks, his melodies stand on the shoulders of those who came before him and introduced Nigerian or I dare say, African music, to the world. Continue reading The African Giant: From Burna Boy to The World

Making The Glocal Localized

There is something beautiful happening in terms of the African renaissance globally.

Amongst many other reasons, the growing population of African diaspora is enabling Africa’s music, art and culture to be amplified in ways unimaginable to our parents and grandparents even merely 20 years ago. One doesn’t have to look to far with Hollywood films such as Black Panther and Beyoncé’s recently released album “The Lion King: The Gift” to show the contribution Africa is making in shaping global culture.

But what happens to a continent when we wash away its trauma to focus merely on what it can do for others rather than what has been done to it? How do we embrace the peaks we are now reaching if we cannot discuss and heal from the traumas of our past? Continue reading Making The Glocal Localized

In Search of Our Mothers Gardens: Womanist Prose by Alice Walker

I don’t know if I was looking for something in particular when I began reading this book of essays. I had previously been introduced to the creative work of Alice Walker through her book, The Color Purple but landed upon this text when attempting to curate an African feminist syllabus. Little did I know then that as the title of the book suggests, I too would find my literary mother’s garden in the intellectual work of Alice Walker. Going through each essay, I felt like I was communing with my mother,not as a girl or daughter though those two remain to be true but more so as one woman to another about what it means to live a conscientious life in 2019. Tayari Jones in the book An American Marriage perhaps best describes what happened between Zora and me, “Something shadowy and female happened between them, as mysterious and primal as witches brew.” Continue reading In Search of Our Mothers Gardens: Womanist Prose by Alice Walker

An American Marriage: A Love Letter to the Black Community

“Georgia, this is a love letter. Everything I do is a love letter addressed to you.”

There are a few books that can be best described as books you cannot put down once you start reading. Sure enough, An American Marriage fits the description. Similarly, every now and then, a book comes along that adds to the richness of the black literary canon. Tayari Jones gifts us with one of them enclosed within 300 pages of storytelling. Continue reading An American Marriage: A Love Letter to the Black Community

Born a Crime: A Stand-Up Comedy In Writing

I loved this book. Period.

I know I came late to the party as it’s been out for a couple of years but who cares, I’m happy to say I finally joined the boat!

If Trevor was to give this book a different title, it would probably be namesakes with his latest Netflix special, “Son of Patricia”. After all, it is an ode to a mother brave enough to want something and go in to the world to get it in the form of a little mixed-ish boy. It is a libation to a black woman audacious enough to raise a black man without limitations in a country whose existence is based on placing limits to everyone’s personhood. It really is the story of Patricia, a woman stubborn enough to say before us African feminists could conjure up the guts to say so, “my body, my choice”, and then go on to have a living reminder of that chant in the form of Trevor. Continue reading Born a Crime: A Stand-Up Comedy In Writing