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

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

Too Early For Birds: The Brazen Edition

What do you remember?

As a Historian, a lot of my scholarly work is dictated by the need to remember. To remember the what, the how, the why and more importantly the who. The sad part about history is that more often than not, it is the conqueror’s history that we are made to remember. And this his-tory is often that of the man. But where do the other stories go?

Before watching this play, I had not quite conceived of what it would be like to displace our toxically patriarchal anecdotes of the making of our nation. How do you narrate the story of women when the people that publish their stories only believe in the gospel of men? But never doubt the power of art to do exactly that. So, a huge thanks to the entire team and cast of Too Early for Birds: The Brazen edition for doing exactly that. And a long overdue appreciation to the women we poured libation to. We honor you. And thank you for paving the way for us. Continue reading Too Early For Birds: The Brazen Edition

Drunk

This book is a small book.

A small book that must be read as a slow book.

A small book with a big title, “Drunk”, calling out our demons from its covers.

A book you take out during those awkward moments of idleness when the phone addict in you wants to stop your dirty ways so instead, you pick up Drunk.

Or the book in between those long Uber rides home when the Uber driver after giving a full account of his love life or lack thereof, remembers you rate him afterwards and establishes that oh so dreaded “awkward silence”. (I always give 5, especially for such stories so don’t be shy ☺️, jussayin). Continue reading Drunk

What is a love story? A Homegoing Review

It seems almost ironic to frame a retelling of a slave story as a love story but there is no other way to describe the full circle healing that comes from reading this book. I had the privilege earlier this year, to sit in an audience and hear the author, Yaa Gyasi, speak to a bunch of decently educated folks about language, representation, and the research process in writing the book. I wanted to ask about her imagination and her soul because surely no amount of research could concoct such feelings. Perhaps she too had her own intergenerational memory, a vessel somewhat of the story of her people. But I didn’t ask because again, it was about language, representation, and the research process. Continue reading What is a love story? A Homegoing Review