All posts filed under: Art & Culture

Jacobin, Haymarket Books and Verso Books publishes free ebook on how to build a resistance in the Trump era

I love books, I love collecting books, and I love free books. And although I’m quite familiar with the issues discussed in “The Anti-Inauguration: Building Resistance in the Trump Era”, I think that if you love books on resistance like me, you just might want to download this ebook… for free! A collection of speeches made during the Anti-Inauguration event that took place in Washington DC on 20 January 2017, this book is a good companion for those who are wondering what their resistance against white supremacist capitalist patriarchy should look like following the election of Donald Trump. For the most part, the book discusses issues that speak best to people living in the United States, but as the headache of the Trump election is being felt all around the world, it is a worthy read even for those of us who do not live there. The book provides many insights on the nuances of US politics and policies that the Trump Administration adheres to, things that those of us who do not live in the US …

Frantz Fanon still lives

  December 6, 1961, marks the 55th year since the death of Frantz Fanon. Although this great thinker and writer is no longer with us, his legacy lives on. Below are some of his books… absolute MUST READS! #DecolonizeYourMind Video from teleSur English (https://www.facebook.com/telesurenglish/) MUST READS! Black Skin, White Masks (1952) The Wretched of the Earth (1961) Toward the African Revolution (1964) A Dying Colonialism (1959)

The time for artists to go to work is NOW: Writing against Trump, writing for our children

I am absolutely devastated by the notion that Donald Trump will soon be the president of the United States of America, but I’m going to channel this devastation into a re-commitment to the values that I believe in, values that can summarized to mean LOVE, and I will do it through speaking and writing. Over the last few days, I’ve been feeling utter despair, which started accumulating before the US elections but reached its peak the day before the elections. When I reflect back on it, my inner conscious must have been telling me that the election of Donald Trump was inevitable as I panicked to get family members (who are US citizens) to vote for Hillary Rodham Clinton, despite the fact that I agreed with them that she wasn’t the most ideal candidate. For me, it was a matter of putting aside grievances for the sake of humanity, because at least with Clinton as president, we would have a leader with life-long experience in advocating for positive change. I would have preferred Bernie Sanders, but like …

Decolonizing the Mind through Books

In 1997, rappers of conscious Talib Kweli and Yasiin Bey (AKA Mos Def) poured their rap money into Nkiru Books, Brooklyn’s first Black bookstore, where Kweli was also an employee when their album, Black Star, was released. On the 28th of December 2015, Kweli had posted a picture on Facebook talking about how despite the fact that they weren’t able to save Nkiru’s location, he will reignite Nkiru Books online, selling books of literature, education, history and culture of people of color, through his website. Just looking at the book covers posted on his website makes me drool! Even if one chooses not to purchase these gems directly through the website, the website makes an awesome guide to books you can borrow from the library in a quest to decolonize your mind. Maya Angelou, James Baldwin, Toni Morrison, Ta-Nehisi Coates, Angela Davis, W.E.B. du Bois, Audre Lorde, bell hooks… the list goes on. Here’s an interesting article on why we must read the books written by writers of color, especially as they courageously stare down on the …

Akon: ‘America was never built for black people’

Talk to Al Jazeera, a program on Al Jazeera English, interviewed Akon, the Senegalese-American recording artist in January 2015. I am reposting the interview and the content of the article written about the interview by Al Jazeera here because I found it to not only be intriguing, but very telling of the ambivalence in relationships and understandings between Africans and African-Americans. More importantly, Akon’s interview about his project ‘Akon Lighting Africa’ is a great example of the current movement of Africans in the Diaspora who are using their influence, expertise and wealth to give back to their beloved continent. Senegalese-American artist Akon is a five-time Grammy nominee who has sold over 35 million records worldwide, and has collaborated with some of the biggest names in popular music, such as Michael Jackson, Snoop Dogg, Lady Gaga and David Guetta. The musician, songwriter and producer, who was born in the US but spent much of his childhood in Senegal, is also an activist and a philanthropist – and he has turned his sights on helping Africa. How many …

The Average Black Girl: Sick and tired of the stereotyping

I was once asked by a reader of my blog about what my stance is in regards to making negative stereotypes positive; this was my answer: To be perfectly honest with you, I have a hard time thinking of a stereotype that can be made positive. There might be some that are not as harmful as others, but still are quite negative because in their nature, stereotypes are not true depictions of people but imagined ones. And personally, I don’t know of any stereotype that truly characterizes all people of that stereotyped group, whether positive or negative, because in the end, people are individuals entitled to their own opinions, beliefs and practices. For instance, some people think I’m a musician or singer because of my hair. Now, that’s not such a bad thought, and I do enjoy playing the guitar and singing… but if someone concludes that I am something that I am not just by looking at my hair, that also implies that they can’t or are not interested in seeing me as who …

Wisdom in the Age of Information and the Importance of Storytelling in Making Sense of the World: An Animated Essay

Below is a video of an animated essay, the essay written and narrated by Maria Popova with animator Drew Christie. I’m posting it here on my blog because I believe it is a powerful explanation and demonstration of how people may cultivate true wisdom in the age of information through storytelling. I am also in full agreement that great storytellers matter more than ever in helping us make sense of this world. However, I hope that those who visit my blog and see this video are also encouraged to use information technology and/or storytelling to counteract grossly imbalanced public discourse. You may find the essay text in full below the video. We live in a world awash with information, but we seem to face a growing scarcity of wisdom. And what’s worse, we confuse the two. We believe that having access to more information produces more knowledge, which results in more wisdom. But, if anything, the opposite is true — more and more information without the proper context and interpretation only muddles our understanding of …

Reality Check: Why I think the World should End

So what can we do in the face of all of this madness and chaos? What is the solution?… We can love. Not the love you hear in your favorite song on the radio. I mean real love, true love, boundless love. You can love, love each other from the moment we wake up to the moment we go to bed. Performing act of kindness because that is contagious… …So yes, the world is coming to an end, and the path towards a new beginning starts within you.