Althea Romeo-Mark: The Nakedness of New

Romeo-Mark grew up in the West Indies, where her family drifted from island to island looking for work. In a series of gripping poems, she takes us inside the uneasy tapestry of immigrant cultures that form the Caribbean islands: a pastiche of hunger and oppression that makes survival a daily struggle.

    In this remarkable collection, Althea Romeo-Mark uses poetry like a lance, a magnifying glass, and a soothing balm. Her verse gives the reader a close-up view of life as an immigrant in the Caribbean and details her experiences in England after fleeing the violence of the Liberian civil war. Romeo-Mark grew up in the West Indies, where her family drifted from island to island looking for work. In a series of gripping poems, she takes us inside the uneasy tapestry of immigrant cultures that form the Caribbean islands:…

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The Complicated Legacy of Winnie Mandela

In 1974, she was imprisoned for six months for violating her banning order by lunching with her two children and another banned person. The government was relentlessly sadistic. In 1975, after 13 years of banning, there were 10 months of "freedom", but then came five more months of prison. In 1977, she was banned again for give years, and in 1982 for another five years. In 1986, Winnie Mandela was released at last. For the first time in a quarter of a century, she was as free as a Black person ever gets in South Africa.

When Winnie Madikizela-Mandela died from illness at age 81 on Monday, she left behind a fraught legacy. The woman who gained fame as Nelson Mandela’s wife earned her place by her own right as a leader of the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa, an aggressive and outspoken champion of poor blacks in the country under the repressive hand of the white minority government. But she also gained notoriety for episodes of corruption and, more notably, her behind-the-scene role in violence that terrorized her own community and left her fending off…

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Okpewho orature and African literature

Okpewho is one of the finest and prolific scholars in the field of oral literature in Africa and Europe in the last three decades

    The land of the living was not far removed from the domain of the ancestors. There was coming and going between them, especially at festivals and also when an old man died, because an old man was very close to the ancestors.A man’s life from birth to death was a series of transition rites which brought him nearer and nearer to his ancestors (Chinua Achebe, 1958:97).” The above excerpt from Chinua Achebe is a fitting tribute to Professor Isidore Okpewho, the doyen of African oral literature who departed…

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PHOTO ESSAY: HUGH MASEKELA: JAZZ LEGEND, 1939-2018

  April 4th 1939—January 23, 2018 Hugh Masekela, a world-renowned flugelhornist, trumpeter, bandleader, composer, singer and defiant political voice who remains deeply connected at home, while his international career sparkles. He was born in the town of Witbank, South Africa in 1939. At the age of 14, the deeply respected advocator of equal rights in South Africa, Father Trevor Huddleston, provided Masekela with a trumpet and, soon after, the Huddleston Jazz Band was formed. Masekela began to hone his, now signature, Afro-Jazz sound in the late 1950s during a period…

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From Barbados to Liberia: A deep look into the first Barbadian settlement in Liberia

    It was Edward Wilmot Blyden in consultation with President Daniel Bashiel Warner who developed the plan to encourage emigration to Liberia from the West Indies. Blyden was Secretary of State. He organised a Commission to the West Indies in 1862 to encourage West Indians to return to the Fatherland and to the first free black republic as Liberians identified their new homeland. Blyden had gone back to his birthplace, St. Thomas, and launched a circular appeal throughout the islands. Soon, he was receiving hundreds of letters enquiring about…

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Why the black press is more relevant than ever

  For years, newsrooms across America have had a problem with a lack of diversity and inclusion. People of color are underrepresented among news organizations, which do not reflect the makeup of the general population and have made little progress in the past decade. Although non-whites make up about 40% of the US population, journalists of color comprise only 16.55% of newsrooms’ staff in 2017, according to the American Society of Newspaper Editors (ASNE) Newsroom Employment Diversity Survey. Larger newsrooms and digital news organizations are a little better — 23.4%…

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Mae Azango debut book expected soon

Mae Azango, an award-winning Liberian female journalist, said she is almost done with her debut book, ‘Voice of the Trumpetess.’The book, which is expected to be a must read, chronicles her life from childhood to adulthood and the difficulties she endured during this period.‘Voice of the Trumpetess’ depicts the physical abuses she went through as a child, her failed marriage and many more complicated life struggles she was able to stand tall to. The book’s title is the result of her work as a journalist and the impact her stories…

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The Good The Bad And The Blues is a wicked band!

The Good The Bad And The Blues is the 2011, 2012, 2013 winners of the prestigious Black Swamp Blues Society blues challenge. The band recently performed in Edmonton, Alberta and one of our editors watched them played. below is a brif bio of the band members. Aayan Naim, playing lead guitar and singing is his thing, he grew up in Chicago started playing and singing in the 7th grade, turned pro in the 9th and never looked back By the way he grew up directly across the street from Muddy…

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Museum of contemporary art Africa opens in Cape Town

The invites have been sent for the opening night, the displays readied in 80 galleries spread over nine floors, and 24,000 tickets have sold out in a matter of minutes. For a few short days there is quiet. The calm will not last. In Cape Town, on one of the world’s most recognisable waterfronts in the world, a vast new art museum, the biggest ever in Africa, is about to open, creating the biggest buzz in the continent’s collective creative world for many years. The Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art…

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They killed Biko because he had an idea: that blacks must be proud

“Had Biko been alive today…,” is a refrain often repeated in South Africa, especially when the country finds itself struggling to meet its own ideals. Bantu Steve Biko died at the hands of apartheid police on Sept. 12, 1977. Handcuffed, beaten, and naked for twenty days before his death of a massive brain hemorrhage Biko was only 31 year old when he died. Now, a new generation is increasingly turning to this martyr as a guide through the new South Africa, perhaps much more than they do Nelson Mandela “Why,…

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