“Birth of Afrobeat” is a masterfully configured story about the Pan African music genre that was born in Lagos but of parents from Nigeria and the U.S., since Max Roach, James Brown and the Black Panthers also had an influence on its birth.
The genius in this marvelous production is the way, despite its theology, alternative spiritual systems have their creative way evident in the dance – tango – in culture – Yoruba – and creative soundtrack. Gritty City trains as an ensemble, developing relationships among each other that make it possible for the deep dives and swims along chilly terrain.
Bobi Wine, Ugandan pop singer, parliamentarian and opponent of Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, was arrested on July 17. His lawyers report that he has been beaten so badly by Ugandan police that they weren’t sure he understood the charges read when he was brought into court. Bobi Wine’s driver was shot dead in the driver’s seat of his car before he and more than 30 of his allies, many of whom are also members of Parliament, were arrested.
I have known Iminah, the renaissance woman who works under the brand name “From Ghetto to Goddess,” for a few years, and I continue to be inspired by how she serves the Black community. Since moving back to Oakland from Atlanta where she went to college, Iminah has been involved with speaking to at-risk youth, writing and recording an album, and dancing in everything from plays and dance shows to music videos.
Congratulations to Gerald Lenoir for carrying the torch and blazing the way for so many social justice issues from HIV/AIDS awareness in the Black community to his recent work in just migration for Pan Africans. Much success on your new work! Farewell to Alona Clifton and much success in Atlanta. Congratulations also to Almaz Negash, founder and director of African Diaspora Network in Silicon Valley for her national recognition and award at the Continental African Leaders Summit in Washington, D.C.
The two sisters, Helene and Celia Faussart, who make up the hypnotic neo soul group Les Nubians made a major breakthrough when their song “Makeda,” which is sung in French, hit the American pop charts a little less than a decade ago. Not since the reign of Sade in the ‘80s can I remember international music that attracted so much attention on U.S. soil.
Happy New Year, Blessed Eid Al Adha and Happy Kwanzaa. I’ll be back in February 2009. Check the radio show and my blog for updates. I’ll be traveling. Tune in to Wanda’s Picks Radio at www.wandaspicks.com over the next month, when I will be broadcasting from Senegal, Mali and The Gambia.