Today’s attempts to malign Haiti stand as only the latest in a long line of hegemony and oppression against this Caribbean island nation. January 1, 1804 is Haitian Independence Day, and Haitian attorney Ezili Dantò honors and remembers Janjak Desalin (Jean Jacques Dessalines), Haiti’s Liberator and founding father, as well as the indigenous army, and women who influenced him. Janjak’s ideals and legacy lives on – Nou la!
Tag: African diaspora
An exhibition by artist Cristóbal Valecillos in Los Angeles invoked the Dancing Devils of Yare, a 400-year old Venezuelan tradition celebrating life, the triumph of good over evil, and renewal. His provocative interpretation of the diablo masks, hand-sculpted from repurposed waste materials, takes aim at culture and consumption in the US, a plea for overcoming.
Fela Kuti, Nigerian music legend, political insurrectionist and provocateur against the corporate and missionary sell-out of African wisdom and religion, ending up in jail and tortured…and loved by the African people. Here, Jamaican-born, Africa-based writer Lindsay Barrett puts us on Fela’s life path, his wild and unstructured Afrobeat sound, the commune, the wives, and the push against the Nigerian military dictatorship.
Anansi, the trickster from the folktales of the Ashanti of West Africa, takes the shape of a spider who goes to the sky god to buy his stories to share with the world. Anansi’s stories would become popular through the African diaspora all over the Caribbean and southern US. Here is an animated retelling called “Anansi and the Stories of the Sky God.”