Saturday, July 30, 2011

Video: Talented black students program at Google UK

Via Black Leaders in the UK
On July 14, Google U.K. launched a partnership with Generating Genius at an event in our London Google office. Google director Adrian Joseph, Member of Parliament Simon Hughes and advisor on culture and youth Munira Mirza spoke alongside Generating Genius founder Tony Sewell.

They stressed the importance of encouraging students from underrepresented backgrounds to receive higher education degrees and inspiring them to become innovators in the technology industry.

Afterward, two program participants shared their Generating Genius experiences and their plans for university this fall. See full story at

Friday, July 29, 2011

Report: What exactly is an "Afropolitan"? by Taiye Tuakli-Wosornu

I want to share this very intersting post by Taiye Tuakli-Wosornu that was first published on the afropolitan network years ago. When I read it for the first time I was delighted to hear a voice I related so much to. I couldn't find the original post anymore but found it still as it has been reproduced on several blogs and websites since.

Report: Kwanzaa Millenium and the Afro-European Question

For all those reading French I recommend to check out this one year old blog edited by a young intelligent black French who calls himself Kwanzaa Millenium. I navigated through his more than 250 posts and I found elaborated analyses (sometimes too elaborated) with which I do not always agree but which give an interesting perspective. I decided to translate his post on the Afro-European identity as I think it gives a concise and clear analyses of the topic, although not always reflecting my way of seeing things. Therefore I decided to add a little comment too. You can read it all below. The Afro-European Flag is his contribution, I liked it and therefore posted it here too. Beware, generally his posts are long and complex, not always easily understood as he tries to give answers to many postcolonial issues related to blacks.

The Afro-European Question by Kwanzaa Millenium

The term Afro-European is a generic term to designate the black communities of Europe. Even before addressing the questions related to their history, their sociology and their primordial role in the African Renaissance, let’s take a look at their very nature. We can indeed distinguish several black communities in Europe. They are to be distinguished first by their diverse geographical origins (Carribean, Guyanas, Latin-America, and the diverse regions of Africa without forgetting the Afro-Turks and Afro-Abkhaz). These communities are represented in the four corners of Western-Europe, and each of the European countries has black populations with various profiles.

We notice a variety of situations too. Different generations, different legal statuses. Some have assimilated to the culture of their host country others consider themselves Africans living in Europe and some are not really African anymore but even less European. The global tendency is that of the latter. Blacks of the second or third generation who have very little links with their parents or grand-parents homeland but who do not have real affinities with their new home. And it’s therein that lies the core of the Afro-European problem.

The question is the following : Is there an Afro-European identity ? We can only answer with a No. Even on a national level we rather have to speak of a black urban Europe where African-American, Afro-Carribean and urban cultures meet in different ways whether it is in Milano, Paris or London. This chaos has to be harmonized so that the black communities of Europe can work in an orderly and synchronized fashion for the African Renaissance. Thus it seems necessary that an Afro-European identity arises.

Is this legitimate ? This idea that a black community emerges within Europe, despite its African origin, having only Europe as a common ground, can bring the situation of the white Afrikaners of South Africa into mind. They are the descendants of European exiles from France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany and Scandinavia who settled in the Southern African lands of the Khoisan following the religious tensions in Europe. (Together from their various backgrounds emerged a new Afrikaner culture – comment from the translator). If white exiles can prosper in Southern Africa without having to integrate into the local societies and without shocking the international community, there is no reason why black exiles can’t prosper in Europe, without integrating into society and without disturbing the international community.

In my commentaries I don’t want to encourage European blacks to create pioneering fronts but only to bring their communities together. This is a logic step within European integration and there is no reason that this does not apply to Europe’s blacks. (end of translation, find the original french post here)

My commentary :The comparison with the white Afrikaner people is rather problematic. It is true that out of many European cultures emerged a new Boer culture without having to really integrate with the local African cultures. But we can’t forget that it all happened within a cruel racist framework. This framework made it possible for white people to stick together and to exclude non-whites who shared their culture and language. The presence of white Europeans in South Africa led to a community of mixed race people that quickly outnumbered the whites. These mixed race communities often mixed their African heritage with their European heritage (with a greater influence from Europe) and shared quite the same culture with the white Boers who were living in rural areas. Still raxist policies created a rift between white and non-white, regardless of their common culture. While apartheid accentuated the difference between the Afrikaans-speaking coloureds and the white Boers, the new South Africa is emphasizing the common culture, language and history these peoples share. Without racism Afrikaner/Boer culture wouldn’t have been perceived as white but rather as mixed, just as Latin-American cultures today, and it would have been shared by black, coloured and whites together.

Of course if Europe persists in the exclusion of non-whites as non-Europeans, all blacks will end up becoming a separate entity within Europe, emphasizing and cherishing their common African roots. I think the other way around is more desirable, that we all, regardless of race, cherish our African and European heritage and consider mixing cultures as a default. But maybe I’m just dreamer.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Video: Meet black Italian writer Igiaba Scego

In an interview Afro-Italian writer Igiaba Scego talks about identity, language and why it is important to talk about the African diaspora. Scego was born in Rome to Somali parents. The interview is subtitled in English.

One of the basic themes of Igiaba Scego's highly autobiographical work is her double identity as both Somalian and Italian – a relatively new topic in Italy, which has only recently become a destination for immigrants.

Writing about this theme also has political significance for her. In Italy, the children of immigrants have no guarantee of achieving Italian citizenship, making them foreigners in their own country or, as Igiaba Scego so pointedly phrases it, Italians with residence permits.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Norwegian killer who attacked youth camp says it was 'necessary'

RTE news wrote that more details have been emerging of the man who has admitted to carrying out twin terror attacks in Norway which killed 92 people.

A suspected right-wing fanatic accused of killing at least 92 people deemed his acts 'atrocious' yet 'necessary' as Norway mourned victims of the nation's worst attacks since World War II.

Norway has traditionally been open to immigration, which has been criticised by the Progress Party, of which Breivik was for a short time a member. The Labour Party, whose youth camp Breivik attacked, has long been in favour of immigration.

Read full story here

The Norwegian killer mentions The Netherlands in 'Manifest'. Why?
“In the manifesto which appeared this weekend on the internet and is attributed to the man who is suspected of the attacks in Norway, is repeatedly referred to The Netherlands,” wrote the Dutch newspaper the AD. The AD is considered is a conservative populist newspaper.

The paper continues: The author with the pseudonym Andrew Berwick, elaborates on the dangers of Islamisation in Europe and lists The Netherlands as one of the countries who are victims of the "Islamic colonisation of Europe by demographic warfare. He predicts that in 2070 55 percent of the population in the Netherlands will be Muslim.

In the manifesto large pieces of text are written by one Fjordman, a Norwegian anti-Islamic blogger. Different media speculated on whether the pseudonym Fjordman is of the perpetrator of the attacks.

One of the pieces of Fjordman is about the situation in the Netherlands. He writes that The Netherlands will become a totalitarian state due to the migration of Muslims. He mentions former Muslim Ehsan Jami [who is against Islam], and his departure at the Labour Party, and the bus drivers in the Dutch City of Gouda who no longer wanted to drive in certain neighbourhoods, because of difficulties with Moroccan youths [the bus drives were attacked]. He also accuses the Dutch media of the negative portrayal anti-Islam politician Geert Wilders.

The author also accuses the media of having portrayed the Dutch politician Pim Fortuyn as a far-right politician. That would indirectly have led to his assassination by a "leftist activist who committed his act on behalf of Muslims because Fortyn was a danger for the ethic minorities in the Netherlands."

The author writes in the piece that the Nobel Peace Prize should be awarded to Ayaan Hirsi Ali. He also talks about cartoonist Gregorius Nekschot [who ridiculed Muslim] and the murder of filmmaker Theo van Gogh. He elaborates on the reactions to the film Fitna by Geert Wilders. In a question and answer section the author has a list of people he'd like to meet. It is Geert Wilders. He writes that these people will have to "temporarily condemn him to protect their own reputation."

Earlier it was announced that Anders Breivik Behring admired the PVV [which is the political party of Geert Wilders]. He called the party "the only real conservative party that exists."

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Video: "Black Deutschland" - The Black experience in Germany

The documentary BLACK DEUTSCHLAND (Black Germany) of 2006 is an intimate study about the feelings and the thoughts of a not so small minority - black Germans and black people in Germany. The director Oliver Hardt portrays five individuals engaged in the cultural sector.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Video: French soul singer Ben L'Oncle Soul - "Elle me dit"

French singer Ben L'Oncle Soul just released his video "Elle me dit". The soulful video is part of his album Ben l'Oncle Soul.

Benjamin Duterde (born 1984), a.k.a. Ben L’Oncle Soul (‘Ben the Soul Uncle’), is a French nu-soul singer from the town of Tours.

Duterde first gained prominence in his home country with the Soul Wash EP (2009), which featured six covers of songs by Gnarls Barkley, Spice Girls, Katy Perry and, most notably, The White Stripes (Seven Nation Army).

Ben’s first full-length album, entitled simply Ben L’Oncle Soul was released in the summer of 2010 and was put out internationally on the Motown label.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Video: Nneka - "Soul Is Heavy"

An old fashion political video from the Nigerian-German hip hop/soul singer and songwriter Nneka. The song "Soul is Heavy" is full of references to the Niger Delta, Shell and the Nigerian author, television producer and environmental activist Ken Saro-Wiwa. Nneka at her best.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Summer Carnival Rotterdam 2011 - (29 -30 July)

23 July Queen Election, 29 July Fernandes Battle of Drums, 30 July Street Parade and Live On Stage.

Summer Carnival is a yearly 3-day Caribbean Carnival in the city centre of Rotterdam, the Netherlands. Summer Carnival, similar to the carnival in Rio, is a huge event where at least 900.000 visitors come from all over Europe to dance to the latin music and look at the colourful and amazing costumes and floats in the big street parade. On Saturday the big Street Parade emerges in the city centre. At night there is still a lot to see on the two live stages

Promo Summer Carnival 2009

An initially Antillean and Aruban occasion, Summer carnival has grown over the years into an event with which many cultures can identify. Nowadays Surinam, Brazil, Cape Verde and Bolivia are among the visible influences.

Website carnival

Video: Damaru - Suriname (Summer Carnival remix)

This will be one the carnival hits of the festival.

Damura is a singer from Suriname and he sings, "Suriname, what a beautiful/sweet country. Surinames what are your plans." The festival is also sponsored by Fernandes, a Surinamese soft drink.

The celebration of people throwing coloured powder and coloured water at each other is the Hindu festival Holi-Phagwa, which is also celebrated in Suriname.

UKSoulJam - Jazz Cafe London - August 7th 2011

Pauline Henry (The Chimes), Afro Symphony Ft. Linda Muriel (Brand New Heavies, Incognito) & More Live At UKSoulJam, Jazz Cafe London: Sunday August 7th 2011

UK SOUL JAM: A celebration of UK SOUL in an Open Mic – Jam Session, Showcase & DJ Session featuring the best of London’s Soul talent at Jazz Cafe. As seen on Sky TV.

UK Soul Jam captures the energy and musical talent from London’s Contemporary Soul Scene. Bringing together singers, players, & connoisseurs of Neo Soul, Nu Jazz, Credible Hip Hop and RnB, Brokenbeat, Reggae, Gospel and Soulful House scenes in London. A platform for new & established artists. Open Mic / Jam is open to the public.

Pauline Henry of The Chimes topped the charts in the UK & USA with her band & solo work & she headlines this UKSoulJam, Jazz Cafe special ft. Chimes classics & new work with strong support from Brand New Heavies & Incognito front lady Linda Muriel & her new band Afro Symphony, Soul-Jazz from Jazz Bailey, Real R&B from Leanne Robinson & Folk Soul from De’Borah & more acts TBA + the midnight jam open to the public later in the show + surprise guests

More information at

Monday, July 18, 2011

Video: Fatoumata Diawara "Kanou" - Mali/France

Copyright: Festival Internacional Canarias Jazz&Más
Fatoumata Diawara (29) is the new rising star and musical talent from Mali and France. Although she is relatively new to the music scene she has already performed with the Youssou N'dour, Herbie Hancock and Hank Jones.

She currently lives in France and was born in the Ivory Coast to Malian parents. She moved to France to pursue acting, appearing in Cheikh Oumar Cissoko's 1999 feature film La Genèse, Dani Kouyaté's popular 2001 film Sia, le rêve du python, in the internationally renowned street theatre troupe Royal Deluxe, and played a leading role in the musical Kirikou et Karaba.

She later took up the guitar and began composing her own material, writing songs that blend Wassalou traditions of Southern Mali with international influences.

Her new EP "Kanou" was released May 9, 2011 and her debut album with World Circuit Records will be released in September 2011.


Saturday, July 16, 2011

Lola Adesioye on the difference between being black in the UK and being black in the US

By Erik Kambel

“Being black in the UK doesn't mean the same as being black in the US,” said writer and international journalist Lola Adesioye (1980) at the end of her spoken words performance in the PenTales Travel and Migration event (see video).

During her performance the London born Cambridge graduate of Nigerian descent, who now lives in New York, also talked about identity and being a "search culture kid". And about one question that irritates her the most. "One of the most annoying questions is 'where are you from'. Because I really don't know how to answer it. Especially when I am in England."

But after her performance she said something she didn't explain. “Being black in the UK doesn't mean the same as being black in the US.” Because I wanted to know the answer from a black British perspective I asked her if should could explain the difference. So in her own words, the answer.

"For a start, everyone who is black in the UK, is a black person from somewhere else. We know that we are all children of immigrants. We are now on the 2nd and 3rd generation born of black Brits, but we know that we are not English ethnically (English still denotes white anyway), and we also know that British is a catch-all term that is meaningless in many ways because there isn't really such thing as "British culture", being that Great Britain is a conglomeration of a few countries that don't have much in common with one another.

SO, we are all black people with a strong sense of having come from somewhere else - Nigeria, Ghana, Jamaica, Barbados, and wherever else. We still have ties and links to our heritage and ancestry. Even if a black Briton has never been to their parents or grandparents homeland, they are still raised with a sense of being African or Caribbean. There are people in the UK who still ask British-born blacks where they are from, meaning where you are originally from. This wouldn't happen in the US, unless they are asking what part of America you come from.

This can be a strength because it means that a black Briton's definition of black is somewhat broader and is more connected to age old traditions from Africa and the Caribbean - I think this is very healthy.

In the US, they are several generations and hundreds of years deep when it comes to being black. Most black Americans have no idea where they originally came from due to slavery. So their understanding of being black is within an American context. It is not related to Africa or an island or to a culture outside of the US.

This means a few things: 1) black Americans have created - have had to create! - their own culture - and ways of being. There is a black American experience(s) and a distinctly black American expression. You see this with fraternities, sororities, colleges you can go to, areas you can hang out in, shops, dances, lifestyles, politics, organizations. There is a whole black American world that exists in America and it is also sub divivided.

You could be black in the US and not really mix much with white people if you didn't want to. Black America is a pretty self-reliant world (even if black Americans don't think so!), and there is a perspective on what it means to be black that black Brits don't have. I think black Britons are still struggling to find their identity in the UK and I think there is less sense of solidarity and community than there is in the US, although this may change with time.

Black Britons do not have anything like the level of self organization, identity or ways of being that black Americans have. One, because we are a much smaller population, also because we still have strong links back to our original heritage, because we came as immigrants and that came with a sense of the UK being a host nation, and also because the history was not so segregated as to allow for the development of a particularly strong black British identity.

Also in the UK, there is more interaction among the races even if there is not as much advancement as black Americans have. I'd say that in the US there is less integration but more advancement, or opportunities for advancement.

I also find that black people in the US are a lot more proud to be black and make no qualms about it, whereas black Brits are almost afraid or ashamed - somehow they think it's being racist to be black and proud. Black Americans also will claim their space and claim their rights because America is THEIR country, whereas black Brits I think still give the impression that they have to wait to be granted opportunities rather than going and taking or creating them - although it wasn't always that way.

I also think that black Britons can't help but have a bit of a colonial mentality going on whereas black Americans don't have that. America is the only place many of them know, and they have no ties that they know of to anywhere else, so they have to know and claim their rightful space."

Also, as an educated black middle class person I've found many more people like me in the US and I no longer have to downplay being privileged or feel weird about it like I did in England. Nor am I now just the only one black girl in the room all the time. I can be proud to be black and not feel weird about saying it. I can talk about issues that impact me as a black person and have room to do so and not pretend it's not real. And then I can also not do any of that and be a black Briton here in the US.

There are similarities of course... I think racism and inequality for example operates in pretty much the same way everywhere, or has the same effects. But there are some fundamental differences."

Check out her on Twitter at

Friday, July 15, 2011

Video: On Black Masculinity and much more

Media Education Foundation is a useful source of documentary films on a wide set of subjects. This is a documentary I discovered thanks to my girlfriend. Check it out here. It tackles the issues of black masculinity in America through a critical analysis of the media and living sterotypes.

The websites includes many other documantaries on related subjects. It features interesting videos on race, blackness, identity, whiteness, Stuart Hall, bell hooks, stereotypes, gender, media, manhood, … all very useful in educational settings. Everyone interested in these topics should know this wonderful source of information.
Take your time and go check it out!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Video: Black Europe: African Presence in the Formation of Europe

Video at Vanderbilt website at

Black Europe: African Presence in the Formation of Europe is a 12-minute documentary film of 2007-2008 for a seminar devoted to "Black Europe, or Diasporic Research in/on Europe."

In the video African American scholars discuss the riots in France and the situation of black people in Europe in general. The video was made by the Vanderbilt University. In April this year the University organised a lecture about Black Europe.

You can also download the video here. (You need Quicktime to view the film, you can download the software at Apple here.)

The intro

The racially motivated riots in France during the fall of 2005 proved that despite its homogenous image, racial tensions are alive and well in Europe. The newly emerging field of Black European Studies is beginning to examine these racial tensions by studying the history and the current experience of blacks in the culture of Europe.

“It’s important to really shine the spotlight on this area of study that is as legitimate as studying the American black experience – to look at that experience globally,” said Tracy Sharpley-Whiting, professor of African American and Diaspora Studies and French. She and Lucius Outlaw, professor of philosophy and associate provost for undergraduate education, co-directed the 2007-2008 Fellows Program at the Vanderbilt University Robert Penn Warren Center “Conceptualizing Diaspora, Reconceptualizing Europe: Black Europe, or Diaspora Studies in Europe.”

The 10-minute film is the capstone project of the yearlong fellowship program. Weekly meetings and lectures by visiting speakers were recorded by documentary filmmaker Lyle Jackson, and were compiled into a short, educational film that the fellowship participants hope will continue to provoke discussion and research into the topic. Outlaw and Sharpley-Whiting will be at the premiere to introduce the film and discuss it afterwards.

“I think this discussion is important because the concept of black Europeans is a relatively new concept, because race is an issue that’s very contested in Europe – in Germany in particular the word is, well, verboten. In France, people don’t typically recognize ‘race,’” says Sharpley-Whiting. “So the idea that people would identify themselves as black French, black Germans or black Europeans is radically different given particularly the French position that everyone is simply French.”

A central feature of the Robert Penn Warren Center for the Humanities, the annual Fellows Program attracts faculty members representing a diverse range of interests. The theme for the Fellows Program arises from the strengths and interests of university faculty members, as well as from important social, political and cultural events.

Also check out the book Black Europe and the African diaspora, Contributors are Allison Blakely, Jacqueline Nassy Brown, Tina Campt, Fred Constant, Alessandra Di Maio, Philomena Essed, Terri Francis, Barnor Hesse, Darlene Clark Hine, Dienke Hondius, Eileen Julien, Trica Danielle Keaton, Kwame Nimako, Tiffany Ruby Patterson, T. Denean Sharpley-Whiting, Stephen Small, Tyler Stovall, Alexander G. Weheliye, Gloria Wekker, and Michelle M. Wright.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Cape Verdean Mayra Andrade performs at Ronnie Scott’s Jazz club in London

Cape Verdean singer Mayra Andrade plays two special shows at Ronnie Scott’s on 18th and 19th July in London.

Andrade’s multi-layered music embraces Brazilian inflections, Cuban melodies, funky basslines and flamenco guitars to create a heady mix of sounds. Andrade is arguably one the front-runners of the many talents that have emerged from Cape Verde in recent years. Her latest album Studio 105 is out now on Sterns.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Black Northern Ireland Finds Its Voice

Members of the black community in Northern Ireland gather during Africa Week 2010 at Crescent Arts, Belfast to celebrate their cultures and create support networks.
(This post is an excerpt from Olive Vassell's article on

It may be small - around 6,000 according to recent estimates - but Northern Ireland's black community is finding its collective voice and making that voice heard throughout the country. With high concentrations in places like Belfast, Londonderry / Derry, Dungannon and Omagh, Afro-Irish, which include Africans, people from the Caribbean, African Arabs and those with mix heritage, are finding ways to connect with each other and with the larger society.

Among those spearheading the effort is the Afro-Community Support Organisation Northern Ireland (ACSONI) which was created in 2003 in response to a growing number of problems facing the multi-ethnic black community.

A survey of African and Caribbean Northern Irish found "a lack of resources, community support, credible leadership and role models and a viable infrastructure to address specific needs of individuals, especially young people and women from Africa, Afro-Caribbeans and other individuals of African descent," explained ACSONI Programme Manager Alfred Abolarin.

For more on this subject use this link

Creative: Berliner Yamile Yemoonyah travels the world as a digital nomad

She calls herself a digital nomad, creative entrepreneur, indigenous adoptee, proud introvert, sirius mermaid, web biz coach for artists and other creative, free minded spirits. Meet Yamile Yemoonyah a create entrepeneur and world traveller from Berlin.

On her website she writes " I got rid of almost all my stuff except for what fit in my backpack and then I left Berlin, Germany to become a digital nomad traveling the world indefinitely.

This has been my goal for a while now and I am truly proud to have made it a reality. It did take some dedication and a lot of hard work but it’s possible.

There are many ways to go location independent but the way I do it, is through my online business: the CreativeWebBiz website and the services I offer on it (webite building and online biz consulting). All I need is my laptop which doubles as my office and I’m ready to go wherever my heart takes me.

And if I can do it, you can do it too!"

check out her website

Digital Nomad

According to wikipedia a location independent professional—or digital nomad—often adopts Timothy Ferriss' principles of lifestyle design and utilizes new technology to design a lifestyle that allows them to live and work wherever they want —be it from home, the internet cafe, on the beach, or even from the other side of the world.

Timothy Ferris wrote the New York Times bestseller ‘4-Hour Work Week’

On his website I found the video: Wake Up Beast - 4HWW Success - Camila Prada.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Blacks in Libya and the Arab Revolution

I want to report on a topic nobody is interested in: the doubly dramatic situation of blacks in Libya. The greatest victims of the Libyan revolution are without a doubt the black Africans who’ve been residing in Libya for decades. This is what the francophone weekly newsmagazine Jeune Afrique reports.

Blacks from neighboring countries living in Libya form a big group of people. According to Black Agenda Report they represent 1.5 million people of a total population of 6.5 million (representing 23% of the total population). Still, there are no official figures as many black Africans in Libya are illegal.

All blacks in Libya do not have an immigration background though, many of them are also native Lybians from the Sahara. They have been confronted with racism for centuries. During Gaddafi’s ruthless dictatorship this racism wasn’t as strong. Gaddafi had PanAfrican ambitions and considered Libya a part of Africa as a whole. To illustrate this Gaddafi stated In September 1998 that "Africa is a paradise, I would like Libya to become a black country. Hence, I recommend to Libyan men to marry only black women, and to Libyan women to marry black men."

Today blacks’s presence in Libya is linked to Gaddafi’s policy. Therefore they are persecuted by the rebels and victims of civilian aggression. Black people in Libya are suspect and viewed as mercenaries, traitors working for Gaddafi. Black Agenda Report cites the Ethiopian Tedla Afsaw: “Muammar Gaddafi haters are taking revenge on black Africans for money Gaddafi threw for many African dictators. The mob attacked and killed many Africans including Ethiopians for being only black.”

Many mercenaries in Gaddafi’s current army are black Africans. But the black civilians living in rebel controlled Libya have nothing to do with these mercenaries. Still, they became the scapegoat for all troubles Libya is going through. Blacks presence is linked to Gaddafi’s Panafrican policy. Blacks are therefore interpreted as sympathizers of Gaddafi.

Since the start of the Libyan revolution 700,000 people left Libya. The best known refugees are those arriving in Europe, more in particular on the Italian island of Lampadusa. These refugees only represent a small group of 12,900 people though. Most of the 700,000 refugees are blacks who left for the desert to extremely poor and disrupted regions in Tsjaad and Sudan. Many linger in the border area. Below I will give the figures of Libyan refugees as reported by the UN:

100,000 Libyans
108,000 Egyptians
64,000 Tunisians
71,500 Nigeriens
43,800 crossed the border to Tsjaad
350,000 others

Only 12,900 (mostly Libyans) went to Europe (Lampadusa)

You can find more information on this topic on following links:

Report from the International Federation for Human Rights
Figures and Map (OCHA-UN)
Black Agenda Report
Relief Web
An early post dating back to February
An elaborated blogpost on the topic with more stories

See Prince perform "Kiss" in the North Sea Jazz Festival in Rotterdam

The megastar Prince will be performing in the North Sea Jazz Festival (Netherlands) in the small hours of July 8, 9 and 10, after the standard program has finished.

His Purple Highness was born as Prince Rogers Nelson in 1958, the son of a pianist-composer and jazz singer. He had already taught himself to play the piano and had written his first song by the age of seven.

Ebony Magazine wrote about him. " Entering the world of Prince Rogers Nelson is like slipping into the altered reality of The Matrix. We learned that he is as deliberate as he is mysterious and deeply loyal of those in his inner circle.

Prince performing "Kiss" on Ellen Degeneres

But he's fiercely guarded and suspicious of most others, at least at first interaction. Prince has definitely carved out his own rules and makes no bones about it. That’s what truly makes him who he really is while remaining true to himself. He has also been very fortunate to work with some of the best musical artists, Sheila E., for example, and intriguing entertainers, such as Vanity."

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Janelle Monae performs Tightrope live at Glastonbury 2011

Kansas born Janelle Monae performs Tightrope live at Glastonbury 2011

See more of Janelle Monae here

Carnaval Tropical de Paris 2011 on the Champs Elysées in pictures

Copyright: Régis Durand
"You should have seen the carnival parade on the Champs-Elysees on Sunday afternoon," wrote fxgpariscaraibe.

But luckily photograper Régis Durand de Girard of FXG was there on Sunday July 3rd to make the following impression.

See the Carnival Tropical de Paris 2011 on the Champs Elysées in pictures at

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Cape Verde Islands celebrate 36 years of independence + "Kontinuasom" (London)

Photo: The documentary Kontinuasom
Cape Verde Islands celebrate 36 years of independence. So come and celebrate the richness of this country and culture on Sat 9th July at the Lost Theatre, London. Programme from 12.30pm to 5pm.

Appreciate live music. Enjoy traditional dance. Savour tasty delicacies. For more information go to

And also: The film ‘Kontinuasom’

Kontinuasom, film (2009) co-produced by Spain and Cape Verde, displays the hard ordeal of the African diaspora in the search for new opportunities. A migration of the cultural sector, a human capital flight, narrated in the form of documentary through Cape Verdean music, from the most contemporary to the most traditional, which sometimes brings Buena Vista Club Social to mind.

See a beautiful view of the Cape Verde Islands in the documentary

About the film

Beti lives in her homeland – Cape Vert – where she is a dancer in the company Raiz di Polon.

When she is o¬ffered the chance to join a Cape Verdean music show in Lisbon and launch a new career for herself in Portugal, it sets off¬ a deep and essentially Cape Verdean conf ict inside – the identity constructed over the centuries by the diaspora of her people.

J´m bai

Doubts and feelings of melancholy and homelessness hang over her and accompany her as she attempts to make her decision.

The everlasting internal conflict experienced by every Cape Verdean: the desire to flee, the desire to return… expressed and gathered around music, hallmark of the Cape Verdean people.

In 2010 Kontinuasom won the award for best long documentary of Fifai Le Port in the French Festival International Du Film D’Afrique et Des Iles.

Mayra Andrade-"Dispidida

Check out all the postings of the Cape Verde here

Sunday, July 3, 2011

See Neo Soul singer Carmen Rodgers perform "It's Me" at Jazz-Cafe in London

On Sat July 9th Carmen Rodgers returns with her new album for her first show at Jazz Cafe in London in over 5 years.

Carmen is a formidable talent on the Neo Soul scene with recent appearances on BET TV & live appearances & collabs with a who’s who of the new Soul scene.

Part of Keep The Faith’s NeoSoulWorldWide Live series – a USA Neo Soul artist rare, one-night-only UK appearance not to be missed and support from Tamara Wellons (Osunlade, Ocha Records USA), Jesse Gamage, Lataille (Ann-Marie, Organic Familia).

For more information see

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Carnaval Tropical de Paris 2011 - Sunday July 3rd

Carnaval Tropical de Paris 2011, July 3rd at les Champs-Elysées.

Each year for the past decade, a summer day along the Champs Elysées has witnessed an explosion of colour and creativity as the parade of the Carnaval Tropical de Paris passes through.

On July 3rd this year, the event celebrates its 10th anniversary. The parade has chosen a Scene in the Tropics theme for the occasion. Visitors will witness over twenty groups from different countries bringing their own brand of celebration to the most famous street in Paris.

Countries such as Brazil, Colombia, Indonesia and Antilles-Guyana have combined to create this wonderful spectacle, which will be opened by the recently elected Queen of the Carnaval, 24-year-old Celine Patole of Martinique.

Official website >

Update: Photos of Carnaval Tropical de Paris 2011

Countdown to Pop Up FashionMarket – Sunday July 3rd in London

Press release: Once you pop, you just can’t stop! No, not the crisps it’s all about Pop Up FashionMarket, London’s hottest new spot for exquisite chic courtesy of events house, Votre Avant Garde (VAG) the creators of the acclaimed CamerCouture Fashion Showcase.

Fill your wardrobes with the hottest summer styles at amazing discounts of up to 70% from fab labels Asakeoge, Kamondi Couture, Celia Fernandes, Ayikai Couture, bespoke jeweller Yummi Kouture, bag designer Yaa Ataa Bags and textile seller Yaa Ohenewa.

Grab a chance to bag a fabulous free copy of FAB magazine from our media sponsor, oh and some delicious Lolita’s cupcake treats awaits the first 30 people! We also have a delightful surprise up our sleeves!!

An experience not to miss with OH TV and VoxAfrica crew to be in the house! Head down to the Real World Gallery, 65 Hanbury Street, E1 5JP on Sunday July 3rd. Our doors open from 10am to 6pm.
For information, please contact Cynthia Anduhtabe on: 07834 321 373

No Kwakoe Festival 2011 in Amsterdam this year

It's final now. There will be no Kwakoe Festival 2011 in Amsterdam this year.

The festival is one of the biggest multicultural events in the Netherlands and is organised since 1975 in Amsterdam South East.

The event is cancelled due to a lack of funding and a bad credit reputation. It's the first time since it was organised 35 years ago.

From July till August it would have been weekends of pure dancing, eating and anything else in between. Hot summers days with soccer, theatre, music, film and literature. Only not this year.

It's really a shame!

Video: Last day at the Kwakoe festival in Amsterdam

In the video most people say they enjoyed it and that they loved the food and the atmosphere. The man with the microphone at the beauty pageant is the present (Surinamese) chairman of the city district council of Amsterdam South East. In his speech he talks about the trouble with creditors, who this year wanted their money in advance.

Friday, July 1, 2011

1st of July Slavery Remembrance Day in The Netherlands - My personal celebration

The 1st of July is the official Slavery Remembrance Day in the Netherlands. Slavery was abolished in the Dutch colonies in 1863. Because my family is split up in an Antillean and a Surinamese part, I will celebrate both cultures evenly.

Surinamese and Antillean (Dutch Caribbean) people share the same Dutch history, but they have a slightly different culture. But most of all we share the same African heritage. So my personal celebration for today in videos.

The 1st of July is also called "Keti Koti", which is Surinamese for "breaking the chains". Although the remembrance day in the Netherlands is meant for the Dutch Caribbean (the former Dutch Antilleans) and Suriname, the date is a Surinamese slavery commoration date and not an Antillean one.

The 17th of August is the national day of commemoration in the Antilles. On this day, the revolt led by Tula is remembered and the leaders of the revolt are honored. The day was declared a national holiday by proclamation in 1985.

The videos

Video of the Maroons of Suriname, music and photos

The Maroons of Suriname are often called the best kept part of Africa outside Africa. Because of their hard guerrilla warfare the Dutch closed a peace treaty with the Ndyuka people on 10the October 1760. The music is called 'Kauna' and the language could be Saramacan or Ndyuka.

A music video of creole Surinamse theatre group Naks

They sing about Mai Aisa. It's a god who is part of the traditional afro-Surinamese african religion called "Winti". It's a nature god.
When the woman talks she says: I would rather be a Kankantri (a type of Caribbean tree), so I can use my power on every side. ... Yes my motherland Suriname ...
They sing in the creole language Surinamese.

Video: Curacao: Poet Ellis Juliana

The woman says if the master thinks he can be the boss over our mind, then he is crazy. Nobody is the boss of our dances. We are masters of our fight.

Ellis Juliana says, the masters sold their slaves. He sold the men, and the women and children stayed behind. That’s what song is all about. A slave is a chicken mama, a slave is a chicken mama. Juliana says, it's real African, they expressed their shame of what has happened to them. He says I can imagine how they sang the song, hours and hours, how they discharged their feelings. The music is called "Tambu".

The language is Papiamento. A more Spanish Creole language of the Dutch Caribbean.

And to celebrate this day a of song of Izaline Calister - "Wow'i Kariño" ("Friendly eyes"), which she sang on Mother's day. Cailister won the Dutch Edison Award 2009 in the category Jazz and World Music. She was born on Curacao, lives in the Netherlands and sings in Papiamento.

Some links
One of the books that made me more aware of my history was Creole drum, An Anthology of Creole Literature in Surinam. And it's in English.

If you have Surinamese ancestry, you may want to take a look in the online database of the Dutch National archive.

Remembrance day

A video of the commemoration of 2009 in Amsterdam. The video is in the middle of the translation. (The native inhabitans also play a part in the celebration/commoration, because they also were enslaved. Recently I heard that the As)

Girl: I think it’s very important to be here today, because we celebrate the abolition of slavery and I think that all Surinamese should celebrate this day

Surinamese Asian girls: Actually we are here because it’s a beautiful day in the park, there is music, food and there are lot of nice things do to.

Elvira Sweet (then the chairman of city counsel of Amsterdam South East): It's important that people know there roots and that eventually people will find it normal to live here and because we have a shared history

Guy with red shirt: I think it's important to remember what has happened so many years ago

Dutch Woman, under secretary/minster Ank Bijleveld: I've seen the plantations in the Dutch Antillean. And I can hardly imagine how people have experienced it. That's why it's important that there is such a commemoration.

Two girls: We are here because we think it's very important for us, as Surinamese girls, to celebrate our history. And because there is lot of tasty food.

Eddy Campbell, director of Slavery Institute Ninsee. The youth has the future. And they need to celebrate Keti Koti because it contributes to the strengthening of their identity.

Voice: Is it also important that Dutch young people celebrate this?
Guy in Red shirt. Sure, That they realise it, that they know what their history is and why we are here. And why we are one.

Voice of secretary/minster Ank Bijleveld: It had a very big influence on The Netherlands of today. You can't deny what has happened in the past. You have to learn that the slave trade was dehumanising. …

Voice: the Dutch government has voiced regret for the past. Do you think The Netherlands has done enough?

Eddy Campbell: I don't think it's so important. It's just a phrase. What does regret mean if you don't take real steps to take away the disadvantaged position where we are in, and the young people are in today.

Elvira Sweet (then the chairman of city counsel of Amsterdam South East): I thing it's good gesture. But I think it has to do with the future, with acceptance, and to combat exclusion and discrimination. I think that's more important then words.

Tula - the Rebellion of 1795 in Curaçao. The video is a style impression for a feature near future about Tula

The language is Papiamento
Check out the website
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