Q & A with Walter Mosley about Ferguson, race and his latest novel

Walter Mosley photo

What I especially admire about Walter Mosley, author of 37 critically acclaimed books including DEVIL IN A BLUE DRESS, is that although his novels explore serious matters, they make a light read. In fact, people wrongly think that seriousness is a sign of depth. Simplifying serious matters, which Mosley does skilfully, is often a mark of profound…

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Watching ‘Concerning Violence’.

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                      The trailer for Göran Hugo Olsson’s ‘Concerning Violence’. I just watched ‘Concerning Violence’.’ ‘Anger. Catharsis. Birth. Small paroxysms of ritualistic release.’ ‘I also felt serene watching it.’ ‘This is what it is to be a woman. It is to be pain. Femininity is not a…

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Ethical Fashion Initiative: when fashion is both beautiful and meaningful

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It’s about 6pm on the 12th of June 2014. I’m at the World Trade Organisation in Geneva, a characteristically grandiose European institutional building made all the more incredible by its waterfront view and bright, modern yet noble style. It is the type of space that – bewilderingly – makes you think of both justice and injustice. Today…

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When it comes to the bride price app there is only one word. No.

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This post is inspired by a piece  CNN published on Wednesday about the Nigerian bride price app, an app/quiz which calculates the marital value of a woman by pricing attributes such as her height, weight, beauty, cooking skills, education and dialect. All in jest, yeah, the app, as the site’s disclaimer says is, “a joke, and…

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Review of Fruitvale Station

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“The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice,” said Martin Luther King famously in this speech. This may be so, but for Americans of African descent, one might add that it bends toward justice only when the unjustly treated bend it. Few groups of people have collectively been so wronged, over so…

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Reading Wole Soyinka’s ‘Of Africa’ in times of Boko Haram

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As reckless forces of terror-driven religious fundamentalism ravage Nigeria we would be wise to remember the insights of the ancestors. Unfortunately, as Soyinka argues in his most recent book, Of Africa, Africa as we know it today, “remains the monumental fiction of European creativity” marked by a type of religiosity that is a “destabilising agent”;…

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7 great novels by African women writers

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“In the stories we tell ourselves, we tell ourselves,” said Michael Martone rightly. We also read ourselves in the books we read, or at least in those books that we cherish. For this reason, one of my 2014 resolutions was to return to a favourite pastime, namely reading fiction. For some years my reading life…

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A badass case of Beyoncitis

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It starts with cunnilingus. Not the “Beyoncé ” album (which starts with “Pretty Hurts”) but this review. After all, when a megastar like Beyoncé dedicates a song to oral stimulation of the clitoris in a world where the opposite is more common, an emphasis is only appropriate. OK, “Lick my skittles, it’s the sweetest in…

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His idea of beauty: Interview with Terence Nance, director of An Oversimplification of Her Beauty

Still of Terence holding Camera

Are you familiar with semiotext(e), the avant-garde, “punk-rock” publisher that introduced french theory to America? No? Don’t worry, most people probably are not. But they should be. Semiotext(e) publishes books that are at times bursting with self-indulgent introspection but that often push and provoke new ways of understanding the world we live in. I ask this…

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Winnie Mandela’s derivative portrayal in a Long Walk to Freedom

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The latest Nelson Mandela biopic, “Long Walk to Freedom” is not a disappointment. It’s a moving, informative treatment of Nelson Mandela’s eponymous autobiography. And Winnie Mandela as played by Naomie Harris is compelling. Harris conveys well the impassioned spirit of the most powerful woman in the history of African anti-colonial struggle. The movie’s blurb states,…

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The African Femme Fatale

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As the year comes to an end, I thought that I would like my last post of the year to be about something exciting, a feminine energy we could do well channeling more of in 2014. Scrolling through old posts and comments, I recognised an energy brewing, one not yet defined but one which can…

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The objectification of men

African Renaissance Monument - From Above

I am intrigued, despite my previous post about how African women’s art is feminist, by how seldom women artists (from Africa but also elsewhere) objectify the male body. We lose out from this disengagement with the male as object. Whether it is fine or digital art, photography or sculpture, we are culturally deprived of an artistic female…

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What makes African women’s art feminist?

It has been said that artistry in Africa is an intrinsic part of life rather than a commercial or careerist enterprise. I’d say that this notion is not only applicable to African art, all across the world art has explored the sensitivities of life and the social environment. However, it is in this process of examining life…

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7 ways that Africa is shaping globalisation

Globalisation, the compression of the world through cultural exchanges and innovation, is not a new incident to Africa (nor any other part of the world for that matter). Africa is interwoven in a millennia-long global exchange, where it has often lost out but also benefited from and shaped the course of global innovation to a far…

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Guest post: I love African men too, but do they love me back?

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This is a guest blog by Stephanie Kimou (pictured) who blogs at A Black Girl in the World *** Minna’s article last week on the reasons why she/we love African men, was pretty spot on right? I certainly appreciate African men and if I may be biased, especially West African men – *swoon*. I agree that…

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We need to eroticise society

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I know what you’re thinking: What do I mean by “eroticise” society and why on earth should we do that? Surely we are obsessed with sex as it is! Well, yes, sex is everywhere but Eros, i.e. Erotic love, isn’t. Our sexual culture is either prudish or pornographic. On one end, we are surrounded by explicit…

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An African feminist analysis of Fela’s “Lady”

This post is in remembrance of the legendary Fela Anikulapo-Kuti, deceased on this day in 1997. May his soul continue to rest in peace.  Extract from “Lady” If you call am woman / African woman no go gree / She go say, she go say, I be lady o / CHORUS: She go say, I…

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Meditations with Lorna Simpson

Lorna Simpson

Why do I like pictures that seem ghostly? I’m not religious and I am no more spiritual than any one else. I’m not an atheist either but I cherish rational argument. I spend quite a lot of my time upside down, in Adho Mukha Svanasana and occasionally Urdhva Dhanurasana and so on, and yet despite my fondness for…

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Apart from Chinua Achebe, which other African writers deserve the Nobel Prize in Literature?

In the lead up to the short list announcement for the Nobel Prize in Literature on 30 May, headlines this week brought to the fore the problematic obsession that some people have with the Nobel Prize in Literature being awarded to the late Chinua Achebe. For years, the pre-announcement period has seen speculations demands as to whether…

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Why African women should blog

The world has never been as patriarchal as it is today. I’m not claiming that individual societies don’t treat their women better than they did previously, but in the globalised, interconnected world we live in, we can no longer consider issues in an isolated fashion. So as we now consider the situation of women everywhere,…

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Can Africans have multiple subcultures? A response to “Exorcising Afropolitanism”

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On 24 June 2011, over 5,000 people showed up for an event at the V&A Museum in London titled “Friday Late: Afropolitans”. Now, packing the world famous museum is usually the function of western art and high fashion, but on this night the crowd came to listen to artists like Spoek Mathambo, taste palm wine…

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What does women’s day mean to African bloggers?

When I was seventeen, I got a job as a telephone salesperson of ink cartridges. The worst thing about the job was that I was so good at it. I was promoted and was eventually earning a serious lot of money. I don’t know what made me a successful ink cartridge seller but I use…

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Dressing up as Frida Kahlo

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A few weeks ago, ahead of FRIDA – Female Revolution in Dance & Art, I got “unibrowed”, moustached, red lippied and dressed up as the legend Frida Kahlo for the International Women’s Month event. Or rather, as Frida Kahlo in a selection of her self-portraits. The photos, which are part of the ongoing exhibition, were…

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In praise of, Beyoncé.

I can’t believe I fell for your schemes, I’m smarter than that/So dumb and naive to believe that with me you’re a changed man/Foolish of me to compete when you cheat with those women /It took me some time, but now I moved on/Cause I realized I got/Me, myself and I/That’s all I got in…

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Why Spike Lee was right about Django Unchained

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Spike Lee did the right thing in publicly taking issue with Django Unchained, the latest Quentin Tarantino movie about a freed African slave who embarks on a violent journey to save his wife. The wife character, Broomhilda, played by Kerry Washington is monotonous to discuss for hers is a shockingly flat role. Her character serves…

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Female skin, male masks

Tuesday, June 26th, 2012 I attend ‘hip hop on trial’, a global debate discussing whether hip hop is the authentic, revolutionary voice of the oppressed or if it is a glorification of all that holds back oppressed minorities and hinders them from mainstream assimilation. At 32 minutes into the discussion, which is streamed live, there is an episode…

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I Stand Corrected tackles homophobia in South Africa and Britain straight on

“I’ll tell you what’s unnatural. Forcing a cock into a woman’s cunt!” These are the heated words that Charlie Browning,  a character played by Mojisola Adebayo, yells halfway through a new theatre and dance collaboration at the Ovalhouse Theatre, I Stand Corrected. The production sees two of Africa’s most renowned performers, the critically acclaimed Danish-Nigerian playwright, Mojisola Adebayo, and Mamela…

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Shortlisted in Red’s Hot Women Awards by Red Magazine

I’m very excited to share that I’m shortlisted for Red Magazine’s ‘Red’s Hot Women Awards’ Blogger category. Since the start of MsAfropolitan approximately two years ago, I’ve loved every single minute of blogging and it’s precious to receive encouragement for something that I hope to do ad infinitum. Red’s Hot Women Awards celebrates women from…

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