Friday, October 5, 2012

It's been a while, but I've been doing A LOT!

Hello all! I know it's been MONTHS since I have been on here. I've been mainly posting on my Tumblr page ( I would love for you all to check it out.

Why? Aside from it being AWESOME, I am moving away from my Blogger page since my Tumblr page better fits my style and who I am trying to reach. Plus, I can better micro-blog and source information that is easier and quicker for those to understand, since our world is becoming more visual.

Don't fret - I will still write commentary on what is going on in the Black World, but I'll share photos and images from that world, too.

So, check it out! Once and a while I may post something here, but majority of my posts will be here.

Thanks for your continued support. You all have been with me from the beginning and I have a feeling you'll be with me for a long, long time. :)

Monday, June 18, 2012

In Korean air and in Kenyan fire

  Monday started off in flight with the unintentionally offensive marketing ad by Asian airline giant Korean Air.

The airline is promoting it's newly added flights to Nairobi, but unfortunately referred to Kenyans as "primitive." The airline apologized and removed the ad for revisions. Below is the revised version, which has the classic generalizations. 

The use of "primitive" disgusted residents of the East African nation and others in the black world. However, I do not find this surprising and, in fact, I'm used to it

This goes again to show why global awareness and having a broad worldview is so absolutely important, especially if you live in a homogeneous society where meeting someone who does not look like you is a rarity. Everyone, in Kenya and in South Korea and everywhere else on this planet, should educate themselves by the virtue of critical thinking to become culturally relative and culturally sensitive. 

This world is shrinking, thanks to the advent of the internet. It's baffling that a country like South Korea, which is considered one of the most (if not the most) wired nation in the world, still has these embarrassing moments. I hate to say this, but if multicultural/global awareness training does not take place in this Asian economic power, these upsets are bound to happen again. 

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Hot Summer, Hot Afro-Centric Attire

Summer is almost here officially, but for many parts of the US, the heat is already burning. Like, seriously, it was over 90 degrees a few days ago and ridiculously humid.  Stay cool and look hot, here are some low budget tips that'll give anyone that high fashion look.

First, I'll start with this video I found on BattaBox, which is one of my favorite Nigerian websites co-directed by honorary Nigerian and former CNN report Christian Purefoy. It's how to make an Ankara fabric (Dutch wax) top. These girls are a bit silly and video is kind of long, but it delivers.

Many African fabric stores in the United States carry this fabric and it's pretty well priced. There are places online, but I think you might get a better deal in the store. This top could be paired with shorts over a bathing suit (can you say "pool party?"). Plus, you can be creative and discover many other ways to tie it.

For men, it can also be easy to get some African flair without digging deep in your wallet. This is a little tougher than for the girls, but it's doable, I promise. One place to look for inspiration is from South Africa designer, Stiaan Louw, who gives a modern approach to menswear by fusing several African cultures and modern trends to create a unique and sophisticated men's look. His prices might be out of this world for some, but a lot of similar pieces can be found at stores like H & M and Topman. Both of them also have a lot of men's jewelry from leather and beads that can give an African vibe when paired with a simple well fitted tee and a pair of shorts. Really, the trick is to be simple and clean with your clothing (mainly solid colors and bold patterns) and pair with interesting accessories. That keeps you modern, cool and Afro-centric.

You know what to wear and how to dress, so just do it!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Post-Racial My *** (Part 2)

Yes, folks, I'm back with more of an insight on post-racial America. I already dissected this term before, so I won't delve into it again, but for those who have never read my blog before (or might become so enraged that they won't revisit), post-racial simply means "after a period of racism" and suggests that racism in the United States has ended, primarily because now we have a black president. I am here again to say that the United States is still just as racist now as it was before Barack Obama was elected president. Some of the interesting events this week show why.

In the lovely world of sports so far this year, we've had the pleasure of hearing player for the New York Knicks Jeremy Lin called several racial slurs because he is one of few Asian-Americans on a NBA team. This week, however, Twitter was blown up with the cutest usage of the n-word by several disgruntled hockey fans. Joel Ward, a light-scoring winger for the Washington Capitals who happens to be black, made the winning score on Wednesday night's game against the Boston Bruins which was followed by a lot of praise and a lot of good ol' hate. My favorite tweet: "Can't believe Boston just let a sand nigger beat them #gobacktothejungle" - @abrownn36. Isn't that cute? She used the wrong racial slur and everything.

As racist comments 360-spun their ugly heads in the Twittersphere, somehow they found their way on Facebook from the most unlikely source: an editor at Essence Magazine, the historic black women's magazine. Before several of my sistas start burning copies of the revered magazine, that editor was a white man. Yes, a WHITE MAN. He has now resigned. However, an earlier outrage with the hiring of a white woman (who probably knows better not to post racist comments on the internet) is happily still in her position as fashion director.

It did, however, take a white woman, Lindy West at Jezebel to be exact, to address the issue of racism in white America, which she has cleverly dubbed as "Hipster Racism." One thing she noted, many use (mild) racial comments to make themselves seem not racist when, in fact, they are being very racist (white readers who think they are not racist, please note): 

"There's been a lot of talk these last couple of weeks about "hipster racism" or "ironic racism"—or, as I like to call it, racism. It's, you know, introducing your black friend as "my black friend"—as a joke!!!—to show everybody how totally not preoccupied you are with your black friend's blackness. It's the gentler, more clueless, and more insidious cousin of a hick in a hood; the domain of educated, middle-class white people (like me—to be clear, I am one of those) who believe that not wanting to be racist makes it okay for them to be totally racist. "But I went to college — I can't be racist!" Turns out, you can."

I've said this for a while, but I'm just seen as the radical black man who doesn't understand a joke or is taking it too seriously. I'm glad someone who is not black also sees this as what it is - racist. I think if we ALL notice this, regardless of skin color (because we are all guilty of it, but white America is always pointed out because they are historically and in many ways presently the oppressor in this country), racism can become a thing of the past. I'm not saying we should ignore the social construct of race and reality of ethnicity, but instead educate ourselves to better understand them.

I attended the Nobel Peace Summit this week (which was AWESOME, by the way) and one things that Prof. Jody Williams, one of the Nobel Peace laureates, most notably for her work to ban landmines through the International Campaign to Ban Landmines, told the audience of mainly comprised of high school students that staying in school and being well educated and hearing all sides of the story are compulsory to become an activist for peace. Sean Penn, during his emotional speech after receiving his award, talked about how Americans do not travel, which alludes to another for education that is not restricted to being in school, but to also being in world and surrounding yourself with diverse populations and people of different backgrounds  other than your own. 

In the United States, we are one of several countries that are lucky to have people from so many different ethnic and religious backgrounds, but yet we do not take advantage of this precious resource that could lead to world peace. A post-racial society would be one of peace, but are we there yet? Nope.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

A Gay, Deaf and HIV Positive South African Activist

CNN's African Voices has once again brought another interesting story out of Africa. This one, out of all so far, is definitely the most interesting of all of them. Take a look.

In this video, for those of us who are not hearing-impaired and/or know how to sign, the most interesting thing I think can be learned is how similar those who are hearing impaired are to those who are not. Who would have thought there was a "gay" way to sign, like there is to speak? This leads to another discussion in how certain "norms" can transcend any language.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Wande Coal NEW Video: "Private Trips"

You know, I love promoting Nigerian music, especially if it's Hip-Hop or R & B. Hope you enjoy this new song by Nigerian megastar, Wande Coal.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Open for business

Aerial view of Somalia's capital, Mogadishu. The city recently reopened it's national theater.
Two very interesting things have happened this week north of the equator on my favorite continent. In Nigeria, states and local government areas (LGA) have been given authorization to distribute and produce electricity. In Somalia's capital, Mogadishu, the national theater has reopened after being closed for nearly 20 years.

For Nigeria, this looks like the beginning of the end of several power outages in a day, which, despite it's steady economic growth in the past decade, has pretty much crippled it's full economic potential. In Mogadishu, notorious for being a failed city in a failed nation, maybe this marks a cultural revival (theater culture, that is). Looks like in both countries, a lot more open signs will be up.