February 15, 2018 § Leave a comment
At Gallery 102 on the campus of George Washington University last week a timely new exhibition opened to the public, kicking off with riveting performances by three artists from diverse backgrounds addressing the fluidity, ambivalence and anxiety that can come from a hybrid cultural identity. Entitled “Hyphen American,” it features several multidisciplinary and performance artists whose works challenge the dominant perception of immigrant communities and people from different cultural and social backgrounds.
Fittingly, the idea behind Hyphen American came from two first generation Americans whose similar experiences with their own families and community were the force behind their collaboration. Tsedaye Makonnen, an Ethiopian-American multidisciplinary and performance artist and Alexandra “Rex” Delafkaran, an Iranian-American sculptor, performance artist and curator approached the project from the viewpoint of language and the way it can lay « Read the rest of this entry »
September 3, 2017 § Leave a comment
“I think any black woman is a queen. It’s just, do you know it…Based on who we are and what we’ve been through and how we survive and where we stand, we are on kind of sacred ground. We stand on the backs of our ancestors.” – Ava DuVernay, Film Director
In keeping with Afrofusion TV’s mission to celebrate African diaspora people, highlight their creativity, achievements and accomplishments, we have started a new series featuring African Diaspora Women. Ms. DuVernay’s quote encapsulates the idea behind this series, which will focus on women who are making an impact in their area of professional activity – socially and culturally – and continuing the legacy of greatness that was left by those who have passed on. In the ongoing chronicle of the progress that African descendants have made in the diaspora, unfortunately, black women have not always gotten their due. And so we aren’t waiting, we’re celebrating.
We’re kicking it off with a feature on actor, producer, author, and raw girl vegan Esosa E. We first talked to this Nigerian-American renaissance woman back in 2014 about her role as Ngozi in the hit web series An African City; this year Esosa has been performing her one-woman play “The Woman Who Would Be King” at major DC venues after a successful showing in South Africa last year. Special thanks go the Kennedy Center Millennium Stage for allowing us to use some of their footage for this piece, and thanks a heap to Esosa for her time and for agreeing to do this feature. Check out a short promo video of our interview and watch the full feature on our website and our YouTube Channel. We’ll say no more; just be sure to follow Esosa on Instagram, Twitter, and like her page on Facebook.Watch this space for more features on dynamic African Diaspora women. Bless…
August 11, 2017 § Leave a comment
Fans had started screaming for Nigeria’s music superstar Yemi Alade long before she came onstage at the Howard Theatre in Washington, DC, as they endured an extra-long opening set with a multitude of dancers, rappers and singers. When she finally burst onto the stage with her dancers, electrifying the crowd with two of her hit songs “Tangerine” and “Tumbum,” one could not help but conclude that we were witnessing the evolution of a bonafide African music legend. No matter who’s top of the bill, you can always expect a party when an African musician puts on a concert, and Yemi Alade did not disappoint. She engaged the crowd in raucous call and response chants to her songs, and invited several guests onto the stage to participate in a mini dance-off. The 28-year-old singer and songwriter describes her music as “afropolitan,” or “Afro-highlife, a meld of Afrobeat, R&B, pop, and highlife.” Before her DC show, Yemi Alade sat down with « Read the rest of this entry »
July 17, 2017 § 2 Comments
One of the benefits of attending an event like the AfroLatiino Festival in New York City is the cultural learning experience. In 2015 Afrofusion TV got a new lesson on Garifuna communities in the African Diaspora. This time around we ran into a young researcher, Asheda Dwyer, who let us in on the work she’s doing on Garvey, Chile and Rastafari, and the afrodescendant communities that are still fighting for recognition there. Turns out that Chile has one of the fastest growing Rastafari populations in the world. Dwyer, who is based in Toronto, Canada, is intent on exploring and doing further research on the roots of the Pan-African movement happening in Chile. The northern port city of Arica, the area in Chile with the greatest number of African descendants, had around 8,500 Afro-Chileans at last count by the National Institute of Statistics (INE). However, « Read the rest of this entry »
July 15, 2017 § 3 Comments
It was a powerful tribute to Diaspora women at the 5th edition of the AfroLatino Festival NYC, and it couldn’t have been done at a more important time, as they have essentially been the backbone – as well as at the forefront – of the struggle for basic human rights and justice. At a time when the very existence of AfroLatinos and other Afrodescendientes is still questioned, spaces and events like this two-day festival are vital to the survival and evolution of Diaspora and Afrolatino communities. The festivities started at the historic Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, in Harlem, with a AfroLatin Talks symposium and a Liberación Film Festival. Afro-Peruvian singer/songwriter Susanna Baca received « Read the rest of this entry »
June 26, 2017 § Leave a comment
A couple of years ago when Prince made that statement at the Grammys, “Like books and Black Lives, albums still matter,” he might as well have been making reference to reggae star Protoje, whose 2015 album Ancient Future is definitely one of the best reggae albums from Jamaica in quite some time. In a world of mixtapes and leaked tracks, Protoje has led a new wave of reggae artists who are creating some really innovative and inspirational music, with Protoje and his Indiggnation Collective, already putting out three and half albums since 2011. In what is really a growing but tight community of creative artists, the movement dubbed reggae revival by author and activist Dutty Bookman has led to some stellar collaborations between musicians like Jesse Royal, Kabaka Pyramid, Jah 9, Chronixx, and others. One of the most popular – “Who Knows,” by Protoje featuring Chronixx appears on Ancient Future; the song has become a staple at « Read the rest of this entry »
June 15, 2017 § Leave a comment
Reggae singer and songwriter Etana swung through Washington, DC on June 11th to perform live at the Hamilton DC, and graciously made time to chat with us at Afrofusion TV. As she prepares to release her fifth studio album, the Jamaican singer born Shauna McKenzie is on a whirlwind road show dubbed the “Reggae Forever Tour,” taking her inspirational and uplifting songs to the masses worldwide. As is the case with a number of artists associated with the movement, Etana is a bit wary of the “reggae revival” label, and gave a very measured and thoughtful response in our interview.
April 23, 2017 § Leave a comment
The first single off his soon-to-be released debut album Chronology, “Likes,” has Chronixx warning us about the superficiality of social media hype. But, it’s evident that the most prominent artist at the forefront of the reggae revival has also made very smart use of social media to steadily grow his worldwide fan base. That – together with his critically acclaimed EP Dread and Terrible, the announcement of his Chronology tour, and his February appearance on NBC’s The Tonight Show – has made his new disc one of the most eagerly anticipated reggae debut albums. We first heard of Chronixx back when we interviewed the man who coined the term “reggae revival,” author, culture activist and DJ Dutty Bookman. Naturally, seeing Chronixx and his band
Zincfence Redemption live in concert on April 20 was a must, and although we were not able to interview the artist this time, we can share some photos and a (cell phone) video clip from his show. Fellow Jamaican artist Kelissa, who is also « Read the rest of this entry »
February 17, 2017 § 1 Comment
She “broke the internet” with an Instagram photo of her African print prom dress in 2015; now 19 year-old Kyemah McEntyre is the featured designer at Harlem Fashion Week’s runway show in her debut collection at New York Fashion Week. Afrofusion TV was there as Harlem Fashion Week Founders Tandra Birkett and Yvonne Jewnell put together a radical, magical show that featured emerging and established designers, with part of the proceeds going to the rebuilding of the Slave Museum at Senegal’s Goree Island. Check out the video we put together, with interviews from Kyemah McEntyre, Yvonne Jewnell, Tandra Birkett, and celebrity stylists Brandon Hood and Jonathan Boderick. Tandra and Yvonne are also organizing a symposium on “The Business of Fashion” next month, March 25th in Harlem, to help educate new and established designers on ways to build their business. Be sure to check it out! You can also watch our highlight video on our Facebook page.