#Queens: African Diaspora Women – Esosa E.

September 3, 2017 § Leave a comment

Esosa E. performs her one-woman play at the Smithsonian Nat’l Museum of African Art

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…

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Researcher Asheda Dwyer On Chile, Garvey and Rastafari.

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 »

Powerful Tribute to Diaspora Women at The AfroLatino Festival NYC 2017

July 15, 2017 § 3 Comments

Amara La Negra performs at the AfroLatino Festival NYC July 8

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 »

Protoje talks Reggae with Afrofusion TV

June 26, 2017 § Leave a comment

Protoje performs at the Howard Theatre in Washington, DC

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 »

Kyemah McEntyre unveils debut design collection at Harlem Fashion Week

February 17, 2017 § 1 Comment

Kyemah McEntyre with a replica of her famous prom dress

Kyemah McEntyre with a replica of her famous prom dress

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.

Some photos from the show are below. Bless…hfw-shots-1-11

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Models wearing Kyemah McEntyre's Mind of Kye Designs

Models wearing Kyemah McEntyre’s Mind of Kye Designs

Yvonne Jewnell (c) poses with models wearing her designs

Yvonne Jewnell (c) poses with models wearing her designs

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Smithsonian African Art Awards Dinner Honors Contemporary African Artists

November 2, 2016 § Leave a comment

The Smithsonian’s historic Arts and Industries building in SW Washington, DC was the venue for the first Annual African Art Awards Dinner on Friday October 28, hosted by the National Museum of African Art. Museum director Johnetta Betsch Cole launched the fundraising dinner as a way to honor established and up-and-coming artists, and also to show gratitude to major philanthropic organizations that have supported the museum and its mission.

Yinka Shonibare, MBE giving remarks after receiving his award

Yinka Shonibare, MBE giving remarks after receiving his award

The 2016 awardees are Kenyan born artist Ato Malinda and Nigerian-British Yinka Shonibare, MBE, one of the most important contemporary artists in the « Read the rest of this entry »

Jimi King on African Fashion and Art

September 5, 2016 § Leave a comment

Jimi King

Jimi King

You can’t call Jimi King a “fashion designer,” even though he is quite a successful one. You can’t really call him an “African artist” either, even though he is an artist, and most definitely a proud African. Like many individual artists in the art and fashion world, Nigerian artist Jimi King is uncomfortable with labels. “I don’t like to be boxed in,” he revealed in an interview with Afrofusion TV on a recent visit to the Washington, DC area during his 2016 summer tour. Given the length and breadth of his experience, it’s understandable. In addition to fashion (wearable art, as he calls it) King does painting, sculpture and music (drumming). He has been a regular in Paris at the UNESCO Africa Week and Bazaar for the past five years, and participated in Africa Fashion Week London during the « Read the rest of this entry »

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