Category: Culture

International Mall Offers a Cultural Experience & Unique Shopping


Few Americans travel to Africa and even fewer have been to Somalia. But you can get a taste of African and international culture and goods right here in Louisville at the International Mall at Eighth and York streets.

A large warehouse-type building is separated into small rooms housing several businesses, including shops, tailors, groceries and even a barber, all owned by independent business owners who come together to support each other. If you’ve ever traveled to a country with a market area or medina, you’ll recognize the small stalls that use every inch of space to store and display wares. Brightly colored rugs, dresses and curtains line the walls and hang from the ceilings. There are beautiful golden tea sets, plates and stackable cookware, alongside faux flower arrangements and beautiful headscarves.

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Celebrity chef, Marcus Samuelsson, films in Houston with West African community

By Eric Sandler

Chef Marcus Samuelsson spent this past weekend in Houston filming for his PBS reality series No Passport Required. Slated to air later this year, the episode will focus on Houston’s West African community and its rapidly growing presence on Houston’s culinary scene.

Houston will be one of six cities featured in season two. The show will also cover Filipino food in Seattle, Italian food in Philadelphia, Armenian food in Los Angeles, Chinese food in Las Vegas, and Brazilian and Portugese food in Boston.

Samuelsson tells CultureMap that he visited a few spots in Houston to complete his tour, including Safari, the Nigerian restaurant that’s operated in southwest Houston for 30 years.

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University of Maryland highlights diversity of African diaspora at Black Culture Expo

By Joy Saha

University of Maryland students hailing from as close as Baltimore and Washington D.C., and as far as Nigeria and Ghana, gathered in Stamp on Friday to acknowledge the contributions of various cultures of the black diaspora from Africa.

To celebrate Black History Month, the African Students’ Progressive Action Committee hosted the Black Cultural Expo to appreciate “the many different people that have connections to the African continent,” said the committee’s president Clydelle Agyei, a junior public health science major

“Our organization mainly focuses on African communities, but this time we wanted to broaden the spectrum,” said ASPAC co-vice president Karsten Dankyi, a junior neurobiology and physiology major.

“We wanted to do Africans, African Americans, Afro-Latinos. Just something that everyone could come and share and learn something in the process.The first half of the Expo featured five students showcasing their photography, painting, a cosmetic line and a clothing brand.

Isha Kamara, a junior theater major, displayed Iced Out Cosmetics, her personal cosmetic line that featured brightly colored lipsticks, collections of false eyelashes and a variety of bold facial glitters. For Kamara, her business is more than just makeup. It’s also meant to empower and represent both the black community and the queer community. Continue reading “University of Maryland highlights diversity of African diaspora at Black Culture Expo”

PhilAesthetic: AAMP celebrates the African Diaspora in Philadelphia

Three new exhibitions and over a dozen programs will take place from February through May

PhilAesthetic returns to the African American Museum in Philadelphia (AAMP) to celebrate the African Diaspora.

Funded through The PNC Foundation through the PNC Arts Alive initiative, and curated by AAMP, PhilAesthetic shines a light on the vastness, depth and impact of diasporic arts and culture here in Philadelphia, and worldwide.

This year marks the 400-year anniversary of the arrival of Africans to British colonies of 1619. These individuals brought with them a rich cultural tapestry that would shape the foundations of our country, and go on to influence creative expression around the globe.

Honoring the cultural contributions of diasporic communities past and present, this year’s PhilAesthetic celebration includes three new exhibitions at AAMP, including “AAMP on Paper: Selections from the Permanent Collection,” along with “Baye Fall: Roots in Spirituality, Fashion” and “Resistance and The Sacred Star of Isis and Other Stories,” which include photographs by MFON: Women Photographers of the African Diaspora founders Laylah Amatullah Barrayn Adama and Delphine Fawundu. In addition to these exhibitions, PhilAesthetic includes more than a dozen programs held both at the museum and with partnering institutions around Philadelphia through May.

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Pan African Festival Connects African Diaspora Through the Arts

More than 100 artisans and 170 films from around the world are being showcased at the 27th Annual Pan African Film & Arts Festival in Los Angeles.

The multiday event in the largely African American neighborhood of Baldwin Hills aims to connect Africans to people of African descent from around the world.

“As a result of the slave trade and colonization, African people are spread all over the planet, so we get a chance through this festival, get a chance to know each other,” said the festival’s executive director, Ayuko Babu.

Film, fine art, fashion and jewelry with Africa as inspiration are all featured at the festival.

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West African Students host annual African week to highlight diversity

From Feb. 17-23, the Wellesley African Students’ Association (WASA) invites the Wellesley College community to take part in Africa Week.

Originally called the African Film Festival when it was established in 2004, the event as a chance for the community to focus on different African perspectives through film.

Africa Week is put on during Black History Month and focuses on having the community engage with various aspects of different African cultures. Aside from solely screening films, Africa Week allows WASA to invite different organizations on campus to showcase their talents in order to highlight the diversity of African culture.

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Interviews form basis of new play about the legacy of Sudan in Iowa City

On Friday, Feb. 15 from 4:30-6 p.m. in the Senate Chambers of the Old Capital Museum, the African Studies Program and the Office of Outreach and Engagement at the University of Iowa presented My Daughters Are My Writings, a new play based on oral histories of seven Iowa City residents from Sudan compiled by two UI graduate students, followed by a talk by Steve Howard, a scholar visiting from Ohio University (Athens), about Mahmoud Mohammed Taha, a Sudanese Muslim social reformer whose work initiated the Republican Brotherhood before and after Sudan’s independence from Britain.

The play is a truly interdisciplinary affair: Written by UI alum Margot Connolly, based on excerpts from Howard’s book and interviews by graduate students from the history department, it is directed by UI theater graduate student Britny Horton, who acts in the play alongside three fellow graduate students.

Taha is best known for the Second Message of Islam, which distinguishes the verses in the Koran revealed in Medina (the basis of Sharia law) from those initially revealed in Mecca. The latter, from Taha’s perspective, would provide the basis of an ideal religion based on freedom and equality — including the equality of men and women.

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Music Professor Receives Prestigious International Fellowship

Carnegie African Diaspora Fellowship supports George Dor’s work with Nigerian university

George Worlasi Kwasi Dor, a music professor at the University of Mississippi, has been awarded a fellowship by the Carnegie African Diaspora Fellowship Program to work with professors at the University of Port Harcourt in Nigeria.


Dor, a native of Ghana who holds the McDonnell-Barksdale Chair of Ethnomusicology at UM, will travel to Nigeria in the summer of 2019 to collaborate with Adeoluwa Okunade and Marie Agatha Ozah on field research in ethnomusicology, curriculum development, and mentoring of graduate assistants and assistant lecturers.


“The research portion of the project will consider the ways indigenous knowledge in traditional ethnic music stays relevant to contemporary communities in Ghana and Nigeria,” Dor said. “This will build on research Dr. Ozah and I have collaborated on before, and we look forward to using the opportunity to train graduate students in ethnographic field research methods. Continue reading “Music Professor Receives Prestigious International Fellowship”

Bakanal de Afrique brings African diaspora performance to Oakland and SF

Immerse yourself in the underground and emerging arts of the African diaspora via Bakanal de Afrique, a multi-genre festival taking place throughout November in Oakland and San Francisco presented by the Afro Urban Society and Dance Mission Theater. This according to DATEBOOK Continue reading “Bakanal de Afrique brings African diaspora performance to Oakland and SF”

South African filmmakers are in Hollywood to boost an industry eclipsed by Nollywood

Hollywood deal-making will hit peak this week as the American Film Market opens in Santa Monica, California. Among the throng of film execs and ambitious producers at the world’s largest motion picture trade event is a group of South Africans who carry more than the hopes of their entertainment industry.

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Brad Wall apologizes after concerns raised over ‘Nigerian prince’ tweet

Former Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall has apologized after comparing the federal government’s plan to impose a price on carbon to a “Nigerian prince” email scam on social media recently.

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University hosts first Yale Africa Film Festival

The MacMillan Center’s Council on African Studies, in partnership with Yale African Graduate & Professional Students and the Afro-American Cultural Center at Yale hosted the inaugural Yale Africa Film Festival this weekend. The festival screened three main movies — “Mma Moeketsi”, by award-winning South African director Rea Moeti; “Kasala” by Nigerian Ema Edosio; and “Bigger than Africa” by Toyin Adekeye. Continue reading “University hosts first Yale Africa Film Festival”

AT&T Debuts ‘Nigerian Prince’ In Theaters

AT&T is set to unveil  NIGERIAN PRINCE  to audiences across America. Untold Stories is a film initiative created by AT&T and Tribeca to ensure diverse voices in storytelling are heard and seen in theaters and living rooms across the country.  Written and directed by newcomer Faraday Okoro, and filmed in Lagos, Nigeria, the film is a heist thriller about a Nigerian-American teenager sent to visit relatives in Nigeria against his will, later to join forces with his internet scammer cousin in an attempt to return to the United States on his own. Continue reading “AT&T Debuts ‘Nigerian Prince’ In Theaters”

Ghanaian-Born John Akomfrah Deftly Weaves Tales of the African Diaspora in New York

Ghanaian-born   British artist, writer, film directorscreenwriter, theorist and curator holds a video installation in New York’s New Museum. The videos explore postcolonial history, nature and migration and takes up the entire second floor of the museum in Manhattan. This report by Martha Schwendener in New York times gives more perspective on the installation.

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