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THE

#NoPopcornMedia Newsletter

Issue Nº 2 

 

JCole in Nigeria and Bridge Building Between Africans and African Americans
by Chika Dunga


what is it?
Friends, Welcome to the #NoPopcornMedia newsletter. I'm frustrated by the lack of high quality journalism and storytelling - especially around black focused content. So I decided to create my own newsletter with curated stories that I find interesting and I think you would too.  My hope is that these stories expand your world and act as a catalyst for your future. Maybe its traveling to new country, sowing an idea, or dating that guy/girl -- whatever it is, stories are bridges to new discoveries.  

 

"Nigeria 7 days later It don't make sense. Can't wait to hit the road."
— JCole (in shock and admiration at his Nigerian fans that rapped his songs word for word).

Distant Relatives, We need to Know Ourselves
As a first generation American who’s parents emigrated from Nigeria, I was BEYOND excited to see my mans, Jermaine, performing in Lagos a week after KOD debuted. J Cole himself was shocked as thousands of Nigerians rapped lyrics from KOD and his previous albums word for word. But, the ugly head of ignorance reared its head as African Americans and Africans volleyed insults towards each other in the sunken place of the comments section. As a member of both groups, its alarming to observe the unnecessary disdain due to lack of exposure. However, I’m a solutions type of gal and I aim to create more opportunities for us to learn about ourselves, hence this newsletter. Check out the movements of the past and present, and the people building bridges between the Old and New World.
 
Understanding Colonialism in Africa
How did Africans end up speaking English and French -- two of the most widely spoken languages in Africa? Well, this excellent piece by the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture  breaks down the “Scramble for Africa” and the various resistance movements across the continent.
Up your Wokeness - HomeGoing by Yaa Gyasi  
This book is a MUST READ for every black person. I don’t care where you’re from - San Francisco, Baltimore, Ghana, or Cameroon. Homegoing provides a glimpse into the humanity of people on both sides of the slave trade and its historical impact. Gyasi takes us into 18th century Ghana, as the British are encroaching inland, and follows the lives of two half sisters. One marries an Englishman and the other is captured in a raid and sold into slavery. The novel follows the parallel paths of these sisters and their descendants through eight generations: from the Gold Coast to the plantations of Mississippi, from the American Civil War to Jazz Age in Harlem. Did I mention that Yaa published her awarding winning debut novel when she was 26 years old — what am I doing with my life. QTNA.
The Role African Americans in the African Independence Movement
If you look at present relations between African immigrants and African Americans today, you’d never think that a blossoming relationship once existed. History tells a story of symbiotic friendship. African leaders and African American Civil Rights leaders broke bread and traded ideologies during the tumultuous 60s and 70s. Lincoln University, boasts one particularly barrier shattering cohort comprised of Thurgood Marshall, Langston Hughes, Cab Calloway, Kwame Nkrumah, and Nnamdi Azikiwe (first presidents of Ghana and Nigeria) -- yep all in the same class.  Outside of his notable domestic impact, Marshall’s pen crossed borders, drafting Ghana and Tanzania’s constitutions and Kenya’s Bill of Rights.  The Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. attended Ghana and Nigeria’s Independence day ceremonies, both of which had a profound impact and encouraged him to continue pursuing justice for African Americans.
Cool Fact: The black star on Ghana’s national flag was inspired by Marcus Garvy’s shipping company, The Black Star Lines.
 
Travel Africa and Skip Mediocre, Welcome to Tastemakers Africa
Travel startup, Tastemakers Africa is building a platform driven by local marketplace ecosystems that create authentic local experiences across Africa. I actually had the chance to chat with the founder and CEO, Cherae Robinson several times (we’re practically best friends -- in my head). Sidenote: One of these conversations consisted of her listing her many home(s): South Africa, Kenya, Ghana, Nigeria. My heart is darkening with jealousy. In her words on her medium blog, “The best way to disrupt this system is to create opportunities for people to break stereotypes and foster a more honest narrative together. We are building a platform that connects travelers who want to go beyond safaris with local insiders who host them on epic experiences.” In her other life, she’s also a DJ. Follow her and Tastemakers!

 
 
AfroBeatsDanceNYC
The recent international surge of the Afrobeats music genre and the Wakanda bounce (that’s a joke) has created a ravenous interest in the popular dance styles coming out of Africa.  My friend, Jlyn, created AfrobeatsDanceNYC  to introduce New Yorkers to the latest contemporary dance styles emerging from the continent. Each week, her platform, hosts famous choreographers from all over the world to teach a diverse set of dancers the hottest moves from all over Africa and explore the polyrhythm fusion sounds of dancehall, soca, r&b, hip hop, and high life beats. The classes are lit. I stay in the back with the wannabe dancers, but maybe one day I’ll make it to the frontlines and become instagram famous.  
Events That I'd Attend
Check out these upcoming events that I've researched. 

Tickets for Blavity’s women’s leadership and empowerment conference, 21 Ninety, are live.

BYOB is bringing together 1000+ entrepreneurs, creatives, mentors, brands, and athletes in Chocolate City (Washington DC). 

UIUTristate is launching its entrepreneurship series at Lowenstein LLP, the nation's leading law firm in venture capital and seed stage investing. If you're looking for funds, you should probably be there. 

1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair in its 4th edition will 
present 21 international exhibitors, the artworks of over 60 artists from Africa and its diaspora. (Your girl has press passes #finessequeen)

Deutsche Bank Microfinance Club is hosting
The Sleeping Giant, The Untapped Resources of High Networth Donors of Color
 
Jamming in the Summer Time
Check out these cool music and cultural fests and ultimate celebration of melanin happening this summer.

AfroPunk
Afro-Latino Fest 
Essence Fest
New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival (I'm a bit late with this but I'm from the trap music generation).

 
Thank You and see you next week. Feedback, ideas, or your down for the cause and want to contribute just reply to this email! #synergies
 
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