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Showing posts from January, 2015

Photography: Snowing

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-- Jane

Poetry: Nigerian Pastoral by Inua Ellams

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via Nigerian Pastoral by  Inua Ellams After Gregory Djanikian . If Adamu were leaning against a wall mouth flush with fresh coconut when trucks screeched to a halt and Adewunmi were writing her name in sand, dragging the small stick when the magazine clicked and Afoaka were hushing her twins waving the straw fan back and forth when the first shots rang out if Aliyu barefoot by the oranges were squeezing each fruit for ripeness when the bullet shattered his cheek if Akarachi refusing to run were praying in his room when the rocket struck the roof and Azuba in her new hand-stitched hijab were tucking away stray wisps when the blast ate her skin How long would it have to go on then beginning with A and spilling over into all the alphabets before mother sister father child could bear the same weight in any faith, in any race, be mourned with the same tongue. --- via Okayafrica --- Listen to my reading of "Nigerian Pastoral" below:

Meet Esi of Akatasia

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Jane: A little about yourself Esi: My name is Henrietta-Esi and I am the founder and curator of Akatasia.com. I was born and raised in the south east of England to Ghanaian parents. I am a mum and a full time web developer. J: When and why did you start your website? E: I started akatasia.com at the end of 2012. As a product of the diaspora, it was initially a way for me to document and get reacquainted with my culture through creative arts (a personal passion of mine). The site has since grown to become a hub for readers to discover interesting talent from Africans all over the word. J: Why the name Akatasia? E: Akatasia means lady in Twi (Akan) which pertained to me and is the main premise for what I tend to focus the posts on. I like to showcase female creatives from Africa and the diaspora, as well as men and non africans that embark on creative projects that help to put African culture in a positive light. J: What motivates you to keep Aketesia going? E: My m

Opinion: Stop and Taste the Tea

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From a tea shop I once worked at, I picked the habit of mixing teas.  I love the preparation as much as the surprise of the first taste. When it is good I feel clever and when it is bad I say, "oh well." To celebrate, review, contemplate, and define 2014 I wanted a drink to sip along.  I found a promising bag in a favorite shop and the price lit me up.  It was an 8 ounce bag of organic earl grey black tea. I brought it home in a hurry and brought the water to boil. The taste was rich, but not overwhelming; the bergamot is prominent. I enjoyed it with my thoughts on the old year and found it to be also very good at waking one's energy. Before the black tea, my daily go to was my jasmine green tea. A couple of mornings ago as I was about to make a cup, I thought it would be clever to blend the green and the black teas for a new taste.  It was not until the next day that I realized I did not know the taste of my new blend. I tried again, but  having developed a habit of d

Personal Style: Textures And Stripes

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Headband - Mawusi Handmade Necklace - IKKX Sweater - Daffy's Turtleneck - Forever 21 Dress - H&M Jacket - Gift Hand Knitted Scarf (I made it!) - Find a similar one at Mawusi Boots - Dr. Martens Tights and Bag - Marshalls Location - Corona, Queens

Music: Benjamin Clementine - Condolence

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The last page of  My Ántonia   was turned on Sunday. I am now between the pages of  The Bluest Eye  by Toni Morrison.  I hoped to share some thoughts on the novel here today but run out of time to do a good job of it.  Instead, I am sharing my new favorite singer and song with you. My cousin referred me to Benjamin Clementine's " Cornerstone ," late last year. I loved his deep confiding voice, the minimal use of instruments, and the refreshing poetic lyrics. I meant to find him again as I was then in the middle of things. I forgot. A few days ago, my wonderful Parisian client turned friend mentioned him, and in the middle of crocheting orders I tuned in and got hooked fast; especially to "Condolence." His voice is soulful, encouraging, understanding, borderline melancholia, and the lyrics very insightful and beautiful. Lyrics I swear that you've seen me Yes you've seen me here before Before And so don't tell it Don't tell it

Poetry: Meru by William Butler Yeats

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Meru by William Butler Yeats Civilisation is hooped together, brought Under a rule, under the semblance of peace By manifold illusion; but man’s life is thought, And he, despite his terror, cannot cease Ravening through century after century, Ravening, raging, and uprooting that he may come Into the desolation of reality: Egypt and Greece, good-bye, and good-bye, Rome! Hermits upon Mount Meru or Everest, Caverned in night under the drifted snow, Or where that snow and winter’s dreadful blast Beat down upon their naked bodies, know That day bring round the night, that before dawn His glory and his monuments are gone. --- Listen to my reading of "Meru" below:

Opinion: Becoming Black

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In places where the majority is either a little lighter, darker, or the same color as you, no one calls you "color." You are often something else: Akan, Ga-Adangbe, Ewe, Hausa, etc.  Growing up I was a silly child and my friends knew me as such.  My brothers still tell stories of how I would bite anyone who pissed me off.  My Nana and her friends called me Akw ɛ (monkey) .  It was a compliment and I loved it; I still do.  When I went to school I used to run with the boys and fight with them, too. Then one day I became the girl who spoke funny, walked funny, and read too much.  I was fitted for glasses and became Four Eyes.  In boarding school I was Jane Strange, then Animal Dancer.  I had never been black.  I have always been  phases or versions of myself. They say––subtly or not, in books, on the TV, in music, on the radio, on the streets, in looks, and body languages––that black people (those outside the African continent, but in particular, African Americans) cannot be t

Poetry: The Maltreatment of Meaning by Hiromi Ito

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The Maltreatment of Meaning by Hiromi Ito | Translated by Jeffrey Angles Can you speak Japanese? No, I cannot speak Yes, I can speak Yes, I can speak but cannot read Yes, I can speak and read but cannot write Yes, I can speak and write but cannot understand I was a good child You were a good child We were good children That is good I was a bad child You were a bad child We were bad children That is bad To learn a language you must replace and repeat I was an ugly child You were an ugly child We were ugly children That is ugly I am bored You are bored We are bored That is boring I am hateful You are hateful We are hateful That is hatred I will eat You will eat We will eat That is a good appetite I won’t eat You won’t eat We won’t eat That is a bad appetite I will make meaning You will make meaning We will make meaning That is conveying language I will use Japanese You will use Japanese We will use Japanese That is Japanese I want to rip