INFO: IndiVisible - African-Native American Lives in the Americas

Mashpee family

Foxx family (Mashpee), 2008
(L to R): Anne, Monet, Majai (baby), Aisha, and Maurice Foxx

Within the fabric of American identity is woven a story that has long been invisible—the lives and experiences of people who share African American and Native American ancestry.

African and Native peoples came together in the Americas. Over centuries, African Americans and Native Americans created shared histories, communities, families, and ways of life. Prejudice, laws, and twists of history have often divided them from others, yet African-Native American people were united in the struggle against slavery and dispossession, and then for self-determination and freedom.

For African-Native Americans, their double heritage is truly indivisible.

The exhibition IndiVisible: African-Native American Lives in the Americas is a collaboration between the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian, National Museum of African American History and Culture, and the Smithsonian Institution Travelling Exhibition Service (SITES).

A Smithsonian exhibition investigating the union of African Americans and Native Americans.

INFO: aalbc iphone app Launches new iPhone Application has created a new iPhone aplication.  You can use it to read recently published reviews of books and films from's.awarding writers including; Kam Williams, Robert Fleming, Emanuel Carpenter, Idrissa Uqdah and of course our very own Thumper!

You can also read reviews published by The New York TimesThe Children's Book Review, and the Rare Book Review.

Simply visit iTunes on your iPhone or personal computer and search for AALBC -- you'll be able to down load the application in seconds and enjoy our reviews anytime and anywhere.

You'll never again be caught in a book store without a list or recommedations of what to buy (or avoid).  In fact, you can purchase the books reviewed by right on your iPhone!

iphone application screen shot


VIDEO: TMOTTMedia » We Are the World 2010 [Exclusive Pics + Video Inside]

MTV reports:

LOS ANGELES — The energy was electric Monday night (February 1) at Henson Studios as more than 80 of music’s biggest stars gathered for a charity remake of “We Are the World” in support of Haitian earthquake relief.

“I feel like a kid in a candy store,” Wyclef Jean said, speaking to the press about the idea of remaking such an iconic song, which is getting production help from RedOne and Will.I.Am. “What’s bigger than a contribution is that you lend your voice,” the Haitian native said earlier in the day to his peers while trying to inspire them during the session, which began around 3 p.m. and was expected to last well into the night.

Among the voices in the 81-member choir were Pink, Lil Wayne, Kanye West, Nick Jonas, LL Cool J, Robin Thicke, Celine Dion, Akon, Rob Thomas, Wyclef, Jeff Bridges, Vince Vaughn, Barbra Streisand, Jordin Sparks, Good Charlotte’s Madden brothers, Tony Bennett, Josh Groban, Snoop Dogg, Justin Bieber, Jennifer Hudson, Keri Hilson, Jamie Foxx, Tyrese, Katharine McPhee, Sean Garrett, Will.I.Am, Carlos Santana, Melanie Fiona, Enrique Iglesias, Toni Braxton, Jason Mraz, Miley Cyrus, Busta Rhymes, Nicole Scherzinger, Nicole Richie, Usher, Julianne Hough, Raphael Saadiq, Zac Brown, India.Arie, “American Idol” judge Randy Jackson, Musiq Soulchild, Heart’s Ann and Nancy Wilson, Fonzworth Bentley, Kid Cudi, Iyaz, Bizzy Bone, Nipsey Hussle, the Beach Boys’ Brian Wilson and Al Jardine, Trey Songz, Faith Evans, Mya and Gladys Knight. (At press time, the full list of participants was not yet available.)

Robin Thicke, Lionell Richie, Kanye West.

Swizz Beatz and Snoop Dogg.

LL Cool J, Harry Connick Jr.  Phillip Bailey and Jeff Bridges.

Jamie Foxx


Wyclef Jean and Lil Wayne

Among the soloists whose sessions were screened for journalists at press time were Bieber, Dion and Groban. Weezy also came out and humbly noted that he recorded the solo originally sung by Bob Dylan.

The inspirational lyrics were laid down over a track that had a more modern Southern hip-hop bounce to it. The recording session took place almost 25 years to the day since the original song for African famine relief was recorded.

“The experience was out of this world,” said Bieber, who sang Lionel Richie’s original opening line. The video for the song, which is being shot in 3-D, will debut February 12.



Video report on the "We Are the World 2010" recording session--includes short interview segments with recording artists.


HAITI: Life Abundantly: Exclusive Video Direct from Haiti

Exclusive Video Direct from Haiti

By amun ra on Well Meaning


Dr. Abdul Alim Muhammad returns from an 8-day mission in Haiti… his video!

The Nation of Islam’s Minister of Health Dr. Abdul Alim Muhammad has safely returned to the United States after an 8-day mission in Haiti. Below is a video he posted on his blog Life Abundantly.

Dr. Alim says “Here is video of some of the destruction of the government buildings and infra-structure that has virtually shut governmental operations down. They were not all that good before the quake. Now they are almost none existent.”

“Foreigners, some well meaning, others not, are swarming all over Haiti and the people are suffering horribly. The video was shot by me from a moving car on my second day in Haiti a week ago,” he said.

Be sure to follow Dr. Alim’s blog for more reports.


My Photo

As a nutritional healer with more than 35 years of experience, my work helping people to achieve perfect health is my greatest passion. But in addition, I love teaching and even a little preaching. I play music everyday on my trombone and write poetry. I reside with my wife, Patrice, just outside of Washington DC.



OP ED: Who stole our reading time? | Books |

BBC News 24 producers at work

Too much information? BBC News 24 producers at work. Photograph: Rex Features/HXA

The renewed interest in Tolstoy, resulting from the film about his final days, The Last Station, reminded me that more than a year ago I'd pledged to read War and Peace. As someone who'd tackled the fat charms of Dickens and Thackeray at university, I realised that it had been a long time since I'd read a novel of huge length or, indeed, anything published pre-20th-century. Finishing War and Peace would reassure me that my stamina was intact. I just took the novel from the shelf to discover from my bookmark that I'd reached page 55. I don't even have the excuse of children.

This in itself wouldn't have alarmed me – it is, after all, War and Peace – were it not for the preponderance of other bookmarks that I discovered, erupting from the midst of novels everywhere, like distress flares. Was I finishing any of them? How could it be that someone who loved fiction enough to study it at Masters level, teach it, and then go on to write it for a living had become so distracted from the garden of literature?

The world of my student days, however, was fundamentally different from this one. It was only towards the end of my degree that a friend showed me a marvel named the internet (Him: "Type in anything, it'll find you a website!" Me: "What's a website?") In the 90s, there were a mere four TV channels. Each household had a single phone-line, usable once at a time. Only geeks played "video games". It was much easier to remove oneself completely from the world into the vast architecture of the novel. Now, the reader is under assault from hundreds of television channels, 3D cinema, a computer-gaming business so large it dwarfs Hollywood, iPhones, Wii, YouTube, free commuter newspapers, an engorged celebrity culture, instant access to all the music ever recorded, 24-hour sports news, and DVD box-sets of shows such as The Wire, Mad Men and Lost that replicate some of the scope and depth of literature. Unprecedented levels of consumer debt, and now a recession, have seen everyone working longer hours. A leisure time that was already precious has been chewed into by text-messaging, Facebook and emails. Almost everyone I speak to claims that they "love books but just can't find the time to read". Well, they probably could – they're just choosing to spend it differently.

This has dire consequences for our collective intellect. So besieged are we by the entertainment industry that we are being stimulated only in certain directions. The sound of fizz is everywhere. Sustained concentration on the printed word, whether in-depth argument or fictional narrative, creates a particular cerebral event which visual-dependent media cannot. The assault upon this has meant the very theft of our thinking space.

Obviously media such as the internet offer enormous benefits to (you wouldn't be reading this otherwise), but they also glide easily into the surface world of sleek illusions and infinite chatter which surrounds us. And have you seen Avatar? Have you seen what they can do now? Call me melodramatic, but I am beginning to feel like the protagonist in some SF dystopia myself, having his own thoughts erased, and liking it.

Culture changed quickly and permanently in the last decade. That pregnant, mental pause of reading has come under threat like never before. "Writing is a form of personal freedom," said Don DeLillo in a letter to Jonathan Franzen, who had appealed to him about this very issue long before the arrival of the internet. "It frees us from the mass identity we see in the making all around us. In the end, writers will write not to be outlaw heroes of some underculture, but mainly to save themselves, to survive as individuals." Exactly the same statement, I think, describes the condition of serious readers.

Pass me that copy of Tolstoy. This is war.


PERFORMANCE: nneka - live @ berlin festival 2008

In recognition of the release of her brand new album, Concrete Jungle (AmazoniTunes), which hit store shelves today, we present Nneka live @ The Berlin Festival from 2008.  The Nigerian born singer has been around for some time, but Concrete Jungle is her first US release and is opening many new eyes to her inspirational music.  You can learn more about her background over at Okayplayer, who recently interviewed her, but in the meantime, check out this excellent live set.


Nneka - The Uncomfortable Truth (Live in Berlin) [Download


Nneka - Focus (Live in Berlin) [Download


Nneka - Heartbeat (Live in Berlin) [Download


Nneka - Your Request (Live in Berlin) [Download


Nneka - Suffri (Live in Berlin) [Download


Nneka - Beautiful (Live in Berlin) [Download


MOVIES: Afro-Brazilian cinema sets it sights on the mainstream – Catch a Vibe

The Cleansing of Bonfim from Bahia to New York

It wasn’t until the 2002 surprise hit film City of God that the Afro-Brazilian experience finally gained mainstream attention on the big screen.

Prior to that, the precious few cinematic and televisual representations of Brazil in the West were largely light and tawny-hued, depicting an image of the country that seemed to belie the full extent of its racial composition.

Despite Brazil having the second-largest Black population in the world, watching some of these films, one could be forgiven for thinking that people of African descent simply didn’t exist in the country. The world seemed oblivious to the voices of Afro-Brazilians and their fascinating and varied experiences.

That all changed with City of God, which brought the stories of Brazil’s Black poor onto center stage and into the collective popular consciousness. The film’s unflinching portrayal of urban decay in Rio de Janeiro’s favelas and the struggle to stay on the right side of the law despite the ubiquity of drugs, gangs and violence, evidently resonated with theater-goers. The film grossed over $7m in the US and $23m worldwide, making the top ten lists of the New York Times and Hollywood Reporter, and garnering four Academy Award nominations in 2004.

If City of God introduced Afro-Brazilian cinema into the mainstream, then João Daniel Tikhomiroff’s new Capoeira film Besouro may well cement its place there. The film, which is being hailed as one of the most expensive made in Brazil to date, is attracting all manner of word-of-mouth buzz among critics and film lovers. Although a date for international release has yet to be announced, Besouro earned a nomination to contend for the right to represent Brazil for the 2010 Best Foreign Film Oscar.

Unlike its predecessor City of God, which primarily focused on the violent criminal underworld in Brazil’s slums, Besouro pays homage to the cultural traditions Afro-Brazilians inherited from their slave ancestors and weaves ancient African myths into its narrative for surrealist effect. The protagonist Besouro or Beetle, is based on a semi-mythical Afro-Brazilian folk hero of the same name, who according to oral legend, had supernatural powers which enabled him to fly, dodge bullets and morph into animal form at will.

He was an anti-Establishment figure who fought against the racism and tyranny of Brazil’s plantation owners and championed the cause of his fellow oppressed Black countrymen. He was also a master of Capoeira – a martial art developed by Brazilian slaves as a means of self-defense, but masked as a dance so slave owners wouldn’t suspect their charges of plotting insurrection.

The film also incorporates elements of Candomblé, a syncretic religion brought by Nigerian Yoruba slaves into the New World and blended with Catholicism, so slaves could worship their own traditional gods openly while their masters believed they were reverencing Catholic saints.

What makes Besouro significant is that it represents the junction where world cinema meets high-octane Hollywood blockbuster and gives Afro-Brazilian culture the much-needed exposure it deserves. Besouro bears the hallmarks of alternative film, yet has mainstream appeal, with its use of gravity-defying ‘Wire Fu’ stunts popularized by Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon. The film’s sweeping camera shots are polished and its fast-paced action sequences well-executed.

With Kill Bill’s Huan-Chiu Ku on board as action director and a score by Grammy-winning music legend Gilberto Gil, Besouro seems to have all the necessary credentials for box office success.

The film’s domestic release in Brazil last month conveniently coincides with the I Cine Fest Brasil, which took place in New York earlier this year and is now making its way across Europe. Among the films showcased in the festival is The Cleansing of Bonfim from Bahia to New York, which explores Afro-Brazilian cultural rites originating in the north-eastern state of Salvador and now practiced on Manhattan’s 46th Street as part of the annual Brazilian Day celebrations.

With Afro-Brazilian cinema now beginning to gain an increasingly higher profile, both mainstream audiences and industry figures may soon have little choice but to sit up and take notice.

Aaron T Akinyemi is a journalist specializing in global cultural and social issues. His work has appeared in the International PEN Festival of World Literature, The Guardian and the BBC World Service


INFO: Dutch website dedicated to promoting Africa

On this page you will find news on exhibitions, publications, lectures, promotions and other activities related to the topic of this site. Do you have an interesting news article? Please send an e-mail to

Focus10 Art Fair
After the great success in 2009 the second edition of FOCUS is about to be launched! FOCUS10 is designed to present and connect the vibrant African Art Scene. Read on
Black Britannia
black britannia
Black Britannia showcases 30 inspirational portraits of Black Britons by photographer John Ferguson, celebrating their contribution to British culture and public life over the last few decades. Read on
Book-release: The Horrible Gift of Freedom
By taking a new look at the role of the visual arts in promoting the “great emancipation swindle,” Wood brings into the open the manner in which the slave power and its inheritors have single-mindedly focused on celebratory cultural myths that function to diminish both white culpability and black outrage. Read on
FESMAN - World Festival of Black Arts 2009
The Third Festival of World Black Arts in December 2009 (FESMAN 2009), hosted by Senegal, will be on a very significant theme, "African Renaissance, Cultural Diversity and African Unity". Read on
Meschac Gaba and Latifa Echakhch at Kunsthalle Fridericianum
Two new exhibitions at Kunsthalle Fridericianum by Meschac Gaba and Latifa Echakhch focus on global and cultural differences, forms of display and the tight connection between conceptual and installation art. Read on
History Shall Be Kind To Me...
Eveline van de Griend studies the (im)possibility of identification between one person and another. Her creations display a symbiosis of African /Afro- American and 'her own' Dutch cultural inheritage, symbolism and the mundane reality of today’s world, often inspired by modern-day people or events. Read on
8th Bamako Encounters; African Photography Biennial
Held every two years since 1994 based on research work conducted all over Africa, the Bamako Encounters, Biennial of African Photography seek to promote regional integration and facilitate North-South cultural exchanges by creating an international cultural centre in Bamako that testifies to the wealth and vitality of the photography produced on the continent. Read on
The Image of the Black in Western Art
W.E.B. Du Bois Institute, Fall Colloquium Series. Thompson Room, Barker Center, 12 Quincy Street, Cambridge, Massachusetts. David Bindman "The Image of the Black in Western Art" November 4, 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm Read on
The African House
African House
Despite the massive economical impact of groups within the Diaspora in guest- as well as in home countries, immigrants have remained invisible for a long period of time. This is now changing and the influence of immigrant groups is, on both sides, often experienced as disturbing. It is time to start looking for the hidden opportunities and positive impulses that can be found within the Diaspora for guest- and home grounds. Read on
Zam bijeenkomst tijdens de Affordable Art Fair
Hoe zien de moderne Afrikaanse kunst en kunstenaars eruit? Waardoor wordt die kunst gekenmerkt? Welke rol spelen Afrikanen op de opkomende kunstmarkten? Een antwoord op deze vragen wordt gegeven op vrijdag 30 oktober 2009 op de kunstbeurs voor originele en hedendaagse kunst 'The Affordable Art Fair.' Read on
Transformations - New Directions in Black Art
Transformations is the 3rd Annual African American Art Conference which was the outcome of a meeting inspired by and hosted by Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Director of the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African and African-American Research at Harvard University in 2005. Read on French Vogue racist or artistic?
The latest issue of the French edition of Vogue magazine, "Special top-model," is the cause of a thunderous hue and cry over a racial crime. Read on
Sranan Art Xposed
Four times a year a digital newsletter, Sranan Art Xposed, will be sent out to art lovers all over the world. Read on
Afro-Pop Art: Politics, Life and Lyrics
afro pop art
Afro-Pop Art: Politics, Life and Lyrics, at the arc Gallery, brings a taste of the critically acclaimed artist, Ghariokwu Lemi’s vibrant take on iconicity, political narration, and realism to London. Read on
Emotions of a lost generation?
Makumbe returns after three years with new paintings and drawings. Exhibition at Galerie 23. Read on
Luanda Smooth and Rave
After having been the highlight of such international platforms as the African Pavilion of the 52nd Venice Biennale in 2007, the Angolan artists represented by the Sindika Dokolo Foundation exhibit and perform in the French town of Bordeaux. Evento, the new bordelaise biennial is turning the wine-producing region into a cultural hub. Read on
Spring Art Tour Johannesburg
art tour
Following in the footsteps of the successful Joburg Art Fair is the Spring Art Tour, with galleries and restaurants taking part. If you got high on the Joburg Art Fair in April, your next art fix is on the way. The Spring Art Tour hits the city for four days in early October. Read on
Clifford Charles South African painter
clifford charles
Clifford Charles, a very talented painter from South Africa will open an exhibition of his own work this year, 'Clifford Charles South African Painter', with new work. Read on
Dress Codes: The Third ICP Triennial of Photography and Video
dress codes
The International Center of Photography is proud to present Dress Codes: The Third ICP Triennial of Photography and Video, a global survey of today’s most exciting and innovative photography and video art. Read on
Book-release: Made in Angola: Arte contemporânea, artistas e debates
Made in Angola: Arte contemporânea, artistas e debates (2009) published in Portuguese by L’Harmattan (Paris), assembles thirty-five essays written over twenty-years, between 1985 and 2005. A contribution to Angolan art criticism and history, Made in Angola seeks to map out Angolan art in relation to African and international contexts. Read on
Black History Month UK
Black History Month has been celebrated across the UK every October for over 30 years, each year growing from strength to strength. Black History Month is a time when we highlight and celebrate the achievements of the black community and uncover hidden history about our communities. Read on
Afrikaanse ontmoetingen in kunst en literatuur
In deze cursus wordt aan de hand van een paar boeken, beeldmateriaal en een museumbezoek aandacht besteed aan kunst en literatuur in Afrika. Het accent ligt op culturele uitwisselingen naast cultuurbotsingen. Er wordt bijvoorbeeld bekeken in hoeverre westerse schrijvers en kunstenaars door Afrikaanse expressievormen werden geïnspireerd. Read on
African Artists at the Venice Biennale
No African Pavilion this year, but many African artists to look out for in the exhibitions. Country pavillions: Comoros, Egypt, Gabon, Morocco, South Afr. Individual artists include Mahi Binebine, Susan Hefuna, Fatiya Tahiri, Owanto, Moshekwa Langa a.o. Read on
Photoquai: 2nd Biennial of World Images
Created in 2007 by the Musée du Quai Branly and dedicated to non-Western photography, Photoquai, the Biennial exhibition of world images, opened on the 22nd of September on the bank opposite the museum. Read on
Resistance and Revolution: Jacob Lawrence's Toussaint L'Ouverture Prints
resistance and revolution
Between 1986 and 1997 Jacob Lawrence created fifteen large silk-screen prints identical to key images from his earlier 1937 series, The Life of Toussaint L’Ouverture. They are on view at the Rudenstine Gallery during the Fall 2009 semester. Read on
Afronova presents: "The Olympians and Muses", a solo exhibition by Godfried Donkor
The series of boxers and the Madonnas form the basis of works in the exhibition ’The Olympians and muses’, the first solo exhibition by Ghanaian-British artist Godfried Donkor in South Africa. Read on
Extra City presents "Avenue Patrice Lumumba" by Guy Tillim
guy tillim
Extra City presents the project Avenue Patrice Lumumba by Guy Tillim in collaboration with the Flemish-Dutch House deBuren a few months before the 50th anniversary of Congolese independence from Belgium. Avenue Patrice Lumumba is an examination of modern history in Africa against the backdrop of its colonial and post-colonial architectural heritage. Read on
Expositie Afrikaanse hedendaagse kunst
Karibu Gallery & Giftshop heeft i.s.m. WG Kunst het initiatief genomen om divers werk van Afrikaanse kunstenaars te vertonen van 4 september tot 31 oktober 2009. Read on
Allison Blakely: Negers in Nederland
De auteur analyseert het ontstaan van raciale stereotypen tegen de achtergrond van de industriële, wetenschappelijke en agrarische revoluties in de westerse wereld. Translation of Blacks in the Dutch World. The Evolution of Racial Imagery in a Modern Society. Read on
Black Europe and the African Diaspora
black europe
The presence of Blacks in a number of European societies has drawn increasing interest from scholars, policymakers, and the general public. This interdisciplinary and multi-disciplinary collection penetrates the multifaceted Black presence in Europe, and, in so doing, complicates the notions of race, belonging, desire, and identities assumed and presumed in revealing portraits of Black experiences in a European context. Read on
Innovative Women
Innovative Women
"Innovative Women" is an exhibition that will showcase the work of women artists from all over South Africa, an initiative partly sponsored by The Department of Arts Culture. Read on
Photography curators for The Black Snapper
Black Snapper
The Black Snapper ( is looking for photography curators, to spot new talents from the African continent. Read on
Invisible Men by Patricia Kaersenhout
Invisible Men
So who is actually invisible? Someone who remains unnoticed or someone who has no desire to be seen? What does ‘being invisible’ actually mean? Inspired by Invisible Man, Ralph Ellison’s only novel, artist Patricia Kaersenhout set out in search of the invisible men in her life. Read on
Book-release: Wakaman
wakaman book
WAKAMAN: drawing lines - connecting dots. Contemporary Art, Suriname Remy Jungerman/ Gillion Grantsaan Read on
The Captive Slave by John Simpson
british art journal
The latest issue of the British Art Journal features an interesting article about John Simpson's "The Captive Slave". Read on
Book-release: Knowledge and Colonialism: Eighteenth-century Travellers in South Africa
This book examines writings and drawings of scientifically educated travellers, particularly in the field of ethnography, against the background of commercial and administrative discourses on the Cape. Read on
Peterson Waweru Kamwathi at World Museum Liverpool
World Museum Liverpool is displaying a selection of prints by Kenyan artist, Peterson Kamwathi, from 26th June 2009. The series of five woodcut prints, on display in the museum's World Cultures gallery, explore events in Kenya's recent political history. Read on
Persona. Ritual masks and contemporary art
The exhibition in The Royal Museum for Central Africa (RMCA) features 180 masks: 100 from the Museum’s world renowned reserves and the remainder on loan from the Musée du quai Branly in Paris, the Ethnography Museum of Stockholm, the Pigorini Museum in Rome and Belgian private collections. The masks are placed in juxtaposition with works by contemporary artists. Read on
Roots and More: Journey of the Spirits
Roots and More: Journey of the Spirits is a thematic exhibition on spirituality in the work of contemporary artists from the African diaspora (specifically Brazil, Britain, Cuba, Curaçao, Haiti, Suriname and the United States): different countries and different generations. Read on
Child Enchained
"Kind aan de ketting" (Child Enchained), exhibition in the NiNsee Read on
The Art Bulletin - Middleman: Antoine Watteau and Les Charmes de la Vie
art bulletin
The previous issue of The Art Bulletin features an article by Judy Sund on Antoine Watteau. Read on
Visual Resources special issue
visual resources 2
The editors of Visual Resources are pleased to announce the publication of a new special issue, Imaging Blackness in the Long Nineteenth Century, edited by Maria P. Gindhart. Read on
Michael Tedja: Hosselen
Michael Tedja's new book "Hosselen" has been presented at the Royal Tropical Institute (KIT) in Amsterdam. Read on
Kunstforum - Hot Spot Tropen
This years first Kunstforum issue is themed "Hot Spot Tropen". Read on