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3 Hairstylists On Braids, Cultural Appropriation and Media's Erasure of Black Women

"When other cultures are respected and acknowledged for their traditions and we aren't, it becomes a deeper issue that needs to be spoken about."Bantu knots. Cornrows. Box braids. Whatever you've known them as, the vast family of braided hairstyles has been around far longer than beauty trends, hashtags and Kardashians. For some of us, braids bring back nostalgic memories of intimacy, family and self-identity through artistic expression. However, over the past few years, traditionally Black, braided hairstyles — specifically on other races — have hit a mainstream nerve, evoking an uncomfortable, ever-present question for those both within and outside the African Diaspora: Is this cultural appropriation? While the conversation isn't an easy one to have, it is necessary given the media's all-too-often problematic regard for (or neglect of) Black hair. "Braids started in Africa and can be traced back to Egypt as far as 3500 BC. Braiding is also a way to maintain our h..

Afro Prints Etal …

Ensuring that every woman is not just noticed, but is remembered, is the tag line for the African inspired EtAl Clothing store. Located at Shop 6 on 9-11 Phoenix Avenue, Kingston 5, the afrocentric boutique is the brainchild of Nigerian-based, Jamaican and New York attorney, Deean Fontaine. The inception of EtAl began with a passion for art and the quest for embodying African culture and beauty. Fontaine was inspired by the clothing, jewellery, and art that she encountered on her travels throughout Africa. "People are fascinated by African culture. I would handpick these items and take them back," said Fontaine.The store itself has evolved from a mobile jewellery business to a fully functioning store that was later housed in Ms Fontaine's home basement. As the interest in the concept progressed, Fontaine was inspired to expand her offerings to include clothing made from modern styles using African print, as well as African art. EtAl's clothing line is inspired by a desire to ..

Berbers: North Africa's marginalised indigenous people

By Afp Published: 08:08 EST, 12 January 2018 | Updated: 08:13 EST, 12 January 2018 Algerian Berber women prepare traditional food as they mark the Yennayer New Year in the village of Ait el-Kecem, south of Tizi-Ouzou, east of the capital Algiers, on January 11, 2018 The Berbers -- descendants of pre-Arab populations across North Africa -- are currently celebrating their New Year festivities. On Friday -- for the first time -- the Yennayer New Year is being marked as a national holiday in Algeria. The Berbers, who refer to themselves as the Amazigh, have long fought for greater recognition for their ancient ethnic group, their culture and language. In Algeria they make up roughly a quarter of the country's total population of 40 million and live mainly in the mountainous northern region of Kabylie. Here is some background on other Berber communities that have stretched across North Africa since long before the Arab conquests: - Morocco - On Africa's northwestern tip, Morocco ..

Bengaluru's window to Africa

Over a dozen young African girls, flaunted their beauty and talent in the Miss Africa Bangalore beauty contest which was held in Banaswadi recently. Organised by One Team Africa, an organisation that aims to bring all Africans in Bengaluru together, the contest is the first of its kind in the city. Contestants, who were mostly students, walked the ramp with different attires including traditional wear, which showed the diversity of the African continent. Speaking about the objective behind this initiative, Deborah Mbathe, one of the organisers said, "Africa is mistaken to be a country. Seldom do people understand the fact that it is a continent with about 54 countries. Africans in Bangalore are from different nations with different traditions and culture. Hence, this is an effort to provide them an opportunity to get together, showcase their talents and represent their countries as well." Eleven contestants qualified for the final round after a number of challenges. The first one was c..

Blue Devil of the Week: Nurturing a Culture of Collaboration

Name: Ed Balleisen Title: Vice Provost for Interdisciplinary Studies, Professor of History and Public Policy Years at Duke: 21 What he does: While a focus on interdisciplinary studies has been a part of Duke’s strategic direction for a few decades, Balleisen stresses the impulse to span areas of study in search of answers to complex questions is something that occurs organically at Duke. Go in any school or department, he says, and you’ll find teachers and students whose curiosity and focus on big problems often leads them beyond the boundaries of their particular field, and often into intellectual partnerships with others from other disciplines. It’s Balleisen’s job to nurture that part of campus culture. As the Vice Provost for Interdisciplinary Studies, a position he’s held since 2015, he’s helped guide the campus entities that have drawn on expertise from multiple schools and overseen the growth of the Bass Connections program, which teams students with faculty to pursue interdisci..

Trump's vulgar remark on Haiti, Africa leaves immigrants baffled

After President Donald Trump asked why the United States would want people from "shithole countries," referring to Haiti and those in Africa, Judelande Calix of Maryland had a query of her own. "My question is, why not?" said Calix, who is in her mid-30s and came to the United States from Haiti in the late 1990s. Calix went to college; her husband Marc, also from Haiti, is a neurophysiologist, and "countless" other people they know are immigrants who are contributing to this country, she said Thursday in a phone interview. The White House did not deny Trump's choice of language. His comment also referred to the Central American country of El Salvador, the Washington Post reported. "I don't know how else to describe those words except being racist and ... to betray the complete ignorance of history," Arturo Viscarra, 38, a U.S. citizen who came to the United States from El Salvador when he was 4 years old and who is director of organizing and policy at the Central Amer..

Africans explore classical music and ballet [This is Culture]

Despite the many talents on the continent, classical music and ballet which deserve much more attention are still emerging. A Nigerian opera singer Omo Bello studied biology, very far from her current job. It’s bit surprising to have an african child to tell her parents that she wants to become an opera singer,especially since there are not many blacks and Africans in this field. She was lucky enough to have been spotted by talent hunters in Lagos, which paved way for her to have an international career. Another classical discipline is ballet. Kibera Ballet School is located in Nairobi, Kenya, in one of the largest slums in Africa. Every week after class, students remove the tables and chairs and take ballet classes. The goal is not necessarily to train future great dancers, but rather allow them to face everyday life by instilling values ​​such as rigor and determination. And it gives them confidence and change their ideas for a few hours. The moral of all these is that dance and mu..

Why South Africa is laying a welcome mat for Muslim visitors

CAPE TOWN, South Africa (CNN) -- With more than one million visitors in 2016, Cape Town already ranks highly among the most popular destinations in Africa. But South Africa's legislative capital and its tourism industry is now targeting a new niche: Muslims. Travel expenditure by Muslim travelers is expected to exceed $200 billion by 2020, according to a 2016 report by Mastercard, and there are high hopes that many can be attracted to the city of Table Mountain. "Traditionally, Cape Town was perceived as mainly a European city with a bit of Africanism to it," says Enver Duminy, CEO of Cape Town Tourism. "We needed another narrative to meet the (Muslim) market's wants and needs, to make sure we deliver in a professional way but also a respectful way by firstly understanding the culture." That includes adapting the city's leisure facilities to cater specifically to Muslim travelers. Major chains such as Hilton already offer bespoke Muslim-friendly rooms, complete with pr..

Ride the world's tallest swing in this often overlooked South African city

Visitors to South Africa tend to favor Cape Town and Johannesburg, often overlooking the coastal city of Durban. But the country’s third-largest city shouldn’t be omitted. One local has an interesting take on this. “If South Africa were Destiny’s Child, Durban would be Michelle [Williams], but we think it can be the Beyoncé one day,” says Andrew Rall, before taking a swig of his Durban Dry Gin distilled with locally-sourced botanicals like African rose hip. We’re sitting in Rall’s restaurant, Distillery 031, a buzzy bar tucked inside the city’s Station Precinct district. This area of Durban feels a lot like Brooklyn — chic warehouse spaces peppered with clutches of craft coffee cafés and vintage clothing shops. Michelle Williams, like the other members of R&B group Destiny’s Child, isn’t a household name like Beyoncé. 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' highlights Ireland's Skellig Michael Neither is Durban. But the city filled with plenty of gritty charm, culture, and na..

South Africa's Zulu King Wants Circumcision Culture To Be Preserved

Details Published on Thursday, 11 January 2018 14:53View CommentsGoodwill Zwelithini KOKSTAD, SOUTH AFRICA -- South Africa's Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini has encouraged communities, especially those in KwaZulu-Natal Province, to preserve the circumcision culture, saying the practice is to ensure that it contributes towards the fight against HIV and AIDS. The Zulu monarch was addressing hundreds of young males who have just been circumcised and completed initiation during a traditional homecoming ceremony held in this small town on the border between KwaZulu-Natal Province and Eastern Cape Province on Tuesday for young men who have successfully undergone circumcision. Eighteen-year-old Bahlakoana Mahasele is one of the new initiates. He has just completed traditional circumcision under the supervision of a medical doctor. Mahasela says he has gained a lot about life in general during his stay at the mountain. “I saw that boys who had been to the mountains are more disciplined and ..

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