fredag 28. juli 2017

Styleinspo a la Stephanie Afrifa

 In many countries, we are still developing the language needed to articulate to complexities of life as a person of African descent in this cultural context. A cultural producer and talk show host, Stephanie Afrifa is introducing topics of importance to global and local black identity into the Dutch cultural conversation. In addition to this important cultural work, Afrifa has a style to die for. Her aesthetic makes you want to embrace colour and exciting silhouttes, and show off your curves.

Images c/o Stephanie Afrifa's Instagram

100 Days of Positive Thinking: Day 8 (Andre 3000, Black Girl Museums and 2018 Trailers)

Today's List:
1. Andre 3000 slaying this photo shoot
3. Dude is having the time of his life at a thrift store
4. The trailer for Proud Mary, starring the delectable Taraji P. Henson
5. Also the trailer for A Wrinkle in Time, starring Oprah Winfrey and Chris Pine among others
*2018 is about the lit in terms of the cinema. I cannot wait!

Image c/o: The Face Magazine

Song of the Day: "C'est Si Bon" by Earta Kitt

Eartha Kitt was a truly a rare gem of a woman and human being. Her voice has always been one that I have deeply admired as a listener and singer. Kitt's ability to also perfectly master the intonation, pitch and personality of just about any song she performed is truly magnificent. In her rendition of "C'est Si Bon", this is particularly. Kitt shines both vocally and with regard to her stage presence. 
Go awf, Miss Eartha!

100 Days of Positive Thinking: Day 7 (Chester Bennington)

Thinking of Linkin Park's Chester Bennington and his family. Depression is an ugly, deadly beast. Many suffer in silence, so often those whose art provides solace and relief to others. I hope that he has found some piece on the other side. I pray for strength for his family in this time. This is truly heartbreaking.

Rest easy, Chester. Thank you for the music. 

Swoon: Mr. Darcy Is (Always) Back

It's been 200 hundred years since the great Jane Austen passed away. Her characters have given me so much joy as a reader. I am incredibly grateful for and inspired by her craft. I am also grateful for Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy in 1995 BBC adaptation of Pride and Prejudice. I mean ....

Good Lord ...

Images c/o Google

fredag 21. juli 2017

100 Days of Positive Thinking: Day 6 (Agbogbloshie, Another Round and Affirmations)

Some cool and happy things:
1. I wrote about how Agbogbloshie, an Accra neighbourhood, became the world's biggest e-waste site
2. This episode of Another Round With Heben and Tracy ft. Roxane Gay (I need to read "Hunger")
3. Michaela Coel is such a don. I appreciate her so much.
4. Everything Marjon Carlos ever says. She is such #writergoals
5. Affirmations. Doing a seven-day affirmation practice via Alex Elle.

Image c/o Alex Elle

Dubie's Book List: "Perks Of Being A Wallflower" by Stephen Chbosky

I just finished reading the Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky. I abosulely loved this book. It's the kind YA that would have made feel so understood if I had read it between the ages 14 and 16. The protagonist, Charlie, drips with this unapologetic sensitivity. He feels everything very intensely and he allows himself to. He is rather withdrawn and is pulled out of his shell by some friends who encourage to stop watching life from the sidelines and actually participate. And when he does, things start to change. This includes recalling some painful experiences that Charlie has suppressed. By acknowledging these memories, he starts to come to terms with and to imagine his existence beyond them.

One of my favourite parts of Perks was the books recommended to Charlie by his teacher, Bill, who notices and decides to nurture his literary potential. 

  • On The Road by Jack Kerouac
  • Naked Lunch by William S. Burroughs
  • The Stranger by Albert Camus
  • This Side of Paradise by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie
  • A Separate Peace by John Knowles
  • To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  • The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
  • The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • Hamlet by William Shakespeare
  • Walden by Henry David Thoreau
  • The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand

Now, this is definitely a deeply Eurocentric and largely male list. A far cry from my heavily Afro-diasporic and female-authored book list. Still several of these books are among my favourites. Some I have to yet to read. Part of the beauty of literature is reading writing by people whose experiences and opinions differ vastly from my own. Looking forward to reading and rereading some of these. 

Another part I loved from this book was the music. Probably because the music featured can so often be found on my playlists. From the Billie Holiday to The Smiths to Moody Blues. I have not seen the movie for this show yet, but I can only imagine that the soundtrack is beyond dope.

"Asleep" by The Smiths 

So if you are looking for a new summer read, this would a nice, light but sensitive read.

Image c/o Google

torsdag 20. juli 2017

100 Days of Positive Thinking: Day 5 (Bey's Twins Are Here!)

The twins are here, y'all. 

Welcome Sir and Rumi Carter. 
Image c/o Beyonce's Instagram

Styleinspo a la Zeba Blay

Zeba Blay is one of the most inspiring and prolific women in the world of writing today. As Senior Culture Writer for Huffington Post's Black Voices, she delivers smart and timely writing on some of the most important and interesting cultural conversation of the present. In addition to her writing, she is a talking head frequently featured on Janet Mock's So Popular and co-host of the podcast, Two Brown Girls. In addition to all this, Zeba is one stylish mama jama and a great source of sartorial inspiration. Her style is gorgeous blend of billowy fits, thrifted pieces, exciting texture and colours, and perfect all-black ensembles. All topped with the most lush hairstyles.  And her boot collection is godly. #BlackGirlMagic

For more of Zeba's style, check out her Instagram. To read her work, you can pop over to HuffPo.

søndag 16. juli 2017

100 Days of Positive Thinking: Day 4

Today it' been very rainy, so I have been laying low. The day has mainly consisted of watching the new Netflix series, Glow. Sometimes a good, solid day of rest is needed to recharge the batteries. 

Song of the Day: "Boys of Summer" by Don Henley

I live for Don Henley's "Boys of Summer". Maybe the title gives this away, but it is one of my very favourite summer tracks. I love the overly intense story line of stolen summer love and the gooeyness of the singer's reminiscence, all against the backdrop of a synthy 80s beat. Some people want love that is like 90s R'nB. I am down with that. I'd also take love that feels like a mid-80s pop-rock song.

Pop this song while you are driving on summer day, preferably with the windows down and wind running through your hairs. Thank me later. 

torsdag 13. juli 2017

100 Days of Positive Thinking: Day 3 (Downtown Abbey, Norwegian Summer, and Hot Chocolate)

Today's list of simple pleasures:

1. Marathoning Downtown Abbey with my sister
2. The crisp air of a unseasonably cold Norwegian summer
3. This interview with Chloe and Halle is inspiring me to return to songwriting.
4. Yaminah Mayo is my latest style inspiration
5. Sipping a steaming hot mugs of chocolate while cuddled up on the sofa

onsdag 21. juni 2017

Styleinspo a la Diamond Mahone

Some people just ooze style. They seem so sure and at ease in their aesthetic representation that by through observing images of them or coming into contact with them, you are instantly inspired to more boldly step into your own. Diamond Mahone is one such individual. Through billowy jumpsuits and culottes to vintage ensemble and oversize frames - Diamond shows that versatility can still birth and nurture consistency in style.

For more of Diamond's style, visit her Instagram page or the site for her styling collective, the Clad Life.

fredag 16. juni 2017

100 Days of Positive Thinking: Day 2 (Misty Copeland, New Books and Wild Thoughts)

What's good, good people? As usual over here trying to be the perfect blend of happy, constantly learning, and just a little bit petty. Here are some things helping me accomplish this today.

1. Misty Copeland and Barack Obama chatting it up.
2. Kathleen Cleaver was and is one of the baddest.
3. New Broadway star Denee Benton is one to watch. 
4. Can't wait to check out Teju Cole's new book, Blind Spot
5. What does DJ Khaled mean bringing Rihanna and Bryson Tiller together on this dope sample of Carlos Santana's "Maria, Maria"? I am shooketh.

torsdag 15. juni 2017

Swoon: James Earl Jones

I love this picture of James Earl Jones from 1961. I mean look at him slaying that beard and sultry look into the camera. #GoodLord

Photo c/o Carl Van Vechten

tirsdag 13. juni 2017

100 Days of Positive Thinking: Day 1 (Ending and Beginnings)

Moving countries, even when returning home is quite challenging. Author and all-around bad-ass, Taiye Selasi said: "I am often asked if I plan to go back to Ghana. I go to Accra every year, but I can’t go back to Ghana. […] We can never go back to a place and find it as we left it." 

Being back in the village where I grew up, I find that nothing is quite the same. The buildings and buses are revamped and shiny, and I don't recognize the faces of the drivers. Kids I once taught dance lessons to and babysat are teenagers now, some towering over me in height. I am constantly being reminded that my friends and I are now adults, though I am not sure I have earned that identity marker quite yet. My home feels familiar, yet is full of new faces and facades. I am looking for the little space I used to occupy, but after five years I realize it no longer exists. It has grown over with moss and lichen, filled with bits of soil and rock.

This makes think of the place I have left behind, my home for the past five years - the people, patterns, and places. It may be warm with the memory of me yet, but soon it will also grow over and be filled too. I guess this is the nature of endings and the beginnings they spill into - a constant state of melancholic reflection. Mulling over moments past, images of streets and stories whizzing through my mind. While also trying to be present and appreciate the start of this new stage in my life, to be open to what it may bring. 

In that vein I think it is time to begin a new round of 100 Days of Positive Thinking. In this time of transition, I find myself in need of reminders of simple things that have either broadened my mind, made me smile or fed my inner Petty Labelle. Here is my list for today:

1. Daddy Moments with LaGuardia Cross and his two little girls.
2. Zerina Akers's wardrobe is to die for! Taking som skin care tips from her too.
3. I am convinced that Zadie Smith and I are operating on the same wave-length, since this piece of her's on Lynette Yiadom-Boakye dropped today and I wrote one on the artist  (though hardly comparable) a few days ago.
4. In Living Colour's parody ft. Jim Carrey as Snow singing "Informer" has me laughing so hard.
5. The way Kofi Siriboe stans for black women.
6. Donna Summer was baddd.

What's made you smile, chuckle, and/or learn something new today?

torsdag 8. juni 2017

On Lynette Yiadom-Boakye and The Worlds She Creates

An artist whose work I have become increasingly fascinated with over the past few years is Lynette Yiadom-Boakye. The British-Ghanaian painter creates works of fictional characters with so much depth, it is often difficult to imagine that they have not been rendered from a model or even a photo. Boakye conjures these figures and the viewer is able to engage with them in whatever snapshot they have been captured. Some dance with abandon. Others appear to pose for their portraits, poised and seemingly self-assured, their gaze always shifted away from the beholder.

The Hours Behind You, 2011

The Cream And The Taste, 2013

 Citrine By The Ounce, 2014

Switcher, 2013 

Complication, 2013

Her art has inspired the works of fellows artists like Solange Knowles and Duro Olowu, who Yiadom-Boakye counts among her friends. Of her work, Olowu said in an interview with Vogue: “If you walked into a room with a thousand people in it, and one of the people in her paintings was there, that’s who you’d want to meet.”

A portrait of Lynette Yiadom-Boakye.

With an already impressive catalogue of work, it will be exciting to follow the trajectory of Yiadom-Boakye's work.

Images c/o Jack Shainman Gallery and Google

onsdag 10. mai 2017

Song of the Day: "Petit Afrique" by Somi

It's always exciting to come across musicians who are artists in the truest sense of the word. Somi is an an artist, through and through. From her thoughtful and playful lyrical constructions to the gorgeous melodies on which they dance. Somi makes music for the African diapora and for the people who inhabit it. She makes songs that make you feel understood, that make you feel connected to those who live within the words and sounds of her songs. Her newest album is called Petit Afrique. The songs I have heard so far are "Alien" and "Black Enough". The first is a reworking of Sting's "Englishman in New York" that re-imagines the protagonist as an African. The second takes up the topic of identity politics within the black diaspora. Both are spectacular song. Somi and her music are blessing. If you haven't already, get hip and marvel in her artisty.

søndag 7. mai 2017

Ghanaian Bliss, Cheddar Jalapeño Cheetos, and Rei Kawakubo

Another day, another list:

1. I want to go Ghana so bad, I keep daydreaming about it. The photo above is from my 2014 visit,
2. Cheddar Jalapeño Cheetos are nectar of the Gods!
3. Rei Kawakubo is my hero - introverts unite!
4. This giant and very old book is being digitized. The museum nerd in me is every excited about it.
5. I feel so understood watching this video. Quinta Brunson is ace.

fredag 5. mai 2017

Styleinspo a la Yamilla Beers

 Yamilla Beers is a master of sartorial minimalism. Her style is trademarked by solid neutrals and clean lines. She infuses flavour into her outfits by combining different textures and cuts, often tying looks together with a cool pair of sneakers. She is master of blending classically masculine and feminine pieces to create seamless ensembles. Beers shows that simplicity never goes out of style.

For more of Yamilla's dope style, check out her blog or her Instagram page.

Image c/o Beers' Instagram