african influences

anonymous asked:

Okay. So what about when Black AA's wear Fulani/ Hausa/"African inspired" braids? I'm curious because I'm starting to think braids is a part of culture that can be shared but like only when someone invites it. I don't like Koreans in Korea wearing them to look cool, nor AAs wearing Fulani braids as a trend. Disrespect of those cultures is prevalent in both societies, so that's where my issue lies.

We’ve had a lengthy conversation when it comes to the topic of appropriation of African things (hair, clothing) when it comes to African Americans. It’s all very relative (to each individual, African or AA) and also very messy (considering most AAs don’t know where their roots lie, so it’s rather unfair for an African person to assume for them that something is not explicitly part of their culture). I’m not African, so I can’t express exactly the feelings about the African influenced braids (I had to google both Fulani and Hausa to understand what you were talking about tbh) besides I agree that people wear them as a trend, but I don’t have specific feelings about them, mainly bc I’m unaware of the various African cultures that some braid styles come from.

What do you guys think? African or African American (or anyone of the Diaspora)

-Admin Kim
His Paula Deen takedown went viral. But this food scholar isn’t done yet.
Michael Twitty’s mission: To evangelize about the African roots of Southern food.

Wow this guy is amazing uhhhhhh uhhhhhh such awesome work

-blogger at

“Twitty is deeply engrossed in both the African American and Jewish food traditions. “Blacks and Jews are the only peoples I know who use food to talk about their past while they eat it,” says Twitty, 38.”

“From Richmond it was a short jaunt to Colonial Williamsburg, where Twitty spent the week lecturing, conducting training sessions and cooking in period costume at three of the living history museum’s venues. In all his talks, Twitty emphasized the impact of chefs and cooks of African descent on shaping American and Southern cuisines in colonial times and after.”

“At a conference he met the scholar Robert Farris Thompson, author of “Flash of the Spirit,” a book about the influence of African religions on African American art that helped him see that “soul food” was, among other things, a spiritual term describing a mystical connection between humans and the animals and plants they eat.”

“He cooked and he gardened. He studied heirloom seed varieties, some that had been brought from Africa and some that had been carried from the New World to Africa and then, on slave ships, back to North America, among them okra, black-eyed peas, kidney and lima beans, Scotch bonnet peppers, peanuts, millet, sorghum, watermelon, yams and sesame. He called those seeds “the repositories of our history” and wrote about them in a monograph published by Landreth Seed in its 2009 catalogue.”

“Twitty’s embrace of all the various parts of himself — African, African American, European, black, white, gay, Jewish — sometimes raises hackles, as does his habit of speaking his mind. An article he wrote in the Guardian on July 4, 2015, suggesting that American barbecue “is as African as it is Native American and European, though enslaved Africans have largely been erased” from its story, elicited scorn and worse: Many commenters were outraged by his idea of barbecue as cultural appropriation.”

Celebrating African-American Social Dance

This is the Bop. The Bop is a type of social dance. Dance is a language, and social dance is an expression that emerges from a community. A social dance isn’t choreographed by any one person. It can’t be traced to any one moment. Each dance has steps that everyone can agree on, but it’s about the individual and their creative identity Because of that, social dances bubble up, they change, and they spread like wildfire. They are as old as our remembered history.

In African-American social dances, we see over 200 years of how African and African-American traditions influenced our history. The present always contains the past. And the past shapes who we are and who we will be.

Now, social dance is about community and connection; if you knew the steps, it meant you belonged to a group. But what if it becomes a worldwide craze? Enter the Twist.

It’s no surprise that the Twist can be traced back to the 19th century, brought to America from the Congo during slavery. But in the late ‘50s, right before the Civil Rights Movement, the Twist is popularized by Chubby Checker and Dick Clark. Suddenly, everybody’s doing the Twist: white teenagers, kids in Latin America, making its way into songs and movies. Through social dance, the boundaries between groups become blurred.

The story continues in the 1980s and '90s. Along with the emergence of hip-hop, African-American social dance took on even more visibility, borrowing from its long past, shaping culture and being shaped by it. Today, these dances continue to evolve, grow and spread.

Why do we dance? To move, to let loose, to express.

Why do we dance together? To heal, to remember, to say: “We speak a common language. We exist and we are free.”

From the TED-Ed Lesson The history of African-American social dance - Camille A. Brown

Camille A. Brown is a choreographer fusing dance and social commentary to explore race, sexuality and femininity.

Title Design by Kozmonot Animation Studio 


It took coming to America to make me realise the ways in which I was not American. It made me realise how much of myself and where I’m from I had neglected. That’s one of the reasons I took African studies while I was an undergraduate, because I realised I wanted to know a little more about who I was, aside from all that other stuff I had absorbed–not only from America, but from Britain. I grew up in a former British colony. So, coming to America, I realised it was the African influence I needed to familiarise myself with.

Alright I’m just going to jump into the Aladdin casting controversy bullshit head on. Since this is Disney making a live action version of their 1992 cartoon adaptation I’m just going to address that and not the original origins of the story. Now, I’m seeing a lot of people saying that the character MUST be Arab because the characters are Arab… and like no they’re not? Disney’s Aladdin is not explicitly Middle Eastern, South Asian, North African, Arab, etc. It’s a racist fusion of the non-white “other” that takes aspects of all these cultures and blends them into one. 

Don’t get me wrong. I freaking LOVED Aladdin as a kid, but like let’s be real here this is in no way a positive example of representation. It’s filled with stereotypical, racist tropes that reduce us to savages. Like literally:

“Oh, I come from a land from a faraway place where the caravan camels roam. Where they cut off your ear if they don’t like your face It’s barbaric, but hey, it’s home.”

So many people are on here saying that the characters need to be Arab because it’s a Middle Eastern story. Which just blatantly ignores the other influences this film had, not to mention that there’s more groups in the Middle East besides “Arab.” Like somehow the fiction Agrabah is located along the Jordan River, has tigers and monkeys in it, was named inspired by Baghdad, is inspired by the Taj Mahal, includes Arabic architecture, and overall uses Middle Eastern, South Asian, North African influences. 

This was by no means an “Arab film,” this was Disney using a bunch of stereotypes and throwing them together because they didn’t care enough to invest in the history and culture of a specific area. Instead they melded SWANA influences together because who cares, we’re basically all the same, right? Unlike movies like Brave where you know where the film is located, the cultural influence, and you see that represented on screen. 

Anyway that’s all I have to say on the live action version directed by Guy fucking Ritchie in what’s sure to be totally positive representation. 

anonymous asked:

Are there really people out there who don't believe Olmecs are indigenous to the Americas?

Yes. They think that the Olmec are black and either come from Africa or were influenced by Africans like the Egyptians or (time-travelling) Moors.

yes i get that the idea of pre-modern Europe being totally what you’d consider ‘white’ by modern standards is false and should be dismantled. i mean we should totally talk about how the Roman Empire was very much a multiethnic civilisation with North African and Middle-Eastern influences and existed with completely different race categories altogether. we should consider how empires we often regard today as non-European like the Islamic caliphates, the Achaemenid Empire (aka Iran) and Ottoman Turkey influenced what we now consider to be ‘Western civilisation’. or consider how Christianity is ultimately a religion of Middle-Eastern origin. we should remember that modern constructs of whiteness are exactly that- modern. they were not perpetual. 

but i can’t completely get on board with the way people often only fixate on US-centric race categories to present Europe as diverse. there are numerous European ethnic minorities who you might consider ‘white’ in the US who have historically faced erasure and genocidal violence at the hands larger and more powerful European countries. diversity in the European context is very much about representing ethnic diversity too. 

by all means, I understand the term POC has some validity if you’re addressing say, a US-based game developer or a US movie studio making a Hollywood movie when they start saying things like ‘premodern europe was all white’. but all the same, the way racism and exclusion has occurred in Europe has very often been about ethnic faultlines. things like antisemitism, a very old European prejudice, just do not fit simply into a white/POC dichotomy. so i can’t help but feel the way the term ‘POC’ gets flung around carelessly in that context is subtle US cultural imperialism, because this is also kind of implicitly predicated on the idea that whiteness as it is understood in the US exists the same way in various European countries.


Blacks, Blues, Black!

“Episode 1 of a 10-part TV series made by Dr. Maya Angelou for KQED in 1968 called Blacks, Blues, Black!, which examines the influence of African American culture on modern American society. As Dr. Angelou puts it: “What is Africa to me?” Includes scenes of Dr. Angelou in the studio discussing “positive Africanisms”: children’s games, dance, poetry, religion and the blues. She states: “The preachers and the blues singers are the poets of the black American world.” Also features views on location of children playing street games, of Rev. WR Drummer and Rev. JL Strawther preaching at the Little Zion Baptist Church in San Francisco and of B.B. King performing on-stage and being interviewed by Dr. Angelou. This episode was written by Dr. Angelou and produced by Tony Batten.”

i am beyond ecstatic to post this series written and hosted by Dr. Maya Angelou from 1968. it’s basically an introduction to African American Studies (/African diasporic studies) made for television. ever since i saw the Netflix documentary, “Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise”, i have been obsessed. she’s much more radical than the light she is generally caste in. this is such a gem. i hope you all watch all the episodes. 

African Influence in Salvador

Salvador, capital of the state of Bahia, was the first major port and the capital of colonial Brazil for almost two centuries. The city lies between green tropical hills and broad beaches along the bay of Todos os Santos. It was built on two levels with administration buildings and residences constructed on the hills; forts, docks, and warehouses on the beaches. To this day the city is still divided into upper and lower cities. From 1500 to 1815 Salvador was the nation’s busiest port. A significant portion of the sugar from the northeast and gold and diamonds from the mines in the southeast passed through Salvador. It was a golden age for the town; magnificent homes and churches resplendent in gold decoration were built. Many of the city’s baroque churches, private homes, squares, and even the hand-chipped paving bricks have been preserved as part of Brazil’s historic patrimony. In Salvador, more than anywhere else in the country, the African influence in the makeup of Brazilian culture is readily visible, from the spicy dishes still called by their African names (caruru, vatapa, acaraji), to the ceremonies of candomblé which honor both African deities and Catholic holidays, to the capoeira schools where a unique African form of ritualistic fighting is taught. Its population is around 2,250,000 inhabitants.

Location: Salvador, Bahia, Brazil

Photographer: Celso Marino


I couldn’t find a better quality version of this very darling adaptation of Beauty and the Beast from HBO’s Once Upon a Time: Fairy Tales for Every Child, but here you go! Unfortunately it doesn’t seem this series is available on DVD. 

HBO’s Happily Ever After: Fairy Tales for Every Child

Beauty and The Beast

A surprisingly sensitive and playful little adaptation. The constraints of a TV budget are obvious in this 45 minute animation, but the writing is snappy and the character designs have a certain stylishness (Beauty’s heart braids especially!). The locale looks middle eastern, but the characters and their clothing seem to have a more modern African influence.

The Beast is excellently characterized as a wry and articulate Rhinoceros with a pompadour. Beauty is equally well conceived, a friendly, bright girl  (who always remembers to lock her door when sleeping in strange places) with a strong will. She goes seeking The Beast and finds him in the middle of  a musical number (“could she, would she, will she love a beast like me?”). The Beast tells her she shouldn’t sneak up on a beast, but she’s quick on the uptake, pointing out that despite his claws, he doesn’t act much like one.

Beauty’s uncertainty about her family and her feelings for The Beast are nicely summed up in her song “Wave Goodbye, Say Hello”, and the worry that maybe The Beast was more loveable than the Prince (Carl) is actually addressed (very rare!). This adaptation follows the beats of the Beaumont story pretty faithfully. Beauty’s relationship with her sister Precious and brother Tree is neither antagonistic nor whitewashed, and her relationship with The Beast is founded on friendly rapport rather than mystery or obligation. Overall, a bright, funny adaptation with smart writing.

Ed Sheeran: Up All Night With Pop's Hardcore Troubadour | Full Rolling Stone Interview

“Let’s go to my place for the finale!” Ed Sheeran shouts as he hops into an SUV. It’s just after midnight in London. Sheeran spent much of the evening in a bar, but even with his bright-red hair hidden under a ball cap, people started to recognize him. The DJ played one of his songs, and his friends had to create a wall around him so he could drink in peace. It all made him a little anxious, which is why we’re speeding to his West London home to keep the party going.

Sheeran is celebrating tonight because he knows he’s about to score his first Number One hit in America with “Shape of You,” a sleek, funky stomper from his new album, ÷ (pronounced Divide). We’re joined by his girlfriend, Cherry, and his old friends Zack, Nathan and Catherine, who have been watching him perform since he released his first album, The Spinning Man, when he was 13. “I went plywood,” Sheeran, now 25, jokes about that LP. “Not gold. I sold 100 copies.”

Sheeran has been going hard tonight: espresso martinis and rum-punch shots at dinner, gin and tonics at the bar. It’s my birthday, and at one point he grabs my phone, takes a selfie of us and posts to my Instagram, writing “It’s my birthday bitches #london #hashtag #believe #achieve #inspiration.” He encourages friends to knock back pints with a drinking song that ends “Na na na na/Hey hey hey/You’re a cunt!”

Soon, we arrive at his house, a five-floor, industrial-style space with brick walls, wood floors and several personal touches: a Charmander Pokémon stuffed animal in his bedroom and a bong shaped like Benny Blanco’s head in the living room. There’s also a recording studio, a gym and a full bar, where he recently entertained several young cast members of his favorite show, Game of Thrones. As we arrive, Sheeran offers bedrooms to anyone who wants to “get rowdy,” then goes to work mixing drinks.

Keep reading


For the past few months I’ve been experimenting with trying out the hand techniques I learnt in Ghana on a monofilament warp. This was to highlight the structure of the woven fabric with the use of clear yarn - and I ended up with some interesting pieces! Since setting up the dobby loom I’ve continued exploring this avenue, making more similar pieces with added embroidery inspired by woven cloth from Mali and Guinea-Bissau.

I love the combination of using a clear warp with silks from Iran - a mix of natural and synthetic, traditional hand techniques mixed with utilising the capabilities of a 16 shaft loom and the added embroidery gives the piece an added layer cultural references.

Next up I’ll be making some cushions for sale, but will be definitely working on some more of these monofilament pieces too :)

So do neo-Nazis, like, listen to music? I ask because pretty much every original music style in the Western hemisphere was developed by people of color. Do they like, jam to Gregorian chants or some shit? Oh wait, no, because tons of those had North African influences. I guess they just Enjoy the Silence (but not the Depeche Mode song, since that clearly has rock/soul/funk influences, which were all developed by black people.)

rbwannabe  asked:

Hi Butterfly! Sometime ago I saw a post in which you said GRRM viewed the Dornish as "southern european" but they were always represented w/ a North African/Arabic twist, and I thought that maybe he meant that envisioned Dorne as Spain during the period of Muslim domination (which reminds me of Nymeria's conquest, as she carried a different religion as well). I don't know, maybe it's just an headcanon of mine ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

No worries, that is exactly the reference GRRM is going for. :)  Some comments by GRRM about real-world influences on Dorne:

I read a lot of history, and mine it for good stuff, but I also like to mix and match. That is to say, I don’t do straight one-for-one transplants, as some authors do, so you can’t really say that X in Westeros equals Y in real life. More often X in Westeros equals Y and Z in real life, with squidges of Q, L, and A.

In the case of Dorne, yes, Wales was definitely an influence, for all the reasons you cite. But there’s also some distinctly unWelsh elements down there. South of the wall of mountains you have a hot, dry country more like Spain or Palestine than the cool green valleys of Wales, with most of the settlements along the seacoast and in few great river basins. And you also have the flavor given the culture by the great Rhoynar influx led by Nymeria. I suppose the closest real life equivilent to that would be the Moorish influence in parts of Spain. So you could say Dorne is Wales mixed with Spain and Palestine with some entirely imaginary influences mixed in. Or you could just say it’s Dorne….

GRRM, Historical Influences for Dorne

Q: What is the Welsh influence in how you envision Dorne?

Several generations of English kings tried to add Wales to the English crown, but never with much success. The Welsh successfully resisted for centuries… not by defeating the English in large battles, but by melting away into their mountains and hills and waging campaigns of small scale resistance… what today we would call “guerilla warfare” or maybe even “terrorism.” The Dornish used the same approach.

GRRM, Forum Chat

Q: Is there any location in Westeros based in Spain?

Yes. Dorne is definitely influenced a bit by Spain, a bit by Wales. But nothing is one and one. I took that together. Dorne is a very special land, with a slightly different cultural basis than the rest of Westeros… it was politically apart for a long time, it was also culturally apart because of the Rhoynar and the traditions they brought, but they didn’t influenced the rest of Westeros so much. So the Dornish have their own particular sort of [customs]. I see that in Spain with the whole history, particularly the Moorish history of Spain, you know… it really sets apart from France.

GRRM, interview with Adria’s News

Also, I think you’re referring to this post? IIRC the trouble was GRRM referring to the (salty) Dornish as looking “southern European” but implying that meant white skin… contradicting both his own words about the North African cultural and racial influence on Spain, as well as the text of the books describing Dornish skin color. (“brown as a Dornishman”, et al.) And I still don’t even know there…

Some really cool bits from Vanity Fair's Interview with Orlando Jones, re: American Gods and Anansi
  • VF: In your “Coming to America” intro, you get to wander in between some accents and dialects as you’re giving all the different angles of this African and African-American experience. Can you talk about some of the vocal choices you made there?
  • OJ: For me, one of the interesting things about American Gods is the way the world is laid out: it’s the old gods versus the new gods. Because Anansi is a trickster god, for me, his speech definitely had to have some African element to it—some patois. It was key that at certain moments, particularly when communicating on a slave ship full of Africans who are soon to be sold at market, he communicate in a tone that is familiar to them. That’s just the nature of communication.
  • I was just mindful that the patois, Gullah, all those were a part of those different languages that morphed from African under the American influence. The gentleman that plays the slave that’s praying to and summons Anansi, he does so obviously speaking in an African dialect. To not lean towards that worship is really to divorce yourself from everything American Gods is about, because the problem of the old gods is they’ve lost their following, they’ve lost their worshipers. It was a way to do that. Without speaking African, in an African accent or an African language, that was a way to do it.
  • VF: One of the very fun things about Mr. Nancy in that scene is that partway through, and all of a sudden, he’s got a spider for a head. I was told they went through many, many different spider designs before they landed on the one. Did you get to be a part of the process? What are your spider thoughts?
  • OJ: Bryan and Michael were awesome. A lot of show-runners don’t necessarily include the cast in those decisions, but they sent the design to me and were like, “We really want to know what you think about this spider.” The spider was three different colors—the red and the green—and it had these whiskers. These jowls.
  • That’s what I was hoping for, because I wanted him to have this hair on his face and this crazy hair on the top inspired by a lot of South African street fashion, which I think is the most interesting street fashion in the game right now. It’s very colorful. It’s very in-your-face, but at the same time, it’s super-elegant. I had been flipping through spiders, and I’d seen the yellow gloves that Anansi was supposed to have, and I couldn’t figure out how that was going to work because I felt like that would be so distracting. I was happy when Michael and Bryan were like, “No, let’s just do this.” But then I thought the visual-effects bill on this was going to be ridiculous.