african storyteller


In 1991 Julie Dash premiered her first feature, Daughters of the Dust, at the Sundance Film Festival, which went on to win the award for Excellence in Cinematography. The film is set in the early 1900s and follows a Gullah family of women preparing to move from the Sea Islands off the coast of South Carolina to mainland America. Daughters of the Dust was the first film directed by an African American woman to receive a national release. 

The film appears to be a source of inspiration for Beyonce’s Lemonade. The visual album echoes imagery from the film with shots of young African-American women in the Southern wild and desolate beaches wearing turn of the century garments. 

Daughters of the Dust screened at the Festival again in 2012 as a part of the “From the Collection” program. The film has recently been digitally restored by Cohen Film Collection and will screen at film festivals and theaters in addition to a Blu-ray release this fall. Click here to view a trailer for Daughters of the Dust.

Film stills courtesy of Daughters of the Dust

What you are reading is a shortened version of a poem by a lovely woman:  thealgerianbrit.

The full poem: 

“Mother of the children they called her.

Fatima Al Fihri was a woman with a vision.
The daughter of a wealthy merchant, Fatima and her sister Mariam were children of the Maghreb.
The Ancient land of Numidia.Their family travelled from modern day Tunisia to Fes, Morocco.
The deserts of North Africa were not the only thing making them reach out in thirst.
These sister countries engulfed the Al Fihri sisters with passion and a thirst for knowledge.
Shoes, handbags nor celebrity gossip drove Fatima.
She smashed all stereotypes of women of the Orient.
Islam was her religion. Spouse-hood was not her goal just yet.
There was a depth in this woman.
A depth that matched the deep maroons of the Fes hats.
Her vision was allowed to grow and become cultivated because of the Islamic society Numidia fed her.
Her father her biggest fan.
Fes, one the most influential cities in the Muslim world along with Tlemcen, Algeria, was renowned for centuries as the centre for religion and culture. Fatima was a beautiful catalyst.
859 rolled around like a Maghrebi carpet being laid out for royalty.
Fatima founded the oldest academic degree-granting university existing today, the University of Qarawiyyin in Fes.
Fatima inspires to seek for change.
To seek awareness of the world you live in.
Islam gives it to women and it leaves you spell-bound.
A foremother for all Maghreb women.

Daughters of Ancient Numidia.”

I personally believe in God, but not in religion, and I find this beautiful. Fatima was a muslima and it was part of her identity as to many muslimas today. She is a true rolemodel, whether you believe or not, and a good example of women being capable of being leaders. Dear Muslima, do not let anyone ever tell you otherwise :).

Also a quick reminder that muslims are welcome on this blog:) 

-x HaouariHouse


I Ain’t Lying: Folktales from Mississippi

“1975 documentary based on fieldwork William Ferris conducted with African American storytellers and bluesmen in the communities of Leland and Rose Hill, Mississippi. The stories include include folk and religious tales, jokes, toast telling sessions, and characters from African American oral tradition." 

Review: Peres Owino's "Bound: Africans vs. African Americans" (2014)

Storytelling has always been an important practice among African and African American communities. Through storytelling, the peoples of these two groups have been able to teach and learn valuable lessons, convey their histories, and have been able to provide answers to life’s questions. Such storytelling is found in Bound: Africans vs. African Americans, an illuminating documentary by Kenyan-born Peres Owino about the rarely discussed tension that exists between Africans and African Americans. The film traces the tensions back centuries to the trans-Atlantic slave trade, the crucial moment when the two groups split in the first place. Now, as the film documents, the two communities primarily know each other through stereotypes.

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