young african

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Young Adult Books with Black Protagonists

Akata Witch/What Sunny Saw in the Flames Series by Nnedi Okorafor

Twelve-year-old Sunny lives in Nigeria, but she was born American. Her features are African, but she’s albino. She’s a terrific athlete, but can’t go out into the sun to play soccer. There seems to be no place where she fits in. And then she discovers something amazing she is a “free agent” with latent magical power. Soon she’s part of a quartet of magic students, studying the visible and invisible, learning to change reality. But will it be enough to help them when they are asked to catch a career criminal who knows magic too?

flickr

Cuddling with mom! by Tambako The Jaguar
Via Flickr:
One of the two girls together with her mom, cuddling and starting to yawn. So cute!

In the late 1890s, photographer George N. Barnard had photographed the daily life of South Carolina’s denizens in all their various shades.  In an ode to Raphael’s angels, he had two young African American boys pose with pondering expressions upon their faces. 

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These are some Filmmakers of African descent we loved in 2013!

1. Steve McQueen for his behemoth 12 Years A Slave. So many things we love about him, but our favorite is his side eye. 

2. Ava Duvernay, award winning filmmaker extraordinaire. From publicists, to black film activator, distributor and director. She even broke Twitter with her Scandal episode. Girl crush!

3. Bradford Young, cinematographer that makes everything look amazing. Mother of George and Ain’t Them Bodies Saints this last year. How can a machine make so much poetry? Someone give this man an award. 

4. Andrew  Dosunmu, photographer turned director, with Mother of George this year. An auteur, leading us into the philosophy of the African aesthetic in film. Everytime, he, without visual effects, turns Brooklyn into an unbelievably gorgeous African city…How?

5. John Ridley, Screenwriter. 12 Years A Slave. Period. 

6. Jahmil Qubeka, director, Of Good Report. This guy burned his passport when his film was banned. The world paid attention, and were not disappointed. What a great little film. Gorgeous black and white picture, and a story that is difficult to ignore or forget.

7. Chika Anadu, Lawyer turned director, winning awards for first feature 'B for Boy’. A grown up, female-driven drama that challenges archetypes for African women and female (mother/daughter) relationships on screen.

8. Frances Bodomo, for the short film that stole our attention ‘Afronauts’. A scifi short with a distinctive visual aesthetic based on the African space race. We can’t wait to see more!

9. Kibwe Tavares, director, Jonah. If you’ve seen this scifi short, set in Dar Es Salaam, and partial commentary on tourism and the environment without sacrificing the entertainment factor. Such great visual effects, notably the whale!!! I cannot wait to see what he does next!

10. Akosua Adoma Owusu, director, Kwaku Ananse. Currently rebuilding and opening the Rex Cinema in Ghana, Akosua’s body of work has the mark of a cinematic force to be reckoned with. All of it thoughtful and deliberate, with a distinctive artistic intention and style, we loved Kwaku this year and can’t wait to see her helm a feature length script.

There are many more filmmakers that made 2013 interesting, including those from the Carribbean, and other diaspora…Reblog with your additions!

Monica