Read it! Loved it! Lockdown Reads

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Not Tonight, I'm Reading by Vashti Harrison via Pinterest

A few years ago I started doing a round-up of articles I read online, and shared it here. I stopped after a while, but I wanted to start it back up again - at least for the time being. It will mostly be centred on African literature or African-focused reads, but as I don't even follow my own rules a lot of the times - I might switch things up occasionally and share some non-African content that I've really enjoyed reading. Here we go!

I'll start with the most recent article I read, History begins in her storiesfrom Siphiwo Mahala who traces his own story with short stories beginning with his grandmother 'one of the most exceptional storytellers [he] ever came across'. Mahala weaves her oral narratives with his own immersion into various forms of literature and South Africa's history of oral and written [short] stories. 

Next, is Pwaangulongii Daoud's Portrait of Kaduna City, a Half Completed Story, detailing why Daoud 'loves Kaduna more than any place'. 

The city is not my birthplace. I came to it as a teenager. Which meant I had contained sentiment for other places before discovering this one. Kaduna is the city of my firsts: first heartbreak, first sex, first self-discovery, first books, first writing, first lies, first horror, first riot, first suicide attempt, first rejection. Maybe what I share with this city is not love.

Screenshot via LitHub

Ayobami Adebayo, Chigozie Obioma, and Romeo Oriogun 'reveal psychologically complex male interiors' in this piece that probes masculinity in their works. While Lucky Grace Isingizwe writes about Small Presses, Creative Writing Workshops & Literary Prizes in Africa, and how 'for emerging African writers, small presses are more than a way to publish your work; they become a lifeline for learning writing craft and building networks that nurture connections and opportunities'. Also read about Edwige-Renee Dro's new library, 1949, focused on women's writing from the continent and diaspora.

I'm keeping pandemic-related reads to a minimum, but must share Ukamaka Olisakwe's honest and heartfelt essay on Motherhood and Mental Health During a Pandemic. As well, as this piece from Sisonke Msimang, Homesick: Notes on lockdown.

Staying within the realm of literature, here are two pieces centred on Black literary foremothers in America. The first looks at Black women-led literary salons like A'Lelia Walker's The Dark Tower by Jamia Wilson. The second is a long, but brilliant read on The Life of Zora Neale Hurston by Michael Adno. 

Moving beyond literature, it was extremely insightful to read about The Last French Speaker in Lagos - a tiny community of French speakers in Lagos who can trace their roots to the nearby border with Benin. In the world of music, if you haven't heard about the controversial Nigerian artist, Naira Marley and his Marlian ideology, Yomi Adegoke has you covered. For more music coverage, here's a piece on the Lusophone sounds of Cape Verde-born, Lisbon-based singer Dino D'Santiago. 

Not an article, but definitely check out Project 3541, a collection of photographs of the 1935-41 war between Ethiopia and Italy. Another really cool website, with some fab articles on the Black British experience, is the Black Cultural Archives. It's an amazing resource with tons of pieces to keep you entertained and informed, such as this one on Black British Pop Culture and the History of Protests and the Black Women's Movement and its role within British feminism. That's all for now. What I've read and loved recently.

Screenshot via Project 3541

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