I can’t help but feel festive. I hope you do too: it’s Black History Month! From reading previous posts you might have noticed that I like celebrating, and it’s been a wonderful week all over the blogosphere to do just that. *Smile*
Like stated on the sidebar, Multiculturalism Rocks! is about celebrating authors and all meaningful contributors to cultural diversity in children’s literature during and outside “heritage” seasons. That said, I hope that many people take advantage of Black History Month, which gives a unique opportunity to know more about African and African-American authors and illustrators in kid lit. I read amazing interviews on the Brown Bookshelf blog, as part of the 28 Days Later Campaign, as well as on author Carleen Brice‘s blog White Readers Meet Black Authors.
If you’re fond of graphic novels, make sure to read the interview of Marguerite Abouet, who is originally from Ivory Coast and now lives in the Parisian area (France). Marguerite Abouet is the author of the Aya series, which focuses on the daily life of an African community in Ivory Coast. The series has already been translated in twelve languages and is described by the Brown bookshelf as hard to put down, “sweet, fast-paced and thrilling.” Head over TBB to read more about it! You will also be amazed by the authors and illustrator featured this week! (Did I hear “award-winning?”) I don’t want to spoil it for you, so I won’t say more! 🙂
I discovered the novel Wench thanks to Carleen Brice’s blog, White Readers Meet Black Authors. Wench is a historical fiction described as “an ambitious and startling debut novel that follows the lives of four women at a resort popular among slaveholders who bring their enslaved mistresses…” Are you intrigued yet? I didn’t know such a place existed in the United States in the past. The author, Dolen Perkins-Valdez shares her writing experience, as well as stumbling upon the historical fact that prompted her write her first novel. Read all about it here!
More news! I received two awards– wow! I told you I felt festive. There will be another fun post just for them as soon as that will be possible. And, Ari-Reading in Color, interviewed me last weekend as part of her blogger spotlight series. I learned so much by being in the interviewee seat. It got me even more appreciative of Multiculturalism Rocks’ guests and of the time they kindly dedicate to answering questions and sharing their knowledge. Thank you all for that generous spirit, and thank you, Ari, for the honor and the experience. At such a young age, you truly are amazing! Well, if you’re a tad bit curious, the interview is here.
In the spirit of Black History Month, here is Fela Kuti! Fela Kuti does not need an introduction, the same way Michael Jackson and Elvis Presley do not. Nope, I am not exaggerating. The man was a genius and he impacted countless lives worldwide.
Fela Kuti was born in Nigeria, Africa, on October 15, 1938. Though he passed away on August 2, 1997, his spirit is still very much alive. He has been internationally acclaimed, including in the United States; he is considered an icon of African music as well as a pioneer of afrobeat. Fela was a singer-songwriter, a multifaceted musician and a human rights activist. Wikipedia has a pretty accurate entry about his life. Official website: http://www.felaproject.net/.
If you live in New York or happen to be in that area, I highly recommend seeing the musical production “Fela!”, which is about his life and contribution to great causes. The show has garnered rave reviews from the New York Times and Time Magazine, just to quote a few. For more information, click here!
And the great Steve McQueen is directed a movie about Fela this year. I can’t wait to see it!
To conclude, here is a video of another African legend, Cameroonian musician Manu Dibango, honoring Fela’s legacy. *Note: the post is long enough as is, but Dibango’s name is likely to resurface this year in an upcoming post.*
This concludes today’s entry. I hope that you enjoy the music–Manu Dibango, “Lion of Africa” *note: In the video Manu at times speaks Douala, a Cameroonian language. I wish you a fabulous weekend! 🙂