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WAYETU MOORE

OkayAfrica's 100 Women celebrates African women who are making waves, shattering ceilings, and uplifting their communities.

Wayetu Moore is more than just a writer—she is the CEO and publisher of One Moore Book—a boutique publisher of culturally sensitive and educational stories for children of countries with low literacy rates and underrepresented cultures.


The Columbia University grad student of Liberian descent moved to the U.S. with her family in 1990 to flee the civil war and developed a strong need to give back, which has meant giving a voice to children who are not likely to read about themselves or even have access to other cultures outside their own.

One Moore Book is a member of the Children’s Book Council, a nonprofit trade association of North American children’s book publishers dedicated to supporting and informing the industry. In an interview with Madame Noire, Moore says of her love of literature: “My family experienced the war in Liberia in 1990 and upon moving here when I was 5, it took a long time for me to adjust—longer than my sisters. My mother would buy books for me and read to us before sleeping so I wouldn’t have nightmares. Reading saved my childhood mind from completely losing my trust for people and life. My mother eventually suggested that I begin to write and I wrote my first poem around 7 or 8 and it provided similar therapy as the bedtime stories my mother read to me. These early experiences stuck and I have always been aware of the power of literature and art in the lives of children, especially children who face adversity. I could not imagine not being able to read then–I’m not sure what would have saved me.”

Moore is working on a novel that will be published with Graywolf Press.

-JO

News

The Ethiopian Government Has Asked Olympic Runner In Exile, Feyisa Lilesa, to Return Home

After two years in exile, the Olympic athlete will return home and receive a "hero's welcome."

Feyisa Lilesa, the Ethiopian runner who went into exile in 2016 after bravely protesting the Ethiopian government's brutal treatment of its Oromo population at the Rio Olympics, has been invited to return to home.

After living in self-imposed exile United States for two years the marathoner, who demonstrated by crossing his fists as he reached the finish line and claimed the silver medal, has been extended an offer to return to his homeland and compete for his country once again by the Ethiopian Athletics Federation and the country's Olympic committee. According to VOA News, the runner will return home in the coming weeks with his wife and children.

"Athlete Feyisa Lilesa has scored great results at the Rio Olympics and other athletics competitions enabling Ethiopia's flag to be hoisted to great heights," read a joint letter from the two athletics organizations.

"We want Lilesa to return to his home country to resume his athletics competition and upon his return we are prepared to give him a hero's welcome."

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Politics
Image via GovernmentZA's Flickr.

Could Justice Finally Be on the Horizon for Marikana Massacre Families?

New evidence suggests that the police intended to kill all along.

Today marks the sixth anniversary of the Marikana Massacre, when 34 mine-workers were gunned down by police after several days of wage disputes at Lonmin Mine in Rustenburg, North West province. New information was recently uncovered that undermines the police's longstanding claim that they acted in self-defence. If anything, it is a glimmer of hope for the families of the victims that remain left behind in the aftermath of that tragedy.

It was the worst mass civilian killing since the 1960 Sharpeville Massacre, where South African protesters were killed for opposing the Apartheid regime. The Marikana Massacre, in contrast, was the tragic consequence of week-long wage disputes and clashes between miners and the South African police.

While media footage appears to show the miners as the victims, police have always argued that they were acting in self defence. Consequently no officers involved have been charged. Instead, the surviving mineworkers face murder charges under the doctrine of common purpose. But unnerving facts have come to light that seem to make the police argument even less likely. This includes the ordering of 4000 rounds of live ammunition and several vans from the mortuary the day before the massacre.

I cannot even begin to unpack my anger and frustration at this terrible irony.

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popular

Remembering Aretha Franklin and Her Heartfelt Connection With Nelson Mandela

In honor of the Queen of Soul's immeasurable impact, we revisit her passionate support of Nelson Mandela, and the anti-apartheid movement, through her musical tributes.

Iconic singer, Aretha Franklin, the "Queen of Soul" passed away on Thursday after a battle with pancreatic cancer. She was 76.

Franklin was considered by many to be the greatest singer of all time. Her influence on popular music cannot be overstated. The legendary artist sold 75 million records and earned 18 Grammys in a career spanning six decades and she was influential in many global social movements as well.

Having been a widely-embraced public figure for so long, Franklin was present for some of the biggest events of the 20th century, including the funeral of Civil Rights Leader Martin Luther King Jr., as well as the release of Nelson Mandela from prison in 1990.

Upon Mandela's release, the singer played a unique role in welcoming him to the States by performing at a freedom rally in his honor in Detroit. Rosa Parks, Jesse Jackson and Stevie Wonder were also in attendance for the historic night. During the celebration, Franklin called the anti-apartheid leader on stage, where he spoke about listening to and appreciating "the Detroit, Motown Sound" while he was in prison.

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