Book covers of 'Thomas Sankara Speaks', 'Freedom is a Constant Struggle' and 'Let My People Go'.

Here are 7 Important Books to Read About the Revolution

Here are 7 Important Books to Read About Revolution

Letlhogonolo Mokgoroane hand-picks 7 books written by Black authors reflecting on the revolution. As there is continued political instability across the African continent (and the world), these books put into words the difficult experiences through which many Black people are living.

Black people are thinkers and have been thinking about change and revolution for a long time. I often return to Audre Lorde whose thinking has shaped me in many ways. In February of 1982, she delivered an address titled Learning from the 60s as part of the celebration of the Malcolm X weekend at Harvard University. In her address, she said that, "As Black people, if there is one thing we can learn from the 60s, it is how infinitely complex any move for liberation must be." In this, Lorde urged us to understand that any move for our liberation is one that is complex.

Reflecting on her words now, we see how they ring true when observing large scale global movements such as #BlackLivesMatter, #EndSARS, #EndAnglophoneCrisis, the global pandemic and several others. These movements have reminded us that the quest for liberation itself is undeniably complex and that it requires us to think quite deeply and sincerely about what liberation actually looks like.

As Lorde says in her speech: "[R]evolution is not a one-time event. It is becoming always vigilant for the smallest opportunity to make a genuine change in established and outgrown responses. For instance, it is learning to address each other's difference with respect." Although books will not lead the revolution, they are our tools to begin to concepetualise what others before us have done and how we can improve on what is already there. These books help us to begin to think and to imagine our freedoms particularly as Black people.

Below is a list of 7 important books written by Black authors about the revolution.

Letlhogonolo Mokgoroane is a South African advocate and co-founder of the literature podcast, Cheeky Natives. Follow him on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

1. 'How We Get Free: Black Feminism and the Combahee River Collective' by Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor

Image supplied by Letlhogonolo Mokgoroane.

This book is a collection of interviews featuring the founders of the Collective mainly Barbara Smith, Beverly Smith, Demita Frazier. It also features Alicia Garza, co-creator of #BlackLivesMatter and as a bonus, a comment by Barbara Ransby, who remarks on the creation of the Collective and how it especially inspires her. The Collective was one of the most important organisations to develop out of the anti-racism and women's liberation movements of the 1960s and 1970s. The conversations in the book are reflections on the legacy of the Collective with regards to Black feminism and its impact on today's struggles. As Frazier says: "the point of talking about the Collective is not to be nostalgic; rather, we talk about it because Black women are still not free."

2. 'Freedom is a Constant Struggle' by Angela Y. Davis

This is a collection of essays, interviews and speeches by the revolutionary Angela Y. Davis. These musings illuminate the connections between struggles against state violence and oppression throughout history and around the world. They are a reflection on the importance of Black feminism, intersectionality and prison abolitionism. Davis masterfully discusses the legacies of Black freedom movements. Additionally, she says in an interview with Frank Barat that is included in the book: "I would say that our struggles mature, they produce new ideas, new issues and new terrains on which we engage in the quest for freedom. Like Nelson Mandela, we must be willing to embrace the long walk toward freedom."

3. 'The Black Consciousness Reader' by Baldwin Ndaba, Therese Owen, Masego Panyane, Rabbie Serumula and Janet Smith

Image supplied by Letlhogonolo Mokgoroane.

This book was published in the year of the 40th anniversary of Stephen Bantu Biko's murder. The book is an essential collection of history, interviews and opinions about Black Consciousness. It examines how the proper acknowledgement of Blackness brings a greater love, a broader sweep of heroes and a wider understanding of intellectual and political influences. The book shines a spotlight on other significant Black Consciousness personalities such as Vuyelwa Mashalaba, Assata Shakur, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela and Onkgopotse Tiro, to name but a few. It is a perfect reading companion for both I Write What I Like and The Testimony of Steve Biko.

4. 'Freedom in Our Lifetime: The Collected Writings of Anton Muziwakhe Lembede' edited by Robert R. Edgar and Luyanda ka Msumza

Anton Lembede was the first president of South Africa's African National Congress Youth League (ANCYL). He was known for this sharp intellect, fiery personality and unwavering commitment to the struggles at hand. This book contributes to the liberation canon by acknowledging Lembede's early contribution to the freedom movement and his passionate and eloquent articulation of the African-centred philosophy he called "Africanism".

​5. 'From #BlackLivesMatter to Black Liberation' by Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor

Image supplied by Letlhogonolo Mokgoroane.

This book is about the historical and contemporary ravages of racism and the persistence of structural inequality including mass incarceration and Black unemployment. Taylor argues that this new struggle against police violence holds the potential to reignite a broader push for Black liberation. Robin D.G Kelley, author of Freedom Dreams: The Black Radical Imagination, said of the book: "Class Matters! In this clear-eyed, historically informed account of the latest wave of resistance to state violence, Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor not only exposes the canard of color-blindness but reveals how structural racism and class oppression are joined at the hip. If today's rebels ever expect to end inequality and racialized state violence, she warns, then capitalism must also end. And that requires forging new solidarities, envisioning a new social and economic order, and pushing a struggle to protect Black lives to its logical conclusion: a revolution capable of transforming the entire nation."

​6. Thomas Sankara Speaks - A collection of selected writings

Sankara says that, "We must dare to invent the future. Everything man is capable of imagining, he can create." It is this call that we must heed––the invention of the future. This requires imagination and as South African Professor Pumla Gqola encourages, it requires that we must do some "dream work". This book brings us Thomas Sankara in his own words. It is a careful selection of his writings and interviews from 1983 until his tragic and untimely assassination in 1987.

​7. 'Let My People Go' by Albert Luthuli

Image supplied by Letlhogonolo Mokgoroane.

Luthuli writes in the preface of the book: "This book is the outcome, after long hesitation on my part, of the urging of my friends. It is true that in the last thirty years I have been increasingly identified with the movement of resistance against oppression by white supremacy in South Africa, until now, I find myself at its head. Nevertheless, I regard my life as one among many, and my role in the resistance as one among many." Luthuli tells the story of the repression and resistance that were to shape the South African political landscape forever: the Defiance Campaign. This was the first mass challenge to the Apartheid regime. he also speaks about the drafting of the Freedom Charter, the infamous Treason Trial and the tragedies of the Sharpville and Langa massacres.

Photo by Gerhard Pettersson.

Fun Places in Accra, Ghana to Visit This Weekend

From Seafood Dining at NsuomNam to On A Beachhhh at Alora Beach Resort, Accra is packed with places to have fun.

Get ready for an eventful weekend. Ghana music’s biggest night — the 24th edition of the annual Ghana Music Awards — is happening this week. Ako Adjei Lit Up will be hosting one of their signature street parties, and Palm Sundays at The Palm Avenue will be dishing out their beloved combo of live band music and local food.

Right from the midweek all through to the weekend, here is a list of fun places to visit in Accra, Ghana.

Seafood Dining at NsuomNam

If you’re looking for the best seafood experience, then look no further than NsuomNam. NsuomNam Seafood and Fish Restaurant opened fairly recently and has quickly built a reputation for having some of the best cuisine in Accra - aquatic and otherwise. Take your pick from their menu of signature starters, main dishes, desserts, and cocktails, for a delightful, Pan-African seafood dining experience.

Date: Friday, 12th - Sunday, 14th May, 6-11p.m.

Venue: NsuomNam

Akosombo Getaway with Travel Bites

Wanna escape Accra for a weekend? Travel Bites is hosting a getaway trip to Akosombo. Akosombo is a town in Ghana’s Eastern Region, located along the Volta River. On this weekend getaway you’d have the opportunity to experience a myriad of activities, including a visit to Lake Club Ghana, hiking to Adomi bridge, a boat cruise, jet skiing, kayaking, and more. The bus from Accra leaves on Saturday morning, so make sure to book before the weekend for 48 hours of fun.

Date: Friday, 12th - Sunday, 14th May

Venue: Akosombo

Cost: GHC1,500 for single, GHC2,400 for double

Sixth Anniversary Party/Charity Day & Fun Games at Front/Back

Front/Back is one of Accra’s most exclusive nightclubs. The club, bar, and restaurant is events-based and is a members only experience, when means to gain entry you either have to be a member, be invited by a member, or join to become a member. This week is Front/Back’s sixth anniversary, and they have a lineup of events to grace the occasion. The crown jewel of it is their Sixth Anniversary Party, happening on Friday, 12th May. Alternatively, if you’re looking for something more activity based, you can join them for their Charity Day & Fun Games on Sunday, 14th May.

Date: Friday, 12th & Sunday, 14th May

Venue: Front/Back

Cost: Free

Mother’s Day Lunch & Bloom at Eden Garden

Events Factory will be hosting a private garden event at Eden Garden, titled Mother’s Day Lunch & Bloom. It’s a combination of a floral workshop, a 3-course lunch buffet, and other activities and attractions such as a fresh flower bar and unlimited cocktails, all geared towards celebrating the special women in your life. It’s a perfect event for Mother’s Day, so pop through and give that special someone a treat, a day early.

Date: Saturday, 13th May, 11 a.m.

Venue: Eden Garden, Airport Residential Area

Cost: Contact for tickets

Suntopia Art Exhibition by Kwame Koda

Kwame Koda is a talented Ghanaian photographer and creative director, and he will be hosting the Suntopia Art Exhibition. Kwame Koda is responsible for a lot of significant creative work in the Ghanaian music space, including photographing the cover of Stonebwoy’s latest album, and directing KiDi’s latest music video.

Date: Saturday, 13th May, 6-10 p.m.

Venue: Beehive Accra

Cost: Free

Groovy Saturday at SOHO

This weekend, SOHO Bar and Restaurant will be hosting Groovy Saturday, an exciting live music and dining experience featuring The Greatest Band - a group of musicians exceptionally skilled at live band song covers. Grab your friends, have fun, and make memories at SOHO Accra this and every Saturday.

Date: Saturday, 13th May, 7 p.m.

Venue: SOHO

Azmera’s Mother’s Day Buffet

Azmera is a buffet-style restaurant that offers some of the best traditional Ghanaian cuisine. On Sunday they will be holding an event called Azmera’s Mother’s Day Buffet, to mark the special holiday. Even though the buffet is the main attraction, it’s packed with other side attractions as well such as live music performances, family photoshoots, and complimentary gifts for all ladies in attendance.

Date: Sunday, 14th May, 9 a.m. - 9 p.m.

Venue: Azmera Restaurant

Cost: GHC450 for adults, GHC195 for kids 5-11 years, free for kids 0-4 years

On A Beachhhh at Alora Beach Resort

On A Beachhhh is a just-launched beach party at Alora Beach Resort, one of Accra’s hottest new spots for beachside experiences. There’s a crazy lineup of DJs, live musicians, and an infinity pool for a day of music, food, and fun. The event is sponsored by Moët & Chandon, so best believe there will be champagne in abundance!

Date: Sunday, 14th May, 2 p.m.

Venue: Alora Beach Resort

Photo Credit: Prince Williams/Wireimage

Drake Reveals Nigerian Roots By Showing Father’s Ancestry Test

Canadian superstar Drake has shared the ancestry of his father, Dennis Graham.

Grammy award-winning Canadian rapper, Aubrey Graham—better known as Drake—has seemingly embraced his Nigerian roots after revealing the surprising results of his father’s DNA ancestry test.

The Toronto-born artist shared his father Dennis Graham’s results on Instagram, revealing that he is mostly of Nigerian descent, along with other African countries. In the caption, Drake wrote:

“This is my dad’s results does this mean I’m a Naija man finally?”

DNA ancestry tests have become increasingly popular in recent years, especially among prominent western celebrities. The tests have provided an opportunity for people to uncover information about their genetic ethnicity which may not be easily accessible through family stories or historical records.

The revelation by the rapper is the recent example of Black people in the diaspora who have been able to trace their roots back to Nigeria. Last year, Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, revealed that she is 43 percent Nigerian, while American rapper Lil Wayne said he is 53 percent Nigerian.

The Her Loss MC also shared surprising connections with Cameroon, Congo, and Western Bantu Peoples, Ivory Coast and Ghana, England and Northwestern Europe, and Scotland. We should also add that Drake himself is biracial, with his father being African American whiile his mother Sandi is Jewish-Canadian mother Sandi.

Over the last decade, Drake has collaborated with numerous African stars, from Nigerian hitmakers like Wizkid and Burna Boy to South African DJ Black Coffee.

We wonder what his Nigerian name will be? Emeka Aubrey Graham Chigozie has a nice ring to it.

News Brief
Photo by -/AFP via Getty Images

Sudanese Forces Agree to Protect Civilians, While Rejecting Cease-Fire Efforts

Amid Sudan’s ongoing crisis, rival forces have agreed to safeguard civilians, but there is no progress towards a ceasefire

Amid the ongoing crisis in Sudan, the warring factions have committed to protecting civilians while also allowing the movement of humanitarian aid, according to U.S. officials.

The United States State Department confirmed on their website on Thursday, writing:

“The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United States of America are pleased to announce that on May 11, 2023 in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, representatives of the Sudanese Armed Forces and the Rapid Support Forces signed a Declaration of Commitment to Protect the Civilians of Sudan. The Declaration of Commitment recognizes the obligations of both sides under international humanitarian and human rights law to facilitate humanitarian action to meet the emergency needs of civilians.”

Although this may seem like a sliver of hope, reports have stated that the factions remain far apart on the issue of a long-term cease-fire. In spite of this development, The U.S. government and the Sudanese Rapid Support Forces (RSF) have agreed to a temporary cease-fire and the scheduling of "subsequent expanded discussions" to reach a permanent end to hostilities.

The talks, which took place in the Saudi port of Jeddah, resulted in a declaration that the sides would strive for a short-term truce in follow-up meetings. A senior U.S. State Department official told NBC News on condition of anonymity that both warring sides were still “quite far apart.”

Although a text of the declaration released after the talks confirmed that the warring factions would “commit to prioritizing discussions to achieve a short-term cease-fire to facilitate the delivery of emergency humanitarian assistance and restoration of essential services,” there isn’t any confirmation of a full-time arrangement.

According to The United States State Department, the warring parties involved are aiming to reach an agreement for a cease-fire that would last for up to about ten days.

The eruption of violence in Sudan last month has caused a humanitarian crisis, with hundreds of people killed and thousands injured. Even after cease-fire agreements were put in place, the conflict has continued, leaving civilians to face a dangerous landscape of destruction. This has resulted in the displacement of thousands, with others seeking refuge in neighboring states. Several countries have evacuated their citizens from the war-torn country.

The United States has sought to address the situation, signing a declaration on Friday that aims to improve the flow of aid, restore electricity and water services, and provide respectful burials for the dead. However, the Sudanese envoy to Geneva said the conflict is an “internal affair,” and neither side has shown signs of offering concessions to end the conflict.

Photo credit: Bella Shmurda, YouTube.

Bella Shmurda & Tiwa Savage Want You to Have a "Non Stop Vibe" This Weekend

Nigerian singers Bella Shmurda and Tiwa Savage collaborated for their new single, the gbedu-inspired "Non Stop Vibe."

Bella Shmurda and Tiwa Savage have released "Non Stop Vibe," and it is the collaboration that we didn’t know we needed. The duo joined forces for the heavily-rhythmic track and the two Nigerian artists did not hesitate to bring oomph and personality to the song. With this, the duo is ushering in the summer season with a bang.

Complete with indigenous intonations, chants, and reminiscent phrases from vintage Nigerian street songs, “Non Stop Vibe’ has the potential to be a party banger for the rest of the year. Bella's signature street pop style meshes well with Tiwa's superior vocal energy. In this track, Tiwa shows off her ability to be versatile, and infuses Yoruba intonations with street lingo as a part of her verse. Not only does the infectious tune capture the spirit of Nigerian street music, it also celebrates the unrivaled energy that Bella and Tiwa bring to songs that they feature on.

The upbeat song marks Bella’s third release this year, proving he is a force to be reckoned with.

Bella Shmurda — whose real name is Akinbiyi Abiola Ahmed — first gained widespread recognition and popularity with his breakout hit single "Vision 2020" in 2019. Born in Lagos, Nigeria, he became prominent because of his unique blend of Afrobeats, hip-hop, and street-inspired music.

While discussing the collaboration, Bella Shmurda said that he was excited to have Tiwa on the song: "I'm thrilled to have Tiwa Savage on this track with me. She's an icon in the industry, and her energy and talent are unmatched. Together, we've created a song that I believe will rule the summer."

Known for her distinct vocals, Tiwatope Savage, popularly known as Tiwa Savage, has crafted a career for herself because of her stage presence, lyricism, and versatility. She rose to prominence with her debut single "Kele Kele Love" in 2010, which was followed by numerous hit songs including "All Over," "Ma Lo," and "49-99."

Listen to the song and watch the visualizer here:

Bella Shmurda & Tiwa Savage - NSV (Visualizer)

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