News Brief
(Photo by Lars Baron/Getty Images)

PADERBORN, GERMANY - MAY 31: Achraf Hakimi Mouh of Borussia Dortmund celebrates scoring his teams fourth goal of the game with a 'Justice for George Floyd' shirt during the Bundesliga match between SC Paderborn 07 and Borussia Dortmund at Benteler Arena on May 31, 2020 in Paderborn, Germany.

'Unity Is Strength': African Football Stars Show Support for #JusticeforGeorgeFloyd

Several international footballers are using their platforms to express support for the fight against racism in the US and beyond.

The recent murder of George Floyd, another unarmed Black man, has sparked great outrage and protest within the streets of the US and cities across the world. With professional sports slowly making their way back onto our screens, many famous faces in football have shown solidarity to those fighting for the cause.

Manchester United Midfielder Paul Pogba expressed his sadness on a recent Instagram post. The player wrote "Sadness for George and for all Black people who suffer from racism every day! Whether in football, at work, at school, anywhere!" This comes after Pogba himself has experienced explicit racism during his professional career. In 2019, he and Man United striker Marcus Rashford fell victim to harsh racial abuse over social media. Using the hashtag "#NoToRacismWeAllOne", the football star's plea brought power and support to the thousands protesting across the world.


Similarly, Moroccan defender Achra Hakimi showed his support during Borussia Dortmund's recent win against Paderborn, with a shirt that had the words "Justice for George Floyd" written across it:

While celebrating his first hat trick in his professional career, Borussia Dortmund midfielder Jadon Sancho also took the opportunity to show his support for the fight for freedom in a similar fashion:

During one of their team practices, Liverpool Football Club players, including Egypt's Mo Salah and Senegal's Sadio Mane, took a knee to show support and to emphasize strength in numbers and coming together. Mane, who has been outspoken about the racism faced by Black players, shared the image on Instagram, writing "Unity is strength #BlackLivesMatter."

South African women's football captain Janine Van Wyk echoed the words of Bernice King and asked, "When will people of this world treat others equally regardless of race or gender? #BlackLives Matter #AllLivesMatterWhenBlackLivesMatter"

Nigerian player Anthony Ujah highlighted how common the murders of unarmed Black men seem to be when he simply edited "George Floyd" onto a t-shirt he wore in 2014 to protest the police killing of Eric Garner.

Although the officer in question, Derek Chauvin, was recently arrested and charged, the protests continue to fight for and defend the lives of Black and African American individuals across the world.

Interview
Photo: Benoit Peverelli

Interview: Oumou Sangaré Proves Why She's the Songbird of Wassoulou

We caught up with the Malian singer to talk about her new Acoustic album, longevity as an artist, and growing up in Mali.

When Oumou Sangaré tells me freedom is at her core, I am not surprised. If you listen to her discography, you'll be hard-pressed to find a song that doesn't center or in some way touch on women's rights or child abuse. The Grammy award-winning Malian singer has spent a significant part of her career using her voice to fight for the rights of women across Africa and the world, a testimony to this is her naming her debut studio album Moussolou, meaning Woman. The album, a pure masterpiece that solidified Oumou's place amongst the greats and earned her the name 'Songbird of Wassoulou,' was a commercial success selling over 250,000 records in Africa and would in turn go on to inspire other singers across the world.

On her latest body of work Acoustic, a reworking of her critically acclaimed 2017 album Mogoya, Oumou Sangaré proves how and why she earned her accolades. The entirety of the 11-track album was recorded within two days in the Midi Live studio in Villetaneuse in 'live' conditions—with no amplification, no retakes or overdubs, no headphones. Throughout the album, using her powerful and raw voice that has come to define feminism in Africa and shaped opinions across the continent, Oumou boldly addresses themes like loss, polygamy and female circumcision.

We caught up with the Malian singer at the studio she is staying while in quarantine to talk about her new album, longevity as an artist, and growing up in Mali.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

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