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Kehinde Wiley's Official Portrait of Barack Obama Has Been Revealed

The National Portrait Gallery unveiled portraits—by two black artists—of the former president and first lady Michelle Obama today.

The National Portrait Gallery unveiled the official portraits of former president of the United States Barack Obama and former first lady Michelle Obama in Washington, D.C. today.


This unveiling is historic, to say the least, because the two artists who were commissioned for this honor—Amy Sherald and Nigerian-American artist Kehinde Wiley—are the first black artists to paint official portraits of the first family.

"Working with Kehinde was a great joy, he and his team made it easy," Obama says. "Kehinde, in the tradition of a lot of great artists, actually cared to hear how I thought about it—before doing exactly what he intended to do."

"What we did find is that we had certain things in common. Both of us had American mothers who raised us with extraordinary love and support," Obama notes. "Both of us had African fathers who had been absent from our lives and in some ways our journeys involved searching for them and figuring out what that meant."

Wiley also notes on why he chose to feature flowers that connect with Chicago, Kenya and Hawaii in the portrait, saying:

"When you look at that painting...there's also botanicals that are going on there that nod to his personal story—in a very symbolic way what I'm doing is charting his path on earth through those plants. There's a fight going on between he and the foreground—who gets to be the star of the show? The story? Or the man who inhabits that story?"

Watch Michelle Obama also touch on the impact her portrait will have on young girls of color:

The reactions to the portraits on social media all point to awe—they are indeed stunning.

Moussa Sow/AFP via Getty Images

Senegal Protests Result in First Confirmed Death

Several reports have confirmed that one protestor has been killed in demonstrations taking place in Senegal following opposition leader Ousmane Sonko's recent arrest.

At least one protester has been killed in the ongoing anti-government protests in Senegal, according to several reports. The protestor was killed during clashes with the police in Bignona, southern Casamance region, although the cause of death is still allegedly unknown and under investigation. The protests, which now enter into the third day today, are in response to the arrest of opposition figure, Ousmane Sonko, who was arrested for reportedly disturbing public order and participating in an unauthorised demonstration. His arrest comes ahead of a scheduled appearance at a Dakar court on a charge of rape.

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Still taken from music video on YouTube.

Sun-El Musician Releases Accompanying Visuals for 'Ubomi Abumanga'

Watch the new music video for Sun-El Musician and Msaki's Xhosa number 'Ubomi Abumanga'.

Sun-El Musician has dropped the new music video for his Xhosa number with Msaki, "Ubomi Abumanga" (translates to "life doesn't stop" from Xhosa). The track was released as a single in May of last year and now features on his sophomore album, To the World & Beyond. The music video, which attempts to convey the hopeful message of the song, has already clocked close to 800 thousand views on YouTube and counting.
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Listen to TNS’ Long-Awaited Sophomore Album ‘Phupholetu’

Stream TNS' new album 'Phupholetu'.

Multi-talented South African musician TNS has finally released his sophomore album Phupholetu, the follow-up to his 2019 gold-selling Madlokovu: King of African House.

The double album consists of 30 songs, which TNS has been working on since the beginning of lockdown, including the previously released singles "iBhari," "Nyathela," "Zodwa Wabantu" and "Umhlaba Wonke".

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Interview: Nasty C on The Importance of Sharing His Story

In light of his latest podcast series, we speak to Nasty C about the importance of sharing his story: "I think it's always good to document something if it takes a lot to do it."