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People are Split on Whether Beyonce's 'African-Themed' Baby Shower is Appropriation

Folks weigh in on Beyoncé's African-inspired baby shower.

DIASPORA—In yet another showing of her love for all things "African," Beyoncé held a baby shower this weekend inspired by the fashion, music and culture of the continent.


Pictures from the event aptly called, the "Carter Push Party," overtook social media, with Beyoncé posting three, striking black-and-white photos of her and Jay Z.

Bey showed off her henna-embellished baby bump and blue and colorful ankara-style skirt, while Jay Z rocked a black fila and African continent chain. Beyoncé's mother, Tina Lawson, shared a video of her and some of the attendees, which included Kelly Rowland—who wore a flowing number by one of our favorites, Liberian designer Archel BernardSerena Williams and La La Anthony, to name a few, in an elaborately decorated "wax-print wonderland" with Fela's "Lady" playing in the background.

A post shared by Beyoncé (@beyonce) on

A post shared by Beyoncé (@beyonce) on

A post shared by Beyoncé (@beyonce) on

All theses beautiful ladies at The Carter Push party! ❤️❤️

A post shared by Tina Knowles (@mstinalawson) on

Kelly is just everything 😍 #KellyRowland #CarterPushParty

A post shared by The Top Tea (@thetoptea) on

The superstar's affinity for Africa has long been documented, she recorded a Fela-inspired album a couple of years back, she referenced Afro-diasporic spirituality extensively in Lemonade, she visited Nigeria back in 2006 as part of the Beyoncé Experience world tour, where she sang the country's national anthem, and she consistently looks to African creatives for inspiration and creative direction.

She's often been largely excluded from conversations about cultural appropriation (see: the Beyhive), but there was slight backlash this time around, with some folks arguing that her love for Africa doesn't translate to her making an actual impact on the continent.

Does the queen only acknowledge the idea of Africa and not the actual place? Does her appreciation for African-inspired looks and culture go beyond just an aesthetic admiration and love of Fela and wax print? Does she play too heavily into the "Africa is a country trope?" As a Black American, is it even possible for her to "appropriate" African culture?

Responses varied.

South Africans, in particular, had a lot to say on the matter.

Others came to her defense.

There's certainly no denying that Africa is the "wave," right now. Beyoncé has championed this reemergence, and she's done so for quite some time now—arguably even before it was considered a "wave." Of course, none of this puts her beyond critique.

Africa is not only "now," but "right now," and Beyoncé's unremitting love affair is only further proof of this.

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Photo by KOLA SULAIMON/AFP via Getty Image

#EndSARS: 1 Year Later And It's Business As Usual For The Nigerian Government

Thousands filled the streets of Nigeria to remember those slain in The #LekkiTollGateMassacre...while the government insists it didn't happen.

This week marks 1 year since Nigerians began protests against police brutality and demanded an end to the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS). The #EndSARS protests took the world by storm as we witnessed Nigerian forces abuse, harass and murder those fighting for a free nation. Reports of illegal detention, profiling, extortion, and extrajudicial killings followed the special task force's existence, forcing the government to demolish the unit on October 11th, 2020. However, protestors remained angered and desperate to be heard. It wasn't until October 20th, when soldiers opened fire on demonstrators at Lekki tollgate in the country's capital, Lagos, that the protests came to a fatal end. More than 56 deaths from across the country were reported, while hundreds more were traumatized as the Nigerian government continued to rule by force. The incident sparked global outrage as the Nigerian army refused to acknowledge or admit to firing shots at unarmed protesters in the dead of night.

It's a year later, and nothing has changed.

Young Nigerians claim to still face unnecessary and violent interactions with the police and none of the demands towards systemic changes have been met. Fisayo Soyombo the founder of the Foundation for Investigative Journalism, told Al Jazeera, "Yes, there has not been any reform. Police brutality exists till today," while maintaining that his organization has reported "scores" of cases of police brutality over this past year.

During October 2020's protests, Nigerian authorities turned a blind eye and insisted that the youth-led movement was anti-government and intended to overthrow the administration of current President Muhammadu Buhari. During a press conference on Wednesday, in an attempt to discredit the protests, Minister of Information and Culture Lai Mohammed hailed the Nigerian army and police forces for the role they played in the #EndSARS protests, going as far as to say that the Lekki Toll Massacre was a "phantom massacre with no bodies." These brazen claims came while protesters continued to gather in several major cities across the country. The minister even went on to shame CNN, Nigerian favorite DJ Switch as well as Amnesty International, for reporting deaths at Lekki. Mohammed pushed even further by saying, "The six soldiers and 37 policemen who died during the EndSARS protests are human beings with families, even though the human rights organizations and CNN simply ignored their deaths, choosing instead to trumpet a phantom massacre."

With the reports of abuse still coming out of the West African nation, an end to the struggle is not in sight. During Wednesday's protest, a journalist for the Daily Post was detained by Nigerian forces while covering the demonstrations.

According to the BBC, additional police units have been set up in the place of SARS, though some resurfacing SARS officers and allies claim to still be around.

Young Nigerians relied heavily on social media during the protests and returned this year to voice their opinions around the first anniversary of an experience that few will be lucky enough to forget.



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How CKay's 'Love Nwantiti' Became the World's Song

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