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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 still via TIFF.

Watch the Striking Trailer for 'Farming'—Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje's Directorial Debut

This is a must-watch.

The trailer for Farming, Nigerian-British actor Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje's directorial debut, is here.

"Between the 1960s and the 1980s, thousands of Nigerian children were farmed out to white working class families in the UK," the trailer begins. "This is the true story of just one of them."

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Politics
Image by Fibonacci Blue via Flickr.

#IStandWithIlhan: Supporters Rally Behind Ilhan Omar Following Racist 'Send Her Back' Chant

"I am here where I belong, at the people's house, and you're just going to have to deal,"—Congresswoman Ilhan Omar

Social media continues to rally behind Representative Ilhan Omar, following a series of racist remarks targeted at her and several other congresswoman of color by President Donald Trump.

The president doubled down on his racist rhetoric during a re-election rally in North Carolina on Wednesday, attendees began chanting "send her back," referring to Omar—echoing anti-imigrant remarks that the president tweeted last week, in which he wrote that four congresswomen of color: Omar, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ayanna Pressley and Rashida Tlaib should "go back" to where they came from.

This is far from the first time that Omar has been on the receiving end of racist and Islamophobic attacks and referred to as un-American on account of her Somali heritage.

READ: Op-Ed: In Defense of the Black Boogeyman

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Sir Elvis in "Loving Man" (Youtube)

6 African Country Musicians You Should Check Out

Featuring Sir Elvis, Jess Sah Bi & Peter One, Emma Ogosi and more.

With Lil Nas X's EP going straight to number on the American charts, it seems like country music revival is taking over 2019 and beyond, thanks to its unlikely fusion with trap music. It only makes sense that black people are reclaiming the genre, as country was actually partly created by black American artists and heavily influenced by gospel music.

On top of that, plenty of lesser known black artists and bands are making country, or country-infused, music. This is especially the case in Africa, where the genre has been around for a few decades and an increasing number of musicians are gaining momentum. By gaining popularity in Africa, country is coming back to its roots, as country guitar and the way of playing it was originally inspired by the banjo— an instrument that African slaves brought with them to America.

Country music has a strong appeal across the African continent for several reasons: the similarity with many African instruments and the recurring lyrics and themes about love, heartbreak and "the land." At the heart of it, country music has an appeal to working class people all over the world who feel let down by the people that were supposed to help them.

Country music is played regularly on the radio in countries such as Kenya, Tanzania and Malawi but yet, the artists featured are overwhelmingly white and American. African country singers do not get the respect they deserve or are seen as anomalies. With the growing number of them making country music, here is a list of the ones you need to listen to right now.

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