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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 Al Pereira/Getty Images.

Angélique Kidjo on Africa Day: 'We demand not to be at the mercy of our circumstances anymore.'

We speak to the inimitable Angélique Kidjo who shares some of her refreshing thoughts on Africa Day.

Today is Africa Day and while primarily a commemoration of the formation of the African Union (AU) back in 1963, it has also become an opportunity to unapologetically celebrate Africa while providing a moment for reflection on how far we've come as a continent and as a people.

With this year's theme focused on "Silencing the Guns in the context of the COVID19", there has never been a more important time for deep reflection on our collective present and future as Africans.

And who better to share in that reflection than the legendary and inimitable Beninese musician Angélique Kidjo? A fierce African and artist who has paved the way for many of her contemporaries including Burna Boy, Davido, Thandiswa Mazwai, and several others, the four-time Grammy award winner emphasises the urgent need for unity among Africans. 'It's about time that people start realising that Africa is a continent. I've been saying this my entire career,' she says passionately.

OkayAfrica spoke briefly to Kidjo who shared some of her refreshing thoughts on this year's Africa Day.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

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Thandiswa Mazwai to Host 'Play Your Part Africa' Virtual Concert

'King Tha' will commemorate Africa Day with a virtual concert set to take place on May 30th.