News Brief

Danai Gurira Wears African Labels & Talks Effects of Colonization in Harper’s Bazaar

'The Walking Dead' actress and 'Eclipsed' playwright Danai Gurira is absolutely radiant in the latest issue of Harper’s Bazaar.

Zimbabwe-raised actress, Danai Gurira, best known for her role as fierce Michonne on AMC hit The Walking Dead, is absolutely radiant in the latest issue of Harper’s Bazaar. She is also an accomplished playwright of Tony-nominated  Eclipsed currently on Broadway, starring Lupita Nyong’o and featuring an all black women cast, about the second Liberian civil war.


In the editorial—shot by David Urbanke and styled by Chrissy Rutherford—Gurira is decked out exclusively in her favorite African labels such as Washington Roberts, Kisua, Weruzo and Tsemaye Binitie. And she discusses how the enduring effect of colonization on the continent shaped her Zimbabwean identity.

Stepping out of colonization is a very tricky process. It’s not just all about, ‘Now we can vote.' It’s a multi-generation process of regaining an identity, but also accepting that your identity is not going to be what it was once before. It’s always going to involve the assault of colonization—it will always be a part of the fabric of who we are.

She’s been a champion of telling the stories of African women through her works Into the Continuum, The Convert and Familia, which have been well-received off Broadway. When asked her perspective on the need for more “minority stories on stage and screen,” Gurira responds:

I never consider myself a minority. I see people who look like me in Barbados, in Trinidad, in Haiti, in London, and in Brooklyn. So I don't know what the heck anyone means when they call me a 'minority.' There's something about that word to me. It just minimalizes people.

She adds that stories about people of color shouldn’t be reduced to being referred to as “minority stories,” posing these thoughtful questions:

If a story is telling a truth, then why shouldn't it affect everybody? I've been affected by [the work of] white men before. Why can't black women on stage tell stories that can affect white men in the audience?

All images for Harper's Bazaar; Photographer David Urbanke

All images for Harper's Bazaar; Photography by David Urbanke

All images for Harper's Bazaar; Photography by David Urbanke

Read the full Harper’s Bazaar editorial here.

Photo by Meztli Yoalli Rodríguez

Dying Lagoons Reveal Mexico’s Environmental Racism

In the heart of a traditionally Black and Indigenous use area in Southwest Mexico, decades of environmental destruction now threatens the existence of these communities.

On an early morning in September 2017, in a little fishing village in the Pacific coast of Oaxaca, called Zapotalito, thousands of dead fish floated on the surface of the Chacahua-Pastoría lagoons. A 7.1-magnitude earthquake, which rattled Mexico City on September 19, was felt as far down as Zapotalito, and the very next morning, its Black, Indigenous and poor Mestizo residents, who depend on the area's handful of lagoons for food and commerce, woke up to an awful smell and that terrible scene of floating fish.

Keep reading... Show less

get okayafrica in your inbox

popular.

Watch Focalistic & Vigro Deep’s New Music Video For ‘Ke Star’

The 'Lockdown Level 1 anthem' has come to life through fire visuals.