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This Compilation of Lost Somali Tapes Is Nominated For a Grammy

Sweet As Broken Dates: Lost Somali Tapes from the Horn of Africa is up for Best Historical Album at the 2018 Grammy Awards.


It looks like there are two great vintage African records up for awards at the 60th Annual Grammys.

Despite the Grammys still not catching up to afrobeats, one classic Burkinabé record is nominated for two awards, as well as this amazing compilation from Somalia.

Sweet As Broken Dates: Lost Somali Tapes from the Horn of Africa, a compilation of pre-civil war music that celebrates Somali women, is nominated for Best Historical Album.

Vik Sohonie, the founder of Ostinato Records, the label that released this album, wrote an in-depth piece about Sweet As Broken Dates for OkayAfrica earlier this year when we got a first look at the record.

"If we cast our gaze to the 1970s & 1980s, just before the civil war, when the arts, especially theater and music, reigned supreme, Somali women were the captains of their art form," Sohonie writes.

"Any curation or distilling of the Somali sound from before the war, not even by choice, will undoubtedly consist of a selection tracks led by women vocalists. Their voices, from soaring, to sweet, to haunting, are reflective of the diversity of the Somali repertoire," says Sohonie.

"The roster is endless: Khadra Dahir, Maryan Naasir, Maryan Mursal, Sahra Dawo, Sara Axmed, and the nightingale Magool, amongst so many others," Sohonie continues.

"Somali women are key to the Horn of Africa's present and future, and were clearly the protagonists of its past. Their confidence, passion, and sheer resilience in the face of stifling attitudes are an example of persistent, empowered feminism we don't often see, but it's been there and it's here to stay."

Learn How the 70s Became Somalia's Golden Age of Music in This New Video

Check out 9 Vintage African Records You Need In Your Life

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.

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