News Brief

Ilhan Omar Makes History as the First Somali-American, Muslim Woman Legislator

Ilhan Omar is officially the next State Representative of Minnesota's District 60B, thus making her the first Somali-American lawmaker in U.S. history.

Here’s some much-needed good news from this mind-boggling, what-the-fuck of a U.S. election night: the U.S. officially has its first Somali-American legislator (and first black Muslim woman legislator) in Ilhan Omar, who made history this Tuesday evening with a commanding win in the Minnesota State House race. With tonight’s win, she’ll serve as the next State Representative of Minnesota's District 60B.

Omar, 34, is a policy analyst, community educator, advocate and mother of three who currently serves as the Director of Policy Initiatives at Women Organizing Women, where she empowers East African women to take civic leadership roles in their community. Born in Somalia in 1982, Omar and her family fled the country when she was eight, spending four years in a refugee camp in Kenya before coming to the U.S. and eventually settling in the Cedar-Riverside (West Bank) neighborhood of Minneapolis in 1997.

In August, she defeated Minnesota’s longest-serving member of the House, Phyllis Kahn, to win Minnesota’s District 60B primary and thus become the likely frontrunner in today’s general election race.

She ran on a progressive platform that focused on economic, social, racial, and environmental justice. Students were the backbone of Omar’s campaign. According to Joelle Stangler, the student body president at the University of Minnesota, with the exception of East African volunteers, the campaign was primarily staffed by volunteers under the age of 25.

"Tonight is the culmination of more than a year of hard work," Omar said in a press statement. “I am so proud of this win because District 60B represents Minnesota at its finest. My neighbors, and everyone here in this room, represent what we as a nation strive to be: united in our diversity. Long time residents, East African immigrants and students -- we came together and engaged in the political progress. We talked about the issues that concern us and we connected on the future we want to create.”

"Tonight, we are celebrating this win, our win," she continued, "but our work won’t stop. We will continue to build a more prosperous and equitable district -- state, and nation -- where each and every one of us has opportunities to thrive and move forward together."

For more insight into Omar’s historic campaign, check out the following story from Feet in 2 Worlds, published last week on Okayafrica: “The ‘Ilhan Omar Effect’: How a Somali-American Muslim Woman Candidate is Mobilizing Millennial Voters in Minnesota”

News Brief
Photo: Single cover art courtesy of Emerald East

Rema Welcomes 2021 With New Single 'Bounce'

The Don Jazzy produced track reminds us of why the Nigerian singer-songwriter is topping charts.

Nigerian golden boy Rema took his time on deciding how to start of 2021—and we're glad he did.

The afropop hitmaker is out with his first project of the year, "Bounce", after stunning fans with word of an upcoming album, and the cooks in this kitchen have not disappointed.

Keeping it in the Mavin Records family, legendary producer Don Jazzy sprinkles his magic on the track, while undoubtedly motivating the young singer-songwriter to be his best self. And with this track being like nothing we've heard from Rema before, one could say Jazzy succeeded. "Bounce", fast-paced and fierce, is a love song dedicated to bewitchingly beautiful and blessed bottoms. The candid declaration and hip shaking beat are a force duo and we can't help but love it.

Of the single and collaboration with head honcho Don Jazzy, Rema says, "This record was inspired by the luscious and magnificent body of the African woman. Furthermore, I'm really excited about this tune because it's my first single with the legendary Don Jazzy."

Honestly, when you start the year off with a banger, you get to make songs about butts.

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