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Ilhan Omar Photo vis Wikimedia

Ilhan Omar is Running for Congress and the Alt Right is Trying to Sabotage Her

The first Somali-American legislator had her event with Rashida Tlaib interrupted by anti-Muslim activists including the Laura Loomer.

Last year we wrote about how Ilhan Omar defeated the longest-serving member of the Minnesota House to become representative for Minnesota's District 60B. In the process, she managed to increase youth voter turnout in her district by 37 percent. Now she's taking that youthful momentum to the national stage, running for the congressional seat vacated by Keith Ellison.


Born in Somalia and raised partially in a Kenyan refugee camp, Omar is running on a progressive platform and claims she will bring the voice of refugees to Washington. She has been endorsed by rising-star-of-the-left Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and supports popular policies like medicare for all and cancelling student loan debt.

Ellison, the first Muslim in Congress, also found electoral success in the district as an advocate for progressive politics, although his campaign for Attorney General has been disrupted by recent allegations from a former girlfriend of physical and mental abuse.

Local news is reporting that primary voting is heavy—typically a sign of change.

Here she is telling Minnesota Public Radio on why she's running for Congress.

Over the weekend, Omar and another midwestern Democratic rising star, Rashida Tlaib, were accosted by islamophobic alt-right activists at a campaign event at Minneapolis' Holy Land deli where their speeches were interrupted by shouting about racist tropes like "sharia law" and "support for Hamas." In response, the crowd of supporters chanted "Time for Ilhan."

The Minnesota primary results will be available later tonight.

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University lecturer and activist Doctor Stella Nyanzi (L) reacts in court as she attends a trial to face charges for cyber-harassment and offensives communication, in Kampala, on April 10, 2017. (Photo by GAEL GRILHOT/AFP via Getty Images)

Jailed Ugandan Activist, Stella Nyanzi, Wins PEN Prize for Freedom of Expression

The outspoken activist, who is currently serving a prison sentence for a poem she wrote about the president's mother's vagina, won for her resistance "in front of a regime that is trying to suppress her."

Stella Nyanzi, the Ugandan academic, activist, and vocal critic of President Yoweri Museveni has been awarded the 2020 Oxfam Novib/PEN International award for freedom of expression, given to writers who "continue to work for freedom of expression in the face of persecution."

Nyanzi is currently serving a 15 month sentence for "cyber harassment" after she published a poem in which she wrote that she wished "the acidic pus flooding Esiteri's (the president's mother) vaginal canal had burn up your unborn fetus. Burn you up as badly as you have corroded all morality and professionalism out of our public institutions in Uganda."

According to the director of PEN International, Carles Torner, her unfiltered outspokenness around the issues facing her country is what earned her the award. "For her, writing is a permanent form of resistance in front of a regime that is trying to suppress her," said Torner at the award ceremony.

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Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Image.

Thousands of Gambians Protest for Former President Yahya Jammeh's Return from Exile

Supporters of the former statesman want the current Gambian government to guarantee his right to return from self-exile in Equatorial Guinea.

Yesterday, thousands of supporters of former Gambian president Yahya Jammeh took to the outskirts of the capital city Banjul. According to Aljazeera, they demanded that the current government under President Adama Barrow guarantee the former statesman's return from exile in Equatorial Guinea.

Jammeh ruled the West African country for over two decades and subsequently lost to Barrow in the national elections back in 2017.

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Photo courtesy of CSA Global.

In Conversation with Congolese NBA Player Emmanuel Mudiay: 'I want more African players in the NBA.'

The Utah Jazz player talks about being African in the NBA, supporting basketball in the DRC and how 'everybody knows about Burna Boy'.

Inspired by his basketball-playing older brothers, by second grade, Emmanuel Mudiay already knew that he wanted to play in the American National Basketball Association. Then in 2001 his family, fleeing the war in Democratic Republic of Congo, sought asylum in the United States.

In America, Mudiay saw basketball as a way for him to improve his situation. After impressive high school and college careers, he moved to China to play pro ball. Picked 7th overall in the 2015 NBA draft, the now 23-year-old guard has made a name for himself this season coming off the bench for the Utah Jazz.

Mudiay attests to the sport having changed not only his life but that of his siblings. Basketball gave them all a chance at a good education and the opportunity to dream without conditions. Now he wants to see other talented African players make it too.

We caught up with him to talk about his experience as an African player in the NBA, his hopes for basketball on the African continent and who he and his teammates jam out to in their locker rooms.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

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Photo: Ben Depp.

Watch Yilian Canizares & Paul Beaubrun's Beautiful Video For 'Noyé'

"Cuba and Haiti come together to share the love and heritage of our deep rooted culture and spirituality."

Yilian Canizares and Paul Beaubrun connect for the serene "Noyé," one of the highlights from Canizares' latest album, Erzulie.

The Cuban singer and Haitian artist are now sharing the new Arnaud Robert-directed music video for the single, which we're premiering here today.

"Noyé is a song that comes from our roots," Yilian Canizares tells OkayAfrica. "Inspired by the energy of love. The same love that kept Africa's legacy alive in the hearts of Haiti and Cuba. We wanted to do a stripped down version of only the essential pieces from a musical point of view. Something raw and beautiful where our souls would be naked."

The striking music video follows Canizares and Beaubrun to the waters of New Orleans, the universal Creole capital, where they sing and float until meeting on the Mississippi River.

"Noyé is a cry of love from children of African descent," says Paul Beaubrun. "Cuba and Haiti come together to share the love and heritage of our deep rooted culture and spirituality."

Watch the new music video for "Noyé" below.

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