News Brief

#JusticePourTheo is a Stand Against Racist Police Brutality in France

Protests have erupted in a northern Paris suburb, after a 22-year-old black man was brutally attacked by police.

Yesterday, we shared a video which put an African lens on wide-spread police brutality against black people in America. But today we're reminded—in the words of Malcolm X—that "it's not just an American problem, but a world problem."


In France last Thursday, a 22-year-old black man by the name of Theo, was stopped by four police officers in his Paris suburb. They hurled racial slurs at him before brutally attacking him and sodomizing him with a baton.

In an interview with French media station, BFM, Theo stated that after the officers "drove the baton into his buttocks," they asked him to sit down, but when he was not able to do so, due to the injuries he had sustained, the officers teargassed him and continued to physically assault him.

"I had no strength left. It was as if my body had left myself. I thought I was going to die," he said. Theo underwent extensive surgery for the injuries that he sustained as a result. His doctor has deemed him unfit to work for the next 60 days, Al Jazeera reports.

The officers, who claimed they arrested Theo "after hearing calls characteristic of lookouts at drug-dealing sites," have been indicted on charges of rape and assault.

On Monday, people took to the streets of the northern Paris suburb of Aulnay-sous-Bois to demand justice for Theo.

 

This follows the death of Adama Traoré, the 24-year-old son of African immigrants, who died last year while in police custody. His death led to civil unrest in the French town of Beaumont-sur-Oise and Black Lives Matter protests throughout Paris.

 

Whether in America or France, all black lives matter in the struggle against police brutality.

IT'S A WORLD PROBLEM.

Interview
Photo: Benoit Peverelli

Interview: Oumou Sangaré Proves Why She's the Songbird of Wassoulou

We caught up with the Malian singer to talk about her new Acoustic album, longevity as an artist, and growing up in Mali.

When Oumou Sangaré tells me freedom is at her core, I am not surprised. If you listen to her discography, you'll be hard-pressed to find a song that doesn't center or in some way touch on women's rights or child abuse. The Grammy award-winning Malian singer has spent a significant part of her career using her voice to fight for the rights of women across Africa and the world, a testimony to this is her naming her debut studio album Moussolou, meaning Woman. The album, a pure masterpiece that solidified Oumou's place amongst the greats and earned her the name 'Songbird of Wassoulou,' was a commercial success selling over 250,000 records in Africa and would in turn go on to inspire other singers across the world.

On her latest body of work Acoustic, a reworking of her critically acclaimed 2017 album Mogoya, Oumou Sangaré proves how and why she earned her accolades. The entirety of the 11-track album was recorded within two days in the Midi Live studio in Villetaneuse in 'live' conditions—with no amplification, no retakes or overdubs, no headphones. Throughout the album, using her powerful and raw voice that has come to define feminism in Africa and shaped opinions across the continent, Oumou boldly addresses themes like loss, polygamy and female circumcision.

We caught up with the Malian singer at the studio she is staying while in quarantine to talk about her new album, longevity as an artist, and growing up in Mali.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

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