News Brief

Lupita Nyong'o: "Love is love and black lives matter"

Lupita Nyong’o shares a heartfelt message on Black Lives Matter and the police shootings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile.

Up until moments ago, a quick glance at Lupita Nyong’o’s Instagram and Twitter pages would have revealed the Academy Award-winner’s silence on the police shootings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile and the week of social unrest that’s followed.


That all changed when the Kenyan star took to Instagram this evening to voice her thoughts on Black Lives Matter, political accountability, gun violence and America’s plague of injustice and hate.

“My heart aches for those we have lost to gun violence,” she began. “My heart aches for the 49 lost in Orlando shot down in a place of celebration. My heart aches for Alton Sterling, gunned down in a parking lot while selling CDs. My heart aches for Philando Castile, killed in a routine traffic stop while his girlfriend and her young daughter watched helpless inside the car. My heart aches for the five Dallas police officers killed and those shot at while serving at a peaceful protest. My heart aches for all those we've lost to hatred and fear brought forth through the trigger of a gun.”

“We need to continue to insist on deeper conversations around race and racism in this country,” wrote Nyong’o. “And we need to sustain those conversations until we have evidence of change. We need to ask our neighbors, our families, our friends, and our loved ones to come together in love and healing to battle the fear that has fed the disease of this nation for far too long. We need to ask for better of our politicians. And we need to believe that a world is possible where we can move towards healing, move towards love, and move towards honesty.”

“Love is love is love and black lives matter,” she continued. “We need to say these words and we need to commit these words to action. We need to hold our political leaders accountable to protect and defend the lives of black men and women from injustice. In times of darkness. Even in times of apparent calm. Especially then, for the eye of a storm is not the end of the storm itself. Even when it is uncomfortable, even when it is hard. Even when it is unpopular. And most importantly, we simply need to put down the guns.”

Read Nyong’o’s full message below.

My heart aches for those we have lost to gun violence. My heart aches for the 49 lost in Orlando shot down in a place of celebration. My heart aches for Alton Sterling, gunned down in a parking lot while selling CDs. My heart aches for Philando Castile, killed in a routine traffic stop while his girlfriend and her young daughter watched helpless inside the car. My heart aches for the five Dallas police officers killed and those shot at while serving at a peaceful protest. My heart aches for all those we've lost to hatred and fear brought forth through the trigger of a gun. What can we do to stop this plague of injustice and hate? I am also asking what can I do? I don't know yet how to stop it as an individual but I do know that it must stop and I have a role to play. We all do. We need to continue to insist on deeper conversations around race and racism in this country. And we need to sustain those conversations until we have evidence of change. We need to ask our neighbors, our families, our friends, and our loved ones to come together in love and healing to battle the fear that has fed the disease of this nation for far too long. We need to ask for better of our politicians. And we need to believe that a world is possible where we can move towards healing, move towards love, and move towards honesty. We need to say, loudly and clearly, that love is love is love and black lives matter. We need to say these words and we need to commit these words to action. We need to hold our political leaders accountable to protect and defend the lives of black men and women from injustice. In times of darkness. Even in times of apparent calm. Especially then, for the eye of a storm is not the end of the storm itself. Even when it is uncomfortable, even when it is hard. Even when it is unpopular. And most importantly, we simply need to put down the guns! I pray for the families of those we've lost. And I pray for an end to this rampant and senseless violence. I pray for the power of love in action.

A photo posted by Lupita Nyong'o (@lupitanyongo) on

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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