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Photos: A Look Back At Ms. Lauryn Hill's 'Diaspora Calling!' Music Festival

Ms. Lauryn Hill called the diaspora and they responded with a night celebrating Africa.

Inside Kings Theatre during Ms. Lauryn Hill's performance at Diaspora Calling! Photo by Pascal Bernier.


Ms. Lauryn Hill called the diaspora to Kings Theatre—and they responded, bringing the sounds of Africa and the Caribbean to the stage on a brisk Friday evening.

This one-night music festival opened with New York-based Paul Beaubrun repping Haiti with his roots-blues tunes.

The Black Star was present, with Ghana’s swaggy Jojo Abot and Stonebwoy then shutting down the stage with “Go Higher,” and E.L making you want to shoki to “Koko.”

Nigeria’s Wondaboy and Mr. Eazi also rocked the stage with their hits, proving that they’re the ones to watch.

The second son of Bob Marley, Stephen Marley, serenaded the crowd with an acoustic set of his father’s classics and his own roots reggae sound while Trinidad and Tobago’s Machel Montano brought carnival to Brooklyn and showed that he’s the true king of soca.

Before Ms. Hill finally made it on stage after intermission, the audience witnessed a Haitian rara procession by the Brother High Full Tempo band. African dancers led in the band of drums down the center aisle of the theatre, as horns made of metal layered over the rhythmic percussion to the stage with Chop and Quench, The Fela! Band. Vévé motifs, bold colors and video footage projected onto the backdrop, and the party really got started.

Ms. Hill’s rendition of “Everything is Everything” was reminiscent of her Afrobeat spin on “Lost Ones” (which she also performed again), where the audience got down like they were in The Shrine. Once her rearrangement of “Ex-Factor” rang through our ears, I definitely caught myself doing the alkayida and the azonto by my lonesome in my row.

The night of music at Diaspora Calling! was an overwhelming whirlwind of love, good vibes and unity.

In case you missed it, read up on our recap of the festival's art exhibition here.

Check out some of our images below:

Jojo Abot. Photo by Ginny Suss.

Mr. Eazi and his producer. Photo by Ginny Suss.

Wondaboy. Photo by Ginny Suss.

The Compozers were the awesome backup band for the African artists. Photo by Ginny Suss.

Stonebwoy. Photo by Ginny Suss.

E.L. Photo by Ginny Suss.

Members of the Brother High Full Tempo band. Photo by Ginny Suss.

Members of the Brother High Full Tempo band. Photo by Ginny Suss.

Ms. Lauryn Hill. Photo by Pascal Bernier.

Ms. Lauryn Hill. Photo by Pascal Bernier.

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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