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South Africa Launches Campaign to Fight Racism and Police Brutality.

South Africa Launches Campaign to Fight Racism and Police Brutality

Dubbed the "Black Friday" campaign, South Africa's ruling African National Congress intends to stand in solidarity with the now widespread Black Lives Matter protests.

South Africa's ruling party, the African National Congress (ANC), has recently launched a campaign which it says is meant to take a stand against police brutality and racism in South Africa, EWN reports. Dubbed the "Black Friday" campaign and supported by allies such as the South African Communist Party (SACP) and the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU), the move is also intended to be a show of solidarity for the Black Lives Matter protests in America and other parts of the world.

READ: From 'Star Wars' to the War on Racism: John Boyega's Speech at a London Protest Moved Masses

According to Jessie Duarte, the ANC's Deputy Secretary-General, "Racism in South Africa is alive, it's something we need to campaign against and internalise in the psyche of our nation. It is something we are struggling with." Duarte also adds that, "It will start our own Black Friday whenceforth we are called up on to wear black on Friday for the next three weeks."

In a virtual press briefing, COSATU's General-Secretary, Bheki Ntshalintshali, echoed Duarte's comments saying, "The anti-racism campaign to be launched tomorrow will also highlight the racism in our own country and against security force brutality." Ntshalintshali went on to say, "It shows solidarity with the victims, that they are not alone. That together we stand. It also sends a message to the perpetrators that there are many people outside who say your actions are not warranted."

It is not yet clear what the campaign will entail aside from wearing black every Friday. In light of the deaths of several Black South Africans at the hands of the police, concrete objectives and decisive action are expected of the ruling party lest systemic racism divide the nation and its glaring inequality even further.

Earlier this week, South Africans on social media expressed their anger at the continued killings of Black people at the hands of an anti-Black police establishment during the country's ongoing national lockdown.

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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