News Brief

Ta-Nehisi Coates to Colbert: I Have No Hope For America

Colbert asked Coates if he had any hope for America being a better country and having better race relations. Coates said "No."

Ta-Nehisi Coates stopped by The Late Show with Stephen Colbert to talk about his upcoming book We Were Eight Years in Power.

The two started out talking about Colin Kaepernick and the recent NFL kneeling protests, which Coates thinks have been "very successful."


The topic then turned to protests, civil rights, Black Lives Matter, and Martin Luther King Jr, with Coates mentioning, "It's very similar to how people feel about NFL protests today, 60 percent of Americans disapproved of Martin Luther King specifically as a person. He didn't get killed out of nowhere."

Talk then unavoidably steered towards Trump and a notable moment came about when Colbert asked Coates if he had any hope for America being a better country and having better race relations.

This topic, by the way, is addressed by Coates several times in We Were Eight Years in Power. Throughout the book he mentions that he "hates being asked to offer white people hope of a better future in which America might become a post-racial utopia," as Vox puts it.

Coates answer to Colbert:

"No."

Interview
Photo: Mariela Alvarez.

Interview: ÌFÉ Blends Music & Religion to Honor Those Who Have Died During the Pandemic

Producer and percussionist Otura Mun talks about his latest EP, The Living Dead, and how he traces the influences of West Africa in his new work.

There are bands that open up a spiritual world through their music. ÌFÉ is one example. An electro-futurist band that fuses Afro-Cuban rhythms and Jamaican dancehall with Yoruba mystical voices. With the success of their 2017 debut album "IIII+IIII" (pronounced Eji-Ogbe), ÌFÉ has reached an audience that is looking for Caribbean and contemporary sounds.

The Puerto Rican-based band just released a new EP, The Living Dead- Ashé Bogbo Egun, that aims to heal and honor those who have died during this pandemic. Otura Mun, the band leader, is an African-American producer and percussionist, who began a personal journey about a decade ago, when he landed in San Juan, and decided to move there. He learned Spanish, dug deep into his African ancestry and started to practice the Yoruba-Caribbean religion of Santería.

ÌFÉ, which means "love and expansion" in Yoruba, ties two worlds, music and religion, artistically. This new EP modernized prayer songs to hopefully make them more accessible to a younger generation. OkayAfrica spoke with Otura Mun on his latest work.

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