Sports
Photo by David Mesfin

Africans Are Taking Surfing Back

We sat down with Ethiopia-American director David Mesfin to discuss the importance of knowing where you come from, and his upcoming surf doc 'Wade In The Water'

For so long, Black and African communities have been made to believe that the water was our enemy, often citing the traumatic history of African slaves drowning at sea during the Atlantic Slave Trade. But, what certain people with certain agendas failed to add was the fact that the slaves had such a powerful understanding of the ocean that slave owners began to torture them into fearing the thought of it.

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Sports
Photo: Mini Cho

Mini Cho and the Renaissance of African Surf Culture

Competitive surfing helped Mini Cho find his place in the world. Now he wants to bring other Mozambicans into the fold.

While competitive surfing may be relatively new for much of coastal Africa, the existence of wave-riding has always been embedded within the rich diversity of African cultures. The recently released book Afrosurf, explores the renaissance of African surf culture, and the communities that have cultivated it.

The origins of surfing are commonly associated with Polynesian and Hawaiian culture, but historians, like University of California history professor, Kevin Dawson, have collated documented evidence of the independent history of African wave-riding from as early as the 1640s.

Yet, the development of professional surfing has created a surfing culture that has been predominantly framed from a Western perspective.

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Film: 'Otelo Burning' NYC [11/13 — 11/15] + Mixtape DL

Filmmaker Sara Blecher's 1989 South Africa-set 'Otelo Burning' takes viewers on the journey of township kids who find freedom through surfing.

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