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People Aren't Thrilled About the Brooklyn Museum's Decision to Hire a White Person as Curator of African Art

"People from the African Diaspora are frustrated with white people being gatekeepers of our narrative."

The Brooklyn Museum has come under fire after news spread earlier this week of its appointment of a white curator for African art.

Though it was initially believed that the museum had hired two white curators for their African art department, in a press release from earlier this month, the museum announced that it had brought on Kristen Windmuller-Luna as the Sills Family Consulting Curator of African art department and Drew Sawyer as the Phillip Leonian and Edith Rosenbaum Leonian Curator of Photography—not of "African" photography as many had thought. The news spread after it was reported by the BK Reader on Monday.

As the new curator of the museum's African art department, Windmuller-Luna will "assess and rethink the Brooklyn Museum's extensive holdings of African art, which is comprised of more than 6,000 objects, and organize an innovative, freshly conceived temporary installation," stated the press release.

The news of her appointment did not sit well with many online who expressed frustration with the art world's history of racism and elitism, and who believe the position should have gone to someone of African descent. To many, the museum's decision highlights the discriminatory hiring processes which take opportunities away from qualified black people and—in cases like these—allow white people to maintain control over black narratives and culture.


While some pointed out that Windmuller-Luna's educational background and resume make her uniquely qualified for the job—she holds a Ph.D. and M.A. in art and archaeology from Princeton University and her B.A. in the history of art from Yale University—others find it hard to believe that there was not one equally qualified black candidate.

Of course, folks are also making references to Black Panther—clearly the Brooklyn museum missed the main takeaway from Killmonger's museum scene, and perhaps the entire film in general.

OkayAfrica has reached out to the Brooklyn Museum for comment.

14 Cultural Events You Can't Miss this December in South Africa

OkayAfrica's guide to must-see events during South Africa's festive season.

South Africans will tell you that December is not just a month, it's an entire lifestyle. From beginning to end, it's about being immersed in a ton of activity with friends and family as well as any new folk you meet along the way. Whether you're looking to turn up to some good music or watch some provocative theater, our guide to just 14 cultural events happening in South Africa this December, has something for everyone.

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Photo by Lana Haroun

From #FeesMustFall to #BlueforSudan: OkayAfrica's Guide to a Decade of African Hashtag Activism

The 2010s saw protest movements across the continent embrace social media in their quest to make change.

The Internet and its persistent, attention-seeking child, Social Media has changed the way we live, think and interact on a daily basis. But as this decade comes to a close, we want to highlight the ways in which people have merged digital technology, social media and ingenuity to fight for change using one of the world's newest and most potent devices—the hashtag.

What used to simply be the "pound sign," the beginning of a tic-tac-toe game or what you'd have to enter when interacting with an automated telephone service, the hashtag has become a vital aspect of the digital sphere operating with both form and function. What began in 2007 as a metadata tag used to categorize and group content on social media, the term 'hashtag' has now grown to refer to memes (#GeraraHere), movements (#AmINext), events (#InsertFriendsWeddingHere) and is often used in everyday conversation ("That situation was hashtag awkward").

The power of the hashtag in the mobility of people and ideas truly came to light during the #ArabSpring, which began one year into the new decade. As Tunisia kicked off a revolution against oppressive regimes that spread throughout North Africa and the Middle East, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook played a crucial role in the development and progress of the movements. The hashtag, however, helped for activists, journalists and supporters of causes. It not only helped to source information quickly, but it also acted as a way to create a motto, a war cry, that could spread farther and faster than protestors own voices and faster than a broadcasted news cycle. As The Guardian wrote in 2016, "At times during 2011, the term Arab Spring became interchangeable with 'Twitter uprising' or 'Facebook revolution,' as global media tried to make sense of what was going on."

From there, the hashtag grew to be omnipresent in modern society. It has given us global news, as well as strong comedic relief and continues to play a crucial role in our lives. As the decade comes to a close, here are some of the most impactful hashtags from Africans and for Africans that used the medium well.

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Screenshot from the upcoming film Warriors of a Beautiful Game

In Conversation: Pelé's Daughter is Making a Documentary About Women's Soccer Around the World

In this exclusive interview, Kely Nascimento-DeLuca shares the story behind filming Warriors of a Beautiful Game in Tanzania, Brazil and other countries.

It may surprise you to know that women's soccer was illegal in Brazil until 1981. And in the UK until 1971. And in Germany until 1970. You may have read that Sudan made its first-ever women's league earlier this year. Whatever the case, women and soccer have always had a rocky relationship.

It wasn't what women wanted. It certainly wasn't what they needed. However, society had its own ideas and placed obstacle after obstacle in front of women to keep ladies from playing the game. Just this year the US national team has shown the world that women can be international champions in the sport and not get paid fairly compared to their male counterparts who lose.

Kely Nascimento-DeLuca is looking to change that. As the daughter of international soccer legend Pelé, she is no stranger to the game. Growing up surrounded by the sport, she was actually unaware of the experiences women around the world were having with it. It was only recently that she discovered the hardships around women in soccer and how much it mirrored women's rights more generally.

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