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This Nigerian Painter Just Won a MacArthur 'Genius' Grant

Los Angeles-based Nigerian painter, Njideka Akunyili Crosby, is the winner of a 2017 MacArthur "Genius" Grant.

Lauded Nigerian-American painter, Njideka Akunyili Crosby, is one of 24 winners of the 2017 MacArthur "Genius" Grant.


The yearly fellowship, awards $625,000 to professionals across multiple disciplines, including historians, musicians, architects, visual artists, and more who have "shown extraordinary originality and dedication in their creative pursuits and a marked capacity for self-direction." The award is paid out over five years. Past winners include Nigerian novelist Chimamanda Nigozi Adichie and Ta-Nehisi Coates.

Crosby, who studied biology and art in undergrad, was recognized for "visualizing the complexities of globalization and transnational identity in works that layer paint, photographic imagery, prints, and collage elements."

Other notable recipients include, New York-based photographer Dawoud Bey, and country singer Rhiannon Giddens of the Grammy award winning group the Carolina Chocolate Drops.

Check out the full list of winners via NPR.

Watch Crosby talk about her work in the video below.

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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