News Brief
Hundreds demand to end white supremacy and an end of human concentration camps at the US border during a rally in Philadelphia, PA on July 12, 2019 as the Trump administration announced that ICE will follow up raids and deportations in the following days. (Photo by Bastiaan Slabbers/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

What Do Impending ICE Raids Mean for Black Migrants?

ICE is expected to begin crackdowns across the US on Sunday, putting thousands of undocumented migrants from Latin America as well as Haiti, Cameroon and DRC at increased risk of abuse and deportation.

Immigrants across the US are bracing themselves for planned ICE (Immigrations and Customs Enforcement) raids, expected to occur in several major US cities beginning on Sunday.

"Trump's delusional declaration of ICE raids this week is a serious threat to Black and immigrant communities," Abraham Paulos, the National Communications Director of the Black Alliance for Just Immigration (BAJI) tells OkayAfrica in a statement on behalf of the organization. "The real immigration crisis is the one created by the Trump administration's racist and xenophobic agenda and policies. This administration has made it a top priority to separate and incarcerate migrant families and to keep Black and Brown asylum seekers and refugees from entering the U.S."

Initial plans to round up groups of undocumented immigrants were halted last month by the Department of Homeland Security and the issue was brought before Congress. Now, authorities are pushing ahead, putting thousands of undocumented families at risk of deportation as ICE—with the backing of President Donald Trump—plan arrests in at least 10 major cities, including New York City, Chicago, Miami, Los Angeles, San Fransisco, New Orleans, Atlanta, Houston and Denver.


According to The New York Times, those being specifically targeted are migrants who recently crossed the border, and others who have previously been issued deportation orders. Trump confirmed the move on Friday, claiming that the government would be targeting "criminals" first, but others found to have entered the US "illegally" will be subject to arrests as well.

Despite mainstream media reports which frame the impending crackdown as a primarily Latin American issue, black immigrants—particularly those from Haiti and various African countries including Cameroon and Democratic Republic of Congo, entering the United States through Latin America—are equally vulnerable to ICE's efforts, and to dangerous anti-immigrant policies plaguing migrant populations in the nation. Since early June, it's been reported that a thousand Haitian migrants have been apprehended at the Central Texas border with Mexico.

The news undoubtedly stokes anxiety for people within these communities, especially with increasing reports of forced family separations and detainees dying while in ICE custody. This is not the first time the government has carried out such raids, however many believe current waves are intentionally designed to foster fear within immigrant populations. In response, immigration lawyers are likely to reopen cases for families in order to prevent, or at least stall the process of deportation, according to The New York Times.

Advocacy groups are also preparing to respond to further intimidation form ICE as well as the growing threat of state violence against migrant populations, and have denounced the president's actions. "It is no secret that Trump and his administration view immigrants of color as less than human, revealing the cruelty behind his immigration policies," says Paulos. "He doubled down on his racist sentiments by not only stereotyping immigrants as criminals and referring to them as 'animals,' but by also codifying this disparaging language into White House doctrine."

Art
Image courtesy of Trap Bob.

Trap Bob Is the 'Proud Habesha' Illustrator Creating Colorful Campaigns for the Digital Age

The DMV-based artist speaks with OkayAfrica about the themes in her work, collaborating with major brands, and how her Ethiopian heritage informs her work.

DMV-based visual artist Tenbeete Solomon also known as Trap Bob is a buzzing illustrator using her knack for colorful animation to convey both the "humor and struggle of everyday life."

The artist, who is also the Creative Director of the creative agency GIRLAAA has been the visual force behind several major online movements. Her works have appeared in campaigns for Giphy, Girls Who Code, Missy Elliott, Elizabeth Warren, Apple, Refinery 29 and Pabst Blue Ribbon (her design was one of the winners of the beer company's annual art can contest and is currently being displayed on millions of cans nationwide). With each striking illustration, the artist brings her skillful use of color and storytelling to the forefront.

Her catalog also includes fun, exuberant graphics that depict celebrities and important moments in Black popular culture. Her "Girls In Power" pays homage to iconic women of color in a range of industries with illustrated portraits. It includes festive portraits of Beyoncé, Oprah, Serena Williams and Michelle Obama to name a few.

Trap Bob is currently embarking on an art tour throughout December, which sees her unveiling murals and recent works for Pabst Blue Ribbon in her hometown of DC and during Art Basel in Miami. You can see her tour dates here.

We caught up with the illustrator via email, to learn more about the themes in her work and how her Ethiopian heritage informs her illustrations. Read it below and see more of Trap Bob's works underneath.

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Croatian Authorities are Under Fire for Wrongly Deporting Two Nigerian Students to Bosnia

The students and table tennis players were in Croatia for a tournament when they were picked up by police and sent to a refugee camp in neighboring Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Abia Uchenna Alexandro and Eboh Kenneth Chinedu, Nigerian table tennis players and students at the University of Technology Owerri, were wrongfully deported to Bosnia after taking part in a sports tournament in Pula, Croatia, The Guardian reports. Organizers of the event are now demanding that the students be immediately returned to their home country.

Chinedu and Alexandro, both 18, were reportedly picked up by Croatian authorities on November 18—the night before they were scheduled to return to Lagos—in the country's capital Zagreb. They had visited for the fifth annual World InterUniversities Championships, which took place outside the capital in the city of Pula, and competed in the table tennis tournament. They were exploring the city afterwards and say they were approached by two officers while getting on a train and asked to provide identification.

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GuiltyBeatz, Kwesi Arthur & Mr Eazi's "Pilolo" visualizer video (Youtube).

The 20 Best Ghanaian Songs of 2019

Featuring Pappy Kojo, Sarkodie, Amaarae, Kwesi Arthur, Shatta Wale, Efya GuiltyBeatz, Joey B, R2Bees and many more.

2019 was definitely an exciting year for Ghanaian music.

Right from the top of the year, we saw both new and established make their mark with songs that would soundtrack the nation's airwaves, functions, and nights for months to come. In 2019 we got to experience an E.L comeback, Shatta Wale and Beyoncé on the same song, numerous solid Ghana-Naija collaborations, and bop after bop by old and new artists alike.

We also saw the rise of brand new artists, starting from the likes of J.Derobie's wave making debut in January, to Kofi Mole's widespread trap anthem, to Fameye's declaration of brokeness, to the promising future superstar Sam Opoku. As far as projects go, 2019 was a good year for that in the Ghana music space as well. We were blessed with an EP from Sarkodie, an album by the superstar duo R2Bees, talented singer King Promise's debut album, Ko-Jo Cue's stellar debut, and M.anifest's 7-track feel-good EP, among several others.

Ghanaian music has been stepping its game up lately, and there's only one way to go from here. Below, we give you the rundown on the Ghanaian songs that stole ears and hearts and set the pace for the country's sound this year.

Check out the list below. Listen in no particular order.—Nnamdi Okirike

Follow our GHANA WAVE playlist on Spotify here and Apple Music here.

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(Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for AFI)

Cynthia Erivo Earns Golden Globe Nomination for 'Harriet'

Check out the full list of 2020 nominees (and the snubs).

Award-winning actress, Cynthia Erivo has earned a Golden Globe nomination for her portrayal of abolitionist leader Harriet Tubman in Harriet. She's earned a nomination for Best Original Song for 'Stand Up."

She's nominated in the "Best Performance by an Actress In a Motion Picture—Drama" alongside Charlize Theron, Scarlett Johansson, Renée Zellwegger and Saoirse Ronan.

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