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[VIDEO] My TEDx Talk “Don’t try to fit in: make the world embrace who you are”

Last month, I had the pleasure to be invited to take part of Tedx UBIWilz. Here are the thoughts I shared with the audience: How do you deal with the fact of not fitting to the norm? When you’re black and live in a world designed for men and white people? When you don’t look French enough although you feel every inch Parisian? How do you make the world acknowledge who you are? THE VIDEO IS BELOW  

In France just like in the U.S. #BlackLivesMatter #AdamaTraoré

Picture taken during the protest in New York on July juillet 9 2016 (c) Rokhaya Diallo

I’ve been in the U.S. for the past few weeks and it was here that I was shocked to learn of the death of young Adama Traore while in police custody in Beaumont sur Oise.  According to the official version, he succumbed to a heart malfunction.  His family and friends deny this strenuously.  His own mother insists he has never suffered with any cardiac problems and his sister states that her “brother was killed by the police”.  His family has yet to see his body. Adama Traore was a Black man. While the eyes of the world have been riveted…

I finally saw the Broadway play, Eclipsed.

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I finally saw the Broadway play, Eclipsed. Written by actress, Danai Gurira (seen in The Walking Dead and Mother of George, Andrew Dosunmu’s  dazzling film) and directed by Liesl Tommy, the play tells the story of the Liberian Civil War from the perspective of five women. After its successful run at the Public Theater, the play opened at the Golden Theater.  Not only is this the first time in Broadway history that women entirely run a production, but it is run by Black women. This season, it is also the only new play written by a woman. Oscar winner Lupita…

Kendrick Lamar : The revolution is now being televised

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I am still processing what took place on February 15, 2016 at the Grammys. I don’t own a TV, by choice, but that day, I subscribed to the Network in order to stream the award show live. I was curious to see what type of performance Kendrick Lamar would present. The performance opens up on a jail-like setting, four cells in which black men are locked up. One of them played a melancholic melody on the saxophone: the sound of Terrace Martin. You could also see black men out of these jail cells, in chains and shackles, walking up the…

Panel at the Apollo Theater / WNYC’s MLK Event : Race and Privilege: Exploring MLK’s Two Americas

On Sunday January 17, MLK DAY, I was invited by WYNC (New York Public radio)  to participate in an intense   panel discussion about the Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. at the  iconic Apollo Theater in Harlem. Dr Eddie Glaude, Jr, , Ph.D. – Author and Chair of Princeton University’s African-American Studies Department and Taylor Branch – Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, author and historian best known for his award-wining trilogy of books chronicling the life of Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Civil Rights Movement, were among the panelists. AT the standing room only event,  our moderator, Brian Lehrer, asked each…


SainaSix illustration

As the latest edition of Afro-Punk Fest comes to a close, let’s have a look at a phenomenon that has gone global in less than a decade. This year’s New York festival featured such heavyweights as Lauryn Hill and Grace Jones, among others under the Brooklyn sun.  A few weeks earlier, the first ever edition outside of the US took place in Paris to a packed house at the Trianon. The story begins with a young Black American. James Spooner loved a kind of music that many believed was only appreciated by Whites. Punk Rock in the 80s belonged to…

Ferguson, a year after the death of Michael Brown


I arrived in the US a few days ago, in St. Louis, MO.  I met up with my activists friends to participate in the commemoration of the first anniversary of Michael Brown’s death in the suburbs of Ferguson August 9, 2014.  That day, the face of the unarmed African American teenager, killed at the hands of a white policeman became the symbol of the struggle against police violence. A year later, Sunday August 9, activists from around the country came together to remind the world of the banal cruelty of the loss of hundreds of Black lives, snatched with impunity…