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…

Black Fashion Week illuminated Paris. The favorites of our stylist!

Rokhaya Diallo, Gayanée Pierre at BFW

The fourth annual Black Fashion Week was recently held in Paris. Of course, Rokhaya Diallo and I were at the Carreau du Temple for the event. This is the perfect occasion for me to look back on my favorites from these French fashion shows. I saw a creative energy that did my heart good in these difficult times. My first pick is ADAMA PARIS whose Asian silhouettes, hues and looks are reminiscent of daring hollywood heroines. The colors are both frank and profound.   Sakia LEK has got her groove. She is straight out of a chic New York evening…

Mipsterz and hijabistas : the Islam-friendly fashion

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A few days ago, an H&M poster made the headlines. For the first time, the worldwide clothing chain showed a veiled woman in the person of the model, Maria Hidrissi. It had nothing to do with a photo shoot for a new collection but a very beautiful video about recycling. Going along with its eco-responsible line “ReCreated Denim” made from biologically recycled cotton, the brand decided to bring the diversity and creativity of its clientele to the forefront. It’s a short film that deconstructs fashion dictates and shows that a woman can wear a skirt after 40, dress like a…

Afro! My new book: making the cover

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For the past few months, you have been able to follow a Tumblr describing the development of a project initially called Mon Pari(s) Afro, authored by me with photography by Brigitte Sombié. Our idea was to publish 100 photos of Parisians, whether residents or visitors, of various origins, who have all chosen to wear their hair natural.  The final title is Afro! and Editions Arenes is launching it on November 4. We were undecided about the cover photo but my editor came up with the idea to have Brigitte photograph me and use my head shot as the cover.  Taking…

The Loving couple whose love shook the Supreme Court

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Mildred and Richard Loving after their Supreme Cout victory in 1967 To end the summer on a sweet note, I suggest you do as I did a few days ago and pick up “L’Amour des Loving” a lovely novel by Gilles Biassette that tells the story of a modest couple who  changed the course of American history. Like many young couples at the time, in 1958, Mildred Jeter et Richard Loving decided to get married.  No big deal except for the fact that their honeymoon turned into a prison stint.  Mixed marriage in the U.S. at the time was illegal…

IS AFROPUNK THE NEW WOODSTOCK?

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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

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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…

[VIDEO] Launch of the graphic novel “Pari(s) d’Amies”

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Paris d’Amie(s), the first  graphic novel written by Rokhaya Diallo and illustrated by its co-author, Kim Consigny is an urban comedy reflecting the colors of today’s Paris.  It was published on April 8th of this year. The launch party brought together Lilian Thuram, Zinedine Souaem, Inna Modja, Imany, Françoise-Marie Santucci and Katell Pouliquen from Elle, Kery James, Juliette Fiévet, Sebastien Abdelhamid, Aya Cissoko, Aïssa Maïga, Fatou Ndiaye from BlackBeautyBag, Awa Ly, Raphal Yem, Princess Esther Kamatari, Chrystèle Saint-Louis-Augustin, Kareen Guiock, Eriq Ebouaney, Lucien Jean Baptiste and Anasthasie Tudieshe among many others! Black Spoon catered the affair. Big thanks to Phyto…

WOW WOW WAX AFRICAN PRINT FABRICS

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Summer 2015 is lit up with African prints! They are present from luxury to fast fashion, inspiring both established fashion designers and young aspiring creators. These fabrics are available at all price points and work whether as accents or a total look – either way, breathing fresh air into any wardrobe.

Mahmoud Ahmed, breathtaking

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Cabaret Sauvage’s Black Summer Festival enchants Parisians every summer.  This evening, the auditorium shook to Ethiopian pop rhythms laced with funk. Mahmoud Ahmed, 74 years old and counting, flooded the room with his almost supernatural energy.  His style? The kind of music that takes over your life and limbs. Wearing his national colors, his eyes squinting from his malicious smile while he worked his shoulders as only he can – many tried unsuccessfully to imitate the movement – but I won’t say who – the patriarch literally transported us into his universe.  

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A bientôt, Rokhaya Diallo

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