Habari Africa Festival in Toronto!

Portrait of Djely Tapa by photographer Elaine

Portrait of Djely Tapa by photographer Elaine

After a baking-hot day on Friday, August 12th – when the temperature reached 36 degrees celsius here in Toronto – the logical place to cool down at sunset was lakeside for the Habari Africa Festival where African singers and musicians – now based in Canada – sang and played for us from the outdoor stage by the water.

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Malian “griotte” (female story-teller and praise-singer) – and current Montrealer – DJELY TAPA performed a rousing set with her three band members, one of whom accompanied her in a lilting song on his “kora”. Her brother translated from her French introduction the importance of the message of Une Chanson Contre La Violence Contre Les Femmes (A Song against Violence against Women).

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Congolese singer BLANDINE MBIYA sang in French and Lingala, and was accompanied by Cour des Grands, veteran Congolese musicians (now living in Montreal) who paid tribute to great 1960s-70s “orchestres” of the Congo “rumba” tradition (Tabu Ley, Papa Wemba, OK Jazz). Mbiya’s voice was tender and sexy – and very sweet in tone! She bantered in English with the audience in between songs – sounding uncannily like Jennifer Lopez when she speaks.

Blandine Mbiya in concert_photograph by Muriel Leclerc

Blandine Mbiya in concert_photograph by Muriel Leclerc

Habari Africa Festival is one of those events we look forward to – when it’s summer in Toronto! Those of us who love musical variety and discovery are grateful to Batuki Music Society founder Nadine McNulty – and to every supporter and partner, including Harbourfront Centre – for making it all happen, down by the Lake!

 


Palaver International Literary Festival in Wasaga Beach, Ontario!

Palaver International Literary Festival_Wasaga Beach_Ontario_Canada

Founded by writer and journalist Michael S. L. Jarrett – and now in its second year – Palaver International Literary Festival brings Caribbean literature, music and good food to Wasaga Beach, Ontario. An “open mic.” stage for poetry and song, as well as Ol’ Time Stories told throughout the day. This evening (Saturday the 6th) there is the Palaver Awards Dinner (“A Birthday Toast to Jamaica”) featuring The Heritage Singers and Orville Hammond, jazz pianist. On Sunday the 7th: “open mic.” for poetry and song again; “Feast on the Beach”: brunch with master-chef Selwyn Richards; the Palaver Writers’ Workshop with Horane Smith; and poets and novelists will meet and greet with festival attendees –– and sign books :-) Writers in attendance at Palaver 2016 include: Owen ‘Blakka’ Ellis, Dwayne Morgan, Owen Everard James, Cynthia Reyes, and Lorna Goodison.

Palaver International Literary Festival in Wasaga Beach_Ontario_Canada_Image from 2015

Delores Gauntlett (born 1949, St. Ann, Jamaica)

Introduction to Poetry

(for Mervyn Morris)

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I wish you’d write some foolishness sometimes,”

you said in that workshop off South Camp Road,

and it took some years to uncover what you meant:

To bring out what I’d seen, or wished I’d seen,

in a simple line

and state outright that this is it;

to find my way out of the cul-de-sac,

when trying too hard, wide of the mark,

the words coming but not the sense;

to balance each line and not feel the weight;

to watch day break across a familiar land,

freeing the verse as on a passing wind;

to walk all night under a changing moon.

To convert the outrage into song, the poem coming,

not as from the space between

a sleepwalker’s outstretched arms,

but as in a hand held still against rushing water,

then lifted clear, the drops from the dripping

fingertips settling in the poem’s room.

. . . . .


Caribana is 49! An’ de lime wuz good!

Nakita Krucker_photo for the Toronto Star_July 30th 2016Toronto Caribbean Carnival (“Caribana”):

A reveller awaits the masquerade judge’s decision after her mas’-crew’s display at the CNE on Lakeshore Boulevard in Toronto: July 30th, 2016.

Photo by Nakita Krucker / Toronto Star

And more photographs from the all-day fête (Grand Parade) courtesy

The Photagonist.ca Photography…

Caribana Grand Parade 2016_A_photography by Photagonist.

Caribana Grand Parade 2016_B_photography by Photagonist.

Caribana Grand Parade 2016_C_photography by Photagonist.

Caribana Grand Parade 2016_D_photography by Photagonist.

Caribana Grand Parade 2016_E_photography by Photagonist.

Caribana Grand Parade 2016_F_photography by Photagonist.

Caribana Grand Parade 2016_G_photography by Photagonist.

Caribana Grand Parade 2016_H_photography by Photagonist

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All photographs (except the top image) are © The Photagonist.ca


AfroFest 2016 à Toronto…

Afrofest 2016 flyer_croppedAfroFest 2016 à Toronto –– Tu t’es joint à nous? Parce que nous nous sommes bien amusés! Tout s’est déroulé au samedi et dimanche, le 9 et 10 de juillet – toute la journée au Parc Woodbine. La musique a inclus les voix et les groupes de Nati Haile, Toto Guillaume, Moto Tia, BKO Quintet, Lynda Thalie et Emmanuel Jal: les beaux sons africains de l’Éthiopie, du Cameroun, du Congo, de Mali, de l’Algérie et de Soudan – entre autres pays.

À propos…Que tu ne manques pas aussi le festival Habari Africa à Harbourfront, Toronto – au bord du Lac Ontario le 12,13,14 d’août!

AfroFest 7AfroFest 1AfroFest 2AfroFest 3AfroFest 4AfroFest 5AfroFest 6AfroFest 8AfroFest 9AfroFest 10AfroFest 11AfroFest 12AfroFest 13


Poesía cubana del siglo XX: una muestra de Zócalo Poets: junio de 2016 / Twentieth-century Cuban poetry: a selection from Zócalo Poets: June 2016

"The battle of ideas continues..." / "La batalla de ideas continua..." Foto © Peter W. Davies_Cuba 2011

“The battle of ideas continues…” / “La batalla de ideas continua…” Foto © Peter W. Davies_Cuba 2011


Alberto Henschel: 19th-century Brazilian photographer: Tipos negros / Black Types

Alberto Henschel_from his series Tipos negros or Black Types_Recife, Pernambuco_around 1869

Alberto Henschel_from his series Tipos negros or Black Types_Recife, Pernambuco_around 1869

Alberto Henschel (1827-1882) was a German-born Brazilian photographer from Berlin. An energetic, enterprising businessman, he established photography studios in the cities of Pernambuco, Bahia, Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo. While known as both a landscape photographer and, for some time Photographo da Casa Imperial (Photographer of the Royal House) during the reign of Pedro II, his main legacy has been his visual record of the social classes of Brazil. His portraits were often produced in the ‘carte de visite’ format, and included the nobility, wealthy tradesmen, the middle class and, most interestingly, Brazil’s black people – whether slaves or freemen/women. These portraits were taken during the decades before the Lei Áurea, the slavery-abolition law of 1888.
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Alberto Henschel (Berlim, 1827 – Rio de Janeiro, 1882) foi um fotógrafo teuto-brasileiro, considerado o mais diligente empresário da fotografia no Brasil do século XIX. Sua principal contribuição à história
da fotografia no Brasil foi o registro fotográfico de todos os extratos sociais do Brasil oitocentista: retratos, geralmente no padrão carte-de-visite, foram tirados da nobreza, dos ricos comerciantes, da classe média e, mas certamente, dos negros – tantos livres como escravos (em um período ainda anterior à Lei Áurea.

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Alberto Henschel_ portrait from his Black Types series_Bahia, Brazil_around 1869

Alberto Henschel_ portrait from his Black Types series_Bahia, Brazil_around 1869

Alberto Henschel_Moça cafusa (Girl of mixed Negro and Indian blood)_Pernambuco_1869

Alberto Henschel_Moça cafusa (Girl of mixed Negro and Indian blood)_Pernambuco_1869

Alberto Henschel_Retrato cafusa_1869

Alberto Henschel_Retrato cafusa_1869

Alberto Henschel_retrato da negra de Pernambuco_1869

Alberto Henschel_retrato da negra de Pernambuco_1869

Alberto Henschel_uma negra de Pernambuco_1869

Alberto Henschel_uma negra de Pernambuco_1869

Alberto Henschel_Negra de Pernambuco_1869Alberto Henschel_Negra de Pernambuco_Brasil_1869Alberto Henschel_Negra de Bahia_1869

Alberto Henschel_Negra com criança na Bahia_c. 1869_Salvador, Bahia

Alberto Henschel_Negra com criança na Bahia_c. 1869_Salvador, Bahia

Alberto Henschel_Retrato negro_1869Alberto Henschel_1869_Retratos_Tipos negrosAlberto Henschel_portrait from Black Types_around 1869 in Brazil

Alberto Henschel_portrait of a middle-aged man with hat_from the series Tipos negros_around 1869

Alberto Henschel_portrait of a middle-aged man with hat_from the series Tipos negros_around 1869

Alberto Henschel_Retratos_Tipos negros_Recife_1869

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Black History Month: Vintage Black Paper Dolls

"Aunt Dinah, the Colored Cook, comes to join the Paper Doll Family"_McCall's Magazine, April 1911_Aunt Dinah is presented in a realistic, straightforward manner, as all the dolls in this McCall's series were.

“Aunt Dinah, the Colored Cook, comes to join the Paper Doll Family”_McCall’s Magazine, April 1911_Aunt Dinah is presented in a realistic, straightforward manner, as all the dolls in this McCall’s series were.

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In the early twentieth century, paper dolls were a popular plaything for children. Cheap and easy to make, these cut-out paper figures could be dressed with paper clothes attached by tabs. The figures were often of idealistic characters: beautiful children, perfect families, fashionable ladies representing the power élite of the day. Boxed sets and books could be readily bought in stores, but many were available in magazines and newspaper comic strips as a special treat for the kids.
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From the late 1800s to the mid 1950s, black paper dolls were rare and stereotypical in white-owned North-American media. Black adult females were shown as maids or ‘mammies’, caregivers to young white children. Black children as paper dolls always had at least one garment that was tattered and patched, and black adult males were almost never shown.
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The outstanding exception to the above stereotypes was the creation of Torchy Brown by a black woman cartoonist named Jackie Ormes. The Torchy Brown comic strips and accompanying paper dolls appeared in black newspapers such as the Pittsburgh Courier and Chicago Defender in the early 1950s. Torchy herself, created by Ormes in the 1930s, was a strong and glamorous woman-of-colour who certainly did not wear rags. With the advent of desegregation and the Black Power movement in the United States, more and more positive images of black paper dolls finally appeared.
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The images shown here cover the early stereotypes. Yet one can understand that, at the time, many blacks may have been pleased to see any representations of themselves in prestigious magazines such as McCall’s and Woman’s Home Companion. It was also during this period – in 1939, to be exact – that Hattie McDaniel won an Oscar for portraying a ‘mammy’ in the film “Gone With The Wind”;  McDaniel was also featured in a paper doll book of the film.

Bruce Patrick Jones

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Rastus_Little Louise's Friend_Vintage Black paper doll_from Good Housekeeping, November 1909

Rastus_Little Louise’s Friend_Vintage Black paper doll_from Good Housekeeping, November 1909

Charming Rastus, gently stereotyped with patches and watermelon, was positioned as a friend of Little Louise, a blond, blue-eyed girl.

Farina (little girl in the middle)_from the Our Gang series in_Woman's Home Companion, October 1925

Farina (little girl in the middle)_from the Our Gang series in_Woman’s Home Companion, October 1925

Patches and rags define pretty Farina, though Fattie’s costume is tattered too. This exquisite illustration was by Frances Tipton Hunter.

Katy's black mammy has taken care of her ever since she was a little baby_painted by Katharine Shane_from Woman's Home Companion, June 1927

Katy’s black mammy has taken care of her ever since she was a little baby_painted by Katharine Shane_from Woman’s Home Companion, June 1927

What well-to-do little girl from The South wouldn’t have had her very own ‘mammy’ in 1927?

Mandy by Lydia Fraser_Canadian Home Journal, September 1932

Mandy by Lydia Fraser_Canadian Home Journal, September 1932

Mandy, a warm and loving creation by Canada’s Lydia Fraser.

Topsy by Lydia Fraser_Canadian Home Journal, October 1932

Topsy by Lydia Fraser_Canadian Home Journal, October 1932

Topsy’s ‘kitchen dress’ suggests she’ll follow mommy Mandy’s line of work.

Topsy's Brother Sam by Lydia Fraser_Canadian Home Journal, July 1933

Topsy’s Brother Sam by Lydia Fraser_Canadian Home Journal, July 1933

Sam’s wardrobe defines a hard workin’ little guy: bellboy and newspaper seller.  As well – the ubiquitous patches on his overalls.

Sunny Sammy's Nurse Diana_drawn by Corinne Pauli Waterall_from Pictorial Review, March 1934

Sunny Sammy’s Nurse Diana_drawn by Corinne Pauli Waterall_from Pictorial Review, March 1934

Sunny Sammy’s cherub-cheeked nurse pre-dates Hattie McDaniels in “Gone With The Wind”.

Svarta Nelly_Elefantbabyn_Krokodilungen_Tre påklädningsdockor från Negerlandet_Vintage Black paper doll from a 1935 Swedish newspaper called Allers

Svarta Nelly_Elefantbabyn_Krokodilungen_Tre påklädningsdockor från Negerlandet_Vintage Black paper doll from a 1935 Swedish newspaper called Allers

Black Nelly was a Swedish take on a little African girl, shown here with a totally European set of clothes.

Little Black Sambo by Martin_from an Oklahoma City newspaper_June 1937

Little Black Sambo by Martin_from an Oklahoma City newspaper_June 1937

Sweet Little Sambo seems almost to be a cartoon version of Rastus (second from top).

Effie Slivers_appeared in Lena Pry and Jane Arden comic strips_by Monte Barrett and Jack W. McGuire_Vintage Black paper doll from 1938

Effie Slivers_appeared in Lena Pry and Jane Arden comic strips_by Monte Barrett and Jack W. McGuire_Vintage Black paper doll from 1938

Effie Slivers was Lena Pry’s (mouthy) maid in this 1930s strip. Lucky Effie gets a dressy outfit, too.

Opal_from Girls: Boots and her Buddies by Martin_from The Detroit News, Sunday December 11th, 1938

Opal_from Girls: Boots and her Buddies by Martin_from The Detroit News, Sunday December 11th, 1938

Opal was a stark contrast to slim, blonde Boots, star of the comic strip in which Opal appeared. Still, artist Martin did give her a rich wardrobe.

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Zócalo Poets feature about Jackie Ormes: https://zocalopoets.com/2015/02/28/jackie-ormes-torchy-candy-patty-jo-ginger/

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Opening today (February 20th):

Stereotypes to Civil Rights: Black Paper Dolls in America

featuring the private collection of author, lecturer, and collector Arabella Grayson, and exploring the 150-year evolution of cultural images of African-Americans in paper dolls—from Little Black Sambo and Aunt Jemima to Jackie Robinson and Missy Elliott.

Till August 21st, 2016,

at The National Museum of Toys and Miniatures,

Kansas City, Missouri, U.S.A.

http://www.toyandminiaturemuseum.org

 

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