Tag Archives: Africa

A Visit to the National Museum of African-American History and Culture…

When approaching the National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC), the first thing I notice is its size. “Monolithic” comes to mind. On the National Mall of Washington, D.C., the trapezoidal prism encompasses five-acres. Its scale placed into … Continue reading

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Perilous Dream Flight…

I fly in my dreams about twice a season. Like all dreams, they’re unexpected occurrences, but still welcomed with delight. My flights begin on foreign soil: a city in Japan or Germany, a pasture in France or Cote D’Ivoire. Whether … Continue reading

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Open-Mic Storytelling: First Day of School Fights to Thanksgiving in West Africa

About once a year, I participate in open-mic storytelling with a nonprofit called Story District, which was previously known as SpeakEasy DC. I’ve told about seven open-mic stories with them, and I thought it would be nice to post a few … Continue reading

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Wrote an Article for Playboy about Boko Haram and My Intense Visit to Niger as a Peace Corps Volunteer

I hope you find this article of interest. Special thanks to playboy.com for wishing to learn more about West African culture and contemporary issues. https://web.archive.org/web/20171010174847/https://www.playboy.com/articles/the-time-we-were-almost-killed-in-niger

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A Language of Snow and Dust

Snowfall conveys an unspoken history. When I walk through the snow, its cuneiform describes animal tracks, boot prints, the repose of cherubs, and the drag trails of carry-on luggage. Occasionally, I’ll see golden ice, funneling toward the dead grass and … Continue reading

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The Little Known History of the Banjo: Interview with Greg C. Adams, Banjo Historian, Archivist, and Ethnomusicologist

Your cultural ideas about the banjo are incomplete. For many people, the banjo evokes several general understandings. It’s perceived as an instrument of old-time mountain music, bluegrass, and the mid-20th century Folk Revival. It’s quaint, it’s familiar, it’s “all-American,” and … Continue reading

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Interview with Folklorist Betty J. Belanus, Curator and Education Specialist with the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage

Folklore is a significant component of my draft novel. I’ve read folktales and regional histories, old customs and traditions for several years, well before I wrote a single sentence of this effort. I’ve also made a habit of attending cultural … Continue reading

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