I met LaToya Hankins through a Meetup.com writers group. I had the opportunity to do a critique of a chapter of her work-in-progress that became the novel, SBF Seeking. The next time I saw her at a meetup, she had just published her completed work and was excited to tell the group about her experience. I try to support the talented authors I know, and even though I gave positive and supportive feedback for the chapter I read, I was torn in my reaction, knowing that SBF Seeking was a lesbian romance. Should I buy the book?…Of course. Will I read the book?…Maybe. Then she asked me to write a review and so I had to tell her: I don’t often read “gay” literature though I had recently read Justin Torres’ We the Animals and a couple of James Baldwin books forty years ago. Read the full review in TRIBES magazine Summer 2012 issue.
In the spirit of ushering in a new summer and preparing to bring this latest TRIBES Magazine Summer 2012: Spark Africa issue to press, the crew at TRIBES Central took a field trip to the Carolina Theatre for a highly anticipated, limited screening of Marley, the new documentary film from Kevin MacDonald chronicling the complete life and works of the international superstar. Immersing his art in the political and socioeconomic realities of life in post-colonial Jamaica and committed to reclaiming a cultural homeland and spiritual roots for all members of the Africa diaspora, Bob Marley was beloved by his fans and peers for his commitment to the work of truth and reconciliation in his music and the love for humanity that permeated his life and work.
In this issue of TRIBES Magazine, join us as we head to Nigeria, Kenya, Sierra Leon, Guinea Bissau, Senegal, and S. Africa by way of Germany and the United States, to meet musician and activist Nneka– raising awareness around big oil business, natural resource exploitation, and state corruption in her hometown of Warri- Hip Hop Activist, promoter, and journalist, Buddha Blaze– co-founder of Spark Africa and various efforts to generate and unify Hip Hop communities across the African continent- Sister Fa– Female MC and subject of the new documentary film, Sarabah, on her mission to combat female genital mutilation (FGM) practices in her Senegalese homeland- and MAMA AFRICA, Miriam Makeba, and her peace and humanitarian work during and after the fall of apartheid in her native South Africa.
These individuals, and the other artists and activists to grace the pages of this Spark Africa edition, teach us that through intensely personal, substantively relevant expressions of art and culture, we become infinitely connected and limitless beings with voices amplified for the work of improving our world. Celebrate inspired community and the arts with our favorite summer concerts and festivals, write your Spark Africa summer playlist after a visit to our Music TRIBES and find inspiration for new forms of expression in Pierce Freelon’s latest project, Tar Heel Tracks, and Renaldo Davidson’s collaborative, mixed-media work, Black Clown.
In this summer of 2012, love, and as a means for revolution, reigns supreme and thus, we welcome you to the TRIBES Magazine 2012: SPARK AFRICA Issue. May your heart’s light illuminate the darkness! Alana Jones, TRIBES Executive Editor