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Donald Trump Called for A ‘Late-Term’ Abortion Ban In The State Of The Union. Abortion Rights Advocates Are Pushing Back.



President Donald Trump called for a federal ban on “the late-term abortion of children who can feel pain in the mother’s womb” during the State of the Union address on Tuesday, doubling down on his criticism of a new law expanding abortion rights in New York.

“To defend the dignity of every person, I am asking the Congress to pass legislation to prohibit the late-term abortion of children who can feel pain in the mother’s womb,” Trump said Tuesday. “Let us work together to build a culture that cherishes innocent life. And let us reaffirm a fundamental truth: all children — born and unborn — are made in the holy image of God.”

His remarks further amplified the national debate over later abortion, an issue that Trump has suggested he plans to focus on in the 2020 election.

New York’s new law, the Reproductive Health Act, expanded abortion rights to allow a woman to get an abortion after 24 weeks if her health, not just her life, is threatened and if the fetus would be unable to survive outside the womb. Advocates have said the law is a necessary protection for women who otherwise have limited options in the face of health risks or serious fetal problems. Proponents have also framed it as a safeguard against a newly conservative Supreme Court that could overturn Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 ruling that effectively legalized abortion nationwide.

But anti-abortion advocates have criticized the law as an “extreme” expansion of abortion access that gives medical professionals too much discretion, and have falsely claimed that such legislation is tantamount to infanticide. Trump echoed that sentiment Tuesday, earning praise from groups such as Americans United for Life, which said Trump “may be the most pro-life president in American history.”

“There could be no greater contrast to the beautiful image of a mother holding her infant child than the chilling displays our nation saw in recent days,” Trump said. “Lawmakers in New York cheered with delight upon the passage of legislation that would allow a baby to be ripped from the mother’s womb moments from birth. These are living, feeling, beautiful babies who will never get the chance to share their love and their dreams with the world.”

But the New York law does not expand later abortion access to any woman with a healthy, risk-free pregnancy, and medical experts say that arguments that abortions will take place “moments from birth” are inaccurate.

“They’re using these theoretical extreme examples to try to scare people,” says Dr. Kristyn Brandi, an obstetrician-gynecologist and a board member from Physicians for Reproductive Health. She said concerns about women getting abortions while in labor are unfounded.

“It’s not something that any person would come seeking, and it’s not something that any doctor would provide,” she says.

The vast majority of abortions (90%) take place during the first trimester of pregnancy, according to the Guttmacher Institute, a research and policy organization that advocates for reproductive rights. Nine percent of abortions take place after the first trimester, and just 1% take place at 21 weeks or later, according to the Institute.

“No one wanted to meet my ‘living, feeling, beautiful baby’ more than me. No one is sadder that he ‘will never get the chance to share his love and dreams with the world’ than I am,” Missy Kurzweil, one of dozens of women who signed an open letter Tuesday about their later abortions, tells TIME. “My choice to have a later abortion was an act of love to ease my child’s suffering. Shame on Trump for exploiting that love to appeal to his base.”

Kurzweil, who lives in New York City, says she had an abortion in the 23rd week of her pregnancy in 2017 after discovering her baby had a rare brain disorder that could have left him living in severe pain. Kurzweil says she made an “impossible choice” with the little information available to her.

“No one wakes up 20 weeks into a gestation period and says, ‘I made a mistake.’ These are wanted pregnancies,” says Kurzweil, 33. “It really was this choice of quality of life and what is a livable life? And what are the things that would be manageable, and how much pain is sustainable?”

Trump’s call for a federal ban on later abortion because of fetal pain is based on model legislation created by the anti-abortion group National Right to Life, which praised Trump on Tuesday and said he “once again demonstrated the paramount importance of protecting mothers and their unborn children.”

There are 17 states that ban abortion about 20 weeks post-fertilization “on the grounds that the fetus can feel pain at that point in gestation,” according to the Guttmacher Institute. But scientific research has found that “fetal perception of pain is unlikely before the third trimester,” which begins around the 28th week.

“The evidence is not very clear that there’s an exact moment when the fetus can feel pain,” says Dr. Daniel Grossman, director of Advancing New Standards in Reproductive Health at the University of California, San Francisco. “There is good evidence that it can’t feel pain before the first trimester. I think that if you’re using the fetal pain argument to justify bans at 20 weeks, there really isn’t medical evidence supporting that.”

During his address, Trump also falsely claimed that Democratic Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam “stated he would execute a baby after birth.” While that’s not true, Trump was referring to Northam’s defense of a proposed Virginia bill that would have reduced restrictions to allow for abortions later in pregnancy if a woman’s health was threatened. Controversy erupted over whether the bill, which has been tabled, would allow a woman to get an abortion while going into labor

Northam, a pediatric neurologist, defended the bill and explained in an interview how he would handle a situation in which a woman went into labor during a pregnancy involving “severe deformities” or a “fetus that’s nonviable.”

“The infant would be delivered. The infant would be kept comfortable. The infant would be resuscitated if that’s what the mother and the family desired,” Northam told the radio station WTOP. “And then a discussion would ensue between the physicians and the mother.”

Republicans immediately accused Northam of supporting infanticide. Northam’s office said his remarks were taken out of context and were only meant to explain what physicians would do in the event of a “nonviable pregnancy or in the event of severe fetal abnormalities.”

Northam’s office did not respond to requests for comment on Tuesday. (Separately, Northam is now facing calls to step down over a racist photo on his medical school yearbook page and findings that he dressed in blackface at least once.)

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AFROBEAT & AFROBEATS: Difference, Influence, Origin and Pioneers.




Afrobeat is a music genre which involves the combination of elements of West African musical styles such as fuji music and highlife with American funk and jazz influences, with a focus on chanted vocals, complex intersecting rhythms, and percussion.

The term was coined in the 1960s by Nigerian multi-instrumentalist and bandleader Fela Kuti, who is responsible for pioneering and popularizing the style both within and outside Nigeria.

Distinct from Afrobeat is Afrobeats - a sound originating in Nigeria in the 21st century, one which takes in diverse influences and is an eclectic combination of rap, dancehall, and even R&B. The two genres, though often conflated, are not the same.


Afrobeat began in Ghana in the early 1920s. During that time, Ghanaian musicians incorporated foreign influences like the foxtrot and calypso with Ghanaian rhythms like osibisaba (Fante). Highlife was associated with the local African aristocracy during the colonial period and was played by numerous bands including the Jazz Kings, Cape Coast Sugar Babies, and Accra Orchestra along the country's coast.

Nigeria later joined the Afrobeat wave in the late 60s led by Fela Kuti who experimented with different contemporary music of the time. Upon arriving in Nigeria, Kuti also changed the name of his group to Africa '70. The new sound hailed from a club that he established called the Afrika Shrine. The band maintained a five-year residency at the Afrika Shrine from 1970 to 1975 while afrobeat thrived among Nigerian youth.

Although the term Afrobeat was coined as early as 1968, after making a trip to the United States, Kuti wasn't really making music in the category of Afrobeat. The name “Afrobeat” shows the significance of groove to the music, as opposed to Afrofunk.

In 1969, Kuti and his band went on a trip to the U.S. and met Sandra Smith, a singer and former Black Panther. Sandra Smith (now known as Sandra Isadore) introduced Kuti to many writings of activist such as Martin Luther King Jr., Angela Davis, Jesse Jackson, and his biggest influence of all, Malcolm X.

As Kuti was interested in African American politics, Smith would inform him of current events. In return, Kuti would fill her in on African culture. Since Kuti stayed at Smith's house and was spending so much time with her, he started to re-evaluate his music. That was when Fela Kuti noticed that he was not playing African music. From that day forward, Kuti changed his sound and the message behind his music.

The name was partially borne out of an attempt to distinguish Fela Kuti's music from the soul music of American artists such as James Brown.

Prevalent in his and Lagbaja's music are native Nigerian harmonies and rhythms, taking different elements and combining, modernizing, and improvising upon them. Politics are essential to Afrobeat, since founder Kuti used social criticism to pave the way for social change. His message can be described as confrontational and controversial, which can be related to the political climate of most of the African countries in the 1970s, many of which were dealing with political injustice and military corruption while recovering from the transition from colonial governments to self-determination. As the genre spread throughout the African continent many bands took up the style. The recordings of these bands and their songs were rarely heard or exported outside the originating countries but many can now be found on compilation albums and CDs from specialist record shops.

Big band (15 to 30 pieces: Fela-era afrobeat) and energetic performances

Lead vocals (may play sax/key solos as well)
Chorus vocals (may include horn players)
Rhythm guitar(s) (plays funk strumming pattern)
Tenor guitar (plays a finger-picked ostinato groove)
Bass guitar
Drum set, generally in the form polyrhythmic percussion
Rhythm conga #1
Rhythm conga #2
Solo (lead) conga
Akuba: a set of 3 small stick-hit Yoruba congas (play flourishes/solos, and ostinatos). Also mistakenly called "gbedu" (gbedu is the name of a large ceremonial drum), but are related to the Gbedu.
"Sticks"/claves (plays ostinato)

Fela Kuti included the traditional Gbedu drum in his ensemble, with a percussionist pounding out a thunderous rhythm from a 2.5 metres (8.2 ft) drum lying on its side.


Many jazz musicians have been attracted to Afrobeat. From Roy Ayers in the 1970s to Randy Weston in the 1990s, there have been collaborations that have resulted in albums such as Africa: Centre of the World by Roy Ayers, released on the Polydore label in 1981. In 1994 Branford Marsalis, the American jazz saxophonist, included samples of Fela's "Beast of No Nation" on his Buckshot LeFonque album. The new generation of DJs and musicians of the 2000s who have fallen in love with both Kuti's material and other rare releases have made compilations and remixes of these recordings, thus re-introducing the genre to new generations of listeners and fans of afropop and groove (see Afrobeats section below).

Afrobeat has also profoundly influenced important contemporary producers and musicians like Brian Eno and David Byrne, who credit Fela Kuti as an essential influence.[8] Both worked on Talking Heads' highly acclaimed 1980 album Remain In Light, which brought polyrhythmic afrobeat influences to Western music.

The horn section of Antibalas have been guest musicians on TV On The Radio's highly acclaimed 2008 album Dear Science, as well as on British band Foals' 2008 album, Antidotes. Some Afrobeat influence can also be found in the music of Vampire Weekend and Paul Simon.

In 2009 the music label Knitting Factory Records (KFR) produced the Broadway Musical FELA! As said on the musical's website, the story showcased Fela Kuti's “courage and incredible musical mastery” along with the story of his life. The show had 11 Tony nominations, receiving three for Best Costumes, Best Sound and Best Choreography. FELA! Was on Broadway for fifteen months and was produced by notables such as Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter and Will & Jada Pinkett-Smith. Many celebrities were noted on attending the shows such as, Denzel Washington, Madonna, Sting, Spike Lee (who saw it eight times), Kofi Annan, and even Michelle Obama. Michelle Williams, former singer of girl group Destiny's Child, was cast as the role of Sandra Isadore.

Notable pioneers of afrobeat.

Fela Kuti
Amakye Dede
Femi Kuti
Tony Allen
Yinka Davies
Manu Dibango
Dele Sosimi
Sonny Okosun
William Onyeabor
Orchestre Poly Rythmo de Cotonou
Abiodun (musician)
Babatunde Olatunji


From early in the 21st century, a new type of sound, originating in Nigeria, became increasingly prominent in African popular music. This name echoes Afrobeat, the 1970s fusion of jazz and traditional Nigerian and Ghanaian music which is an important influence, but Afrobeats is a largely different style.

"Afrobeats is not a style, per se, like Afrobeat. It simply means the new sound of Africa, which takes in diverse influences that take inspiration from its African roots and is combined with the sounds of rap, reggae/dancehall, and even R&B. It's an extremely eclectic combination that makes for quite the enjoyable sound."

Afrobeats is most identifiable by its signature driving drum beat rhythms, whether electronic or instrumental. These beats harken to the stylings of a variety of traditional African drumbeats across West Africa as well as the precursory genre of Afrobeat. The beat in Afrobeats music is not just a base for the melody, but acts as a major character of the song, taking a lead role that is sometimes equal to are of greater importance than the lyrics and almost always more central than the other instrumentals. Another distinction within Afrobeats is the notably west African, specifically Nigerian or Ghanaian, accented English that is often blended with local slangs, pidgin English, as well as local Nigerian or Ghanaian languages depending on the backgrounds of the performers.

DJs and producers like DJ Black, Elom Adablah, and C-Real (Cyril-Alex Gockel) for example, have been a crucial part in spreading the popularity of this form of music. Their artistic mixing of beats and sounds allow a younger audience to experience a sound that is somewhat familiar in its influences and yet uniquely African. Their mixing and promotion of popular hits on the continent is also a tried and true method for success. Often what the play in clubs, radio shows, podcasts, etc. are what become popularized both within Africa and abroad.

Since 2012, Afrobeats have gained mainstream recognition outside of Africa, especially within the UK. UK hits have included "Oliver Twist" by D'banj a Nigerian which reached 9 on the UK Singles Chart in 2012, and "Million Pound Girl (Badder Than Bad)" by the Ghanaian British artist Fuse ODG, which reached 5 on the UK Singles Chart in 2014. Afrobeats nightclubs are now primary features of UK's nightlife with clubs opening in most major cities.

Other mainstream popularity garnered by Afrobeats is shown in Canadian artist Drake's music. Drake's 2017 album More Life contains many Afrobeats and Dancehall influences.

Afrobeats has captured the attention of many award shows as well. For example, the BET Awards usually highlights the musical genre of Afrobeats and/or other types of music by having the category “The Best International Act.” In the year 2018, the famous Nigerian afrobeats singer Davido won and when presented the award, the audience knew he was from Nigeria. When accepting his awards, Davido says, “My continent has been so blessed to influence other cultures. Let's collaborate everybody.” In this statement, Davido tried to show the audience of American celebrities that African artists would love to collab and make their mark in America. In previous years other famous artists have won the category as well, such as the singer Wizkid (Nigeria) in 2017 and in 2016 the DJ Black Coffee (South Africa) won.


According to David Drake, the eclectic genre "reimagines diasporic influences and—more often than not—completely reinvents them." However, some caution against equating Afrobeats to contemporary pan-African music, in order to prevent the erasure of local musical contributions.

Afrobeats is primarily produced between Lagos, Accra, and London. Paul Gilroy, of The Black Atlantic, reflects on the changing London music scene as a result of shifting demographics:

"We are moving towards an African majority which is diverse both in its cultural habits and in its relationship to colonial and postcolonial governance, so the shift away from Caribbean dominance needs to be placed in that setting. Most of the grime folks are African kids, either the children of migrants or migrants themselves. It's not clear what Africa might mean to them"

Many first and second generation African immigrants follow - and produce - Afrobeats music. Fuse ODG, a UK artist of Ghanaian descent, coins #TINA or This is New Africa as a means to change perceptions of Africa:

"This movement will shed light on Africa in a positive way and focus on how we can improve Africa. It's not about just plying your talents in the Western world; it's about going back home and helping Africa."


Although originally a Nigerian genre Afrobeats has grown in popularity worldwide. It first made its global debut in the United Kingdom with the surge of African immigrants, however the tunes of this genre can now be heard everywhere. Wizkid, Mr Eazi, Burna Boy, D’Banj, 2Baba, Tiwa Savage and Davido serve as prime examples of Nigerian artists who have emerged in the global scale. Afrobeats’ international popularity is likely rooted in the fact that beat/melody resemble a blend of EDM, R&B, and hip-hop thus providing a familiar tune for many. Furthermore, as English is an official language of Nigeria, artists often choose to sing/rap in English, Pidgin English, and/or their local language. Afrobeats have expanded global conversation of Nigeria, which had previously been reduced to political unrest as a result of religious disputes. Afrobeats in a sense has created a platform for which the world can engage with Nigeria's vibrant and rich culture.

American artist including Michelle Williams have used Afrobeats directly in their music or have been heavily influenced by Afro beat songs. This includes William's top hit “Say Yes,” a gospel song based on the Nigerian hymn “When Jesus Say Yes.” The song's beats are said to resemble the popular four-beat of house music, but in fact follows the 3–2 or 2–3 of Afrobeats. This beat is known as the clave and mixes a rhythm with a normal 4/4 beat, it is commonly seen in many forms West African music. Furthermore, there have been many collaborations between performers in the West and Nigerian artists including French Montana and Ice Prince, Rick Ross and P-Square, and Kanye and D’Banj.

While Afrobeats international popularity has considerably grown its primary audience continues to be Africans, especially the diasporic communities that have come as a result of education. Many Nigerian artists tour the U.K and the United States to large immigrant audiences. DJ 3k, a Nigerian-American immigrant, and his brother Dee Money have developed a large network in Chicago, and usually bring Nigerian artists to the city. They have used this as a platform to bring these performers across the United States.

The variability in this genre allows for the production of a variety of songs, each one more exciting than the next. Regardless, it consistently relies on a set of heavy beats that make this music easy to dance to, which acts as a major draw for the genre. Furthermore, many major artists of Afrobeats have opted to sing in a manner that resemble those of American rap and hip hop. Furthermore, these melodies are often occupied by opulent music videos filled with picturesque mansions, expensive cars, and other tropes familiar to American music videos. Other Nigerian artists have found inspiration in South Africa, mixing Afro-house, popular in South Africa, with Afrobeats. Artist like Patoranking have looked to the Caribbean for inspiration, particularly Jamaican dancehall.

Notable musicians whose music have been classified as Afrobeats:

Mr Eazi
Tiwa Savage
Afrikan Boy
EL (rapper)
Bisa Kdei
Mr Eazi
Yemi Alade
Willie XO

A music festival that's recognized worldwide is One Africa Music Fest. The festival has four different locations: New York City, Houston, London, and Dubai. One Africa Music Fest showcases modern Afrobeat music and talent.

As stated on the official website, the main focus of the music festival is to help strengthen Africa's position in the entertainment industry on a global level. The festival also wants to create awareness to display the positive side of Africa that people don't usually know about. This Afrobeats music festival promotes collaboration between other artists, businesses and communities.

Afro Beat Fest is an annual festival in Newark, New Jersey celebrating African culture including music, art, fashion, dance, crafts and cuisine

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Serena Williams Builds Schools In Uganda, Zimbabwe, Kenya And Jamaica.



Serena Williams recently built a new school in Jamaica! While some celebrities simply write a check for a good cause, Queen Serenado not resign to work hard! She has published photos and the inaugural video of the school in Jamaica where is she painting from school and get their hands dirty while doing the building.

Its non-profit association, the Serena Williams Fund in partnership with Helping Hands Jamaica have partnered to build the Salt Marsh Elementary School. The mission of his charity is to help "the individuals or communities affected by to violence, and [to ensure] equal access to education. "

This is the third school Serena built. Previous high schools have been created in partnership withBuild Africa School in Uganda, Kenya and Zimbabwe.

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DOs & DONT’s: How To Disagree With Someone More Powerful Than You.



Your boss proposes a new initiative you think won’t work. Your senior colleague outlines a project timeline you think is unrealistic. What do you say when you disagree with someone who has more power than you do? How do you decide whether it’s worth speaking up? And if you do, what exactly should you say?

It’s a natural human reaction to shy away from disagreeing with a superior. “Our bodies specialize in survival, so we have a natural bias to avoid situations that might harm us,” says Joseph Grenny, the coauthor of Crucial Conversations and the co-founder of VitalSmarts, a corporate training company. “The heart of the anxiety is that there will be negative implications,” adds Holly Weeks, the author of Failure to Communicate. We immediately think, “He’s not going to like me,” “She’s going to think I’m a pain,” or maybe even “I’ll get fired.” Although “it’s just plain easier to agree,” Weeks says that’s not always the right thing to do.

It’s a natural human reaction to shy away from disagreeing with a superior.

Here’s a quick list of dos and don’ts on how to disagree with someone more powerful than you.


>> Explain that you have a different opinion and ask if you can voice it.

>> Restate the original point of view or decision so it’s clear you understand it.

>> Speak slowly — talking in an even tone calms you and the other person down.


>> Assume that disagreeing is going to damage your relationship or career — the consequences are often less dramatic than we think.

>> State your opinions as facts; simply express your point of view and be open to dialogue.

>> Use judgment words, such as “hasty,” “foolish,” or “wrong,” that might upset or incite your counterpart.


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How Afrobeats Made African Brits Proud Of Our Heritage.



For fans of Afrobeats, grime and hip-hop, the surprise release of a remix to Wizkid’s Ojuelegba featuring Skepta and Drake was the stuff of musical fan fiction. The collaboration between three undisputed genre giants was always likely to be an event. But for some it was a throwaway line in Skepta’s verse that really struck a chord.

“When I was in school, being African was a diss. Sounds like you need help saying my surname, miss,” reminisces the grime star. And with those two sentences, Skepta transported UK-based members of the diaspora back to our collective childhoods, in which “African” was part identity, part insult.

It’s the shared secondary-school anecdote of most second-generation immigrants: a nondescript classroom with a teacher at the front who takes a deep breath before butchering your name, much to the amusement of sniggering students. A combination of Oxfam ads and Red Nose Day campaigns convinced classmates that their pocket money was somehow keeping our entire continent afloat. If you were African, it was universally understood that you were perpetually starving, and the food you attempted to conceal in your lunchbox from cafeteria scrutiny was sniffed at for “smelling funny”.

The constant derision inevitably led to a generation of African students abridging surnames, staunchly denying “rumours” they were from the continent and adopting imaginary Jamaican parents along with a culture that wasn’t their own. Those who stood firm were met with merciless name-calling and mud-hut jibes.

But the anti-African sentiments that were so strong during my day have since been replaced with an unshakeable sense of pride; a change that has been hugely influenced by music. The emancipation of the African schoolkid was due to Afrobeats – an umbrella term for the new wave of African pop that takes cues from hip-hop, grime and house music – and now the thought of ever having been embarrassed of our ancestry is, well, embarrassing.

Most of us were already well acquainted with Afrobeat (without the “s”) thanks to our parents blaring Fela during church car journeys. But the internet ensured that Afrobeats, which started shaping Lagosian adolescence through the mid-2000s, also shaped a minority of Londoners.

The Afrobeats golden era coincided with my generation’s coming of age – in 2006, we gushed about walking down the aisle to 2Face Idibia’s African Queen as we hurriedly made it our Sony Ericsson Walkman’s ringtone.

A year later P Square’s Do Me had made it to MTV Base and Olu Maintain’s Yahooze had Nigerians singing about the internet scams that usually caused quiet embarrassment.

PSquare Do Me -

By the time 9ice released his game-changing anthem Gongo Aso, we had been inundated with our own icons whose swag rivalled that of American rappers.

Afrobeats artists were the best PR team we could have ever asked for. Talented, arrogant and unapologetically African, they sang of the realities of poverty, but also of love, sex and heartache. Society had previously seemed unable to accept that Africans could be multifaceted human beings.

Soon our parents’ favourites crept out of hall parties and into nightclubs – on a night out, Bunny Mack’s Let Me Love YouDaddy Lumba’s Aben Wo Ha and Magic System’s Premier Gaou all signified the start of what could only be an awesome Afrobeats set. Our parents stifled smirks at seeing a younger generation defined by the same music as theirs.

If 2006-2008 marked Afrobeats’ prime era, then 2008-2011 is when the genre went platinum. With Wizkid, Sarkodie, Banky W, Ice Prince, Castro and Don Jazzy’s Mo’ Hits crew dominating playlists, it wasn’t long before they entered the mainstream charts, with Akon, Chris Brown and Rick Ross all attempting to ride the waves it had made overseas.

Kanye West even signed D’banj to his record label in 2011, but our collective pride didn’t come from his validation, we simply felt smug at the fact we’d been in on it first.

A deluge of UK Afrobeats artists emerged, whose dual identities doubled our pride. But it was much bigger than the music: once-rejected Ankara and Kente fabrics re-entered our wardrobes way before Topshop cottoned on. The impassioned lyrics made those of us who hadn’t learned our native language determined to do so, and those who had felt like they knew the passwords to a secret clubhouse.

For all these reasons, the significance of Skepta’s line is not lost on us young African Brits – especially as they sit on top of the sounds that essentially saved us from the tyranny of inner-city school.

“I had to tell my story, cause they’d rather show you black kids with flies on their faces on the television,” is how Skepta finishes his verse. Thankfully, the diaspora learned long ago to stop waiting on TV for positive images of Africa that never came. Instead, we found the vibrancy, energy and richness of our cultures in our iTunes library.

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