Category Archives: Events

Friday Oct. 5 – Black Magic Woman event

From the best hashtags for the most needed social justice campaigns to looking like we invented every single colour, from writing books and articles about institutionalized anti-Blackness to bringing you the best Twitter threads with the deepest breakdowns and memes… we, as Black women, wrote our names all over your entire year. Life, even. Again. We are magic when taking over the theatres, universities, book charts, Youtube playlists and museums but best believe that we are equally magical when we rest, indulge in Self Care and/or say “No.” There’s magic in our work but, and this is perhaps more important, there’s work behind our magic. It’s more than ‘talent’ and ‘having a nose for it’… it’s expertise. It’s not a ‘head start in the race to be cool’, it’s a deep-rooted (self)love for that what makes us us and loving it before the mainstream catches on. We must praise each other more. Not just when they see us but long before that. Not just when what we do shows up on that generalized radar of acknowledgements. Waaay before that. At the root, from the moment we see ourselves and, but also in, each other.

With that in mind, my dear colleague Bahghi Yemane and I turned our “More celebrations!”-resolution into a program: the Black Magic Woman intro event. Black Magic Woman is an annual festival that started in 1995 and it was as great as the title predicts. The last few years it slimmed down significantly, some years not even taking place at all. It has been one of my long-time dreams to bring it back in a way that matches the memories that, with regards to events, hold a top position in the highlights of my late teens. I’m excited to report that I’ve been granted the honour of organizing the 2019-edition of the festival but that’s a lot of months from now and to hold back on celebrating Blackness… in this economy? I. Think. Not.


So, the festival-festival will take place in 2019 but on Friday October 5, we’re hosting a pre-event at Amsterdam’s Bijlmer Parktheater. There will be two panels:
Panel 1 (in Dutch) – Representation in film and fashion with panellists Grâce Ndjako, Janice Deul, Rowan Blijd and Tosca Vrede. Host: Bēylula Yosef. We’ll talk about:
– #BennieBeige, Rowan Blijd’s campaign that urged Dutch lingerie brands to rethink ‘nude’ as always being 11 shades of beige.
– #DiversityRules , Janice Deul’s platform that focuses on diversity with regards (but not limited) to magazine covers, fashion shows and advertisement.
– “Noire n’est pas mon métier” (Black is not my job), a movement where Black, French actresses protested against misogynoir and other forms of anti-Blackness in French cinema. Grâce Ndjako will give us a breakdown. The picture of above was taking during part of the protest.
– With Tosca Vrede, one of the Black Magic Girlz-coordinators we’ll talk about how all this impacts the lives and minds of Black, teenage girls.

Panel 2 (in English) – Representation in literature with panellists Sarah Ozo-Irabor (Books&Rhymes, (co-founder of Not Another Book podcast), Bēylula Yosef (co-initiator of Afrispectives) and Yomi Adegoke (co-author of Slay In Your Lane). Host: Marly Pierre-Louis.
During this panel we’ll discuss the recently released books and other bundles of stories that made us feel represented.

Wednesday, Bahghi and I will announce the third part of the program and we’ll do so on our Facebook event page. Please note that there’ll be a break between the 1st and the 2nd panel so people who don’t speak Dutch can also properly enter the room.

Basic event info
Friday October 5
Time: From 20.00h until 22.00h.
Location: Bijlmer Parktheater (address: Anton de Komplein 240, 1102 DR Amsterdam)
Tickets: €5 and you can buy them here.
Hashtag: #BlackMagicWomanFest


Fri. August 18, Rotterdam – Daughters of the Dust (screening and panel)

Peggy Gemerts, founder of Full Color Entertainment, asked me to co-host a series of conversations about and inspired by Julie Dash’s Daughters of the Dust. For the panel at Eye I invited Patricia Kaersenhout and Lynnée Denise; in Bijlmer Parktheater Gloria Holwerda-Williams, Ola Hassanain, Tracian Meikle, Marly Pierre-Louis and Alida Aurora graced the stage. Part 3/3 of this series will be co-organized with Concrete Blossom and takes place at LantarenVenster on Friday August 18. For this event Mahutin Awunou, Fatima al Nuur, Dana Saxon, Chandra Frank and Bouba Dola will join us. The conversation in Rotterdam will be moderated by Malique Mohamud and me.

19:00h – Introduction by Dana Saxon and Bouba Dola.
19:15h – Screening Daughters of the Dust.
21:15h – Panel with Mahutin Awunou, Fatima al Nuur and Chandra Frank. The conversation will be in Dutch.
22:30h – End of the evening. Indeed, leaving plenty of time to catch all your busses, trams, metro’s, etc.

The panel
After the screening, we’ll move to the foyer of LantarenVenster where our panel will discuss the movie and what it showed them with regards to resistance, alliances, intergenerational conversations, ancestral memories, archives + current conversations about belonging, ownership and migration.

Click here to buy a ticket.
That friend you sometimes hang out with…the one who tries to convert you to colourblindness, dismisses intersectionality, thinks oppression is a matter of sensitivity and believes representation doesn’t matter because there’s only one race and that’s the human race? Tell them we’re sold out.