Spectra

In partnership with Women, Action, and the Media (WAM!), I'm hosting a virtual panel that features the perspectives of LGBTQ African Diaspora on African culture, queer identity, and the media. The focus of the panel will in part be driven by pre-submitted questions from listeners, but will also aim to highlight the panelists' experiences with various kinds of activism, including the use of new media to promote awareness and social justice issues surrounding Queer Africa. I couldn't be more excited (and nervous!) about collaborating with WAM! (to whom I owe much of my passion and enthusiasm for advocating for the increased role and influence of women in the media), and for the opportunity to share stories and reflections with my fellow queer African friends and colleagues. 

I've called the event "Kitchen Table Conversations" because I've found that I've experience the most thought-provoking, enlightening, and inspiring conversations, literally, at my kitchen table... or in my living room, on the train, at the back seat of a cab. Too often, right after a juicy pow wow with friends who are also African, queer, women of color etc., during which each of us weigh in on whatever issue it is -- dating, family, politics, white people, westerners, "political correctness" and the like -- by making a podium of the stove, delivering truths with the nonchalance of throwing salt into stew, and thickening our accents for dramatic emphasis, I've slammed my fist on my wooden kitchen table in frustration, shocking everyone with an American, "Dang! I should've recorded this."

The Kitchen Table Conversations happen so frequently, that now my friends and I actually joke about doing just that --- recording ourselves over dinner -- before we begin; it's become somewhat of an adventure to see what political insights we may discover before our eventual end-of-dinner gamble with wine (which we've found can either fuel or extinguish the uncensored passion we all carry underneath; the burden of having to feign resilience or resolve is washed away). I live for these moments, when our eagerness to speak and be affirmed causes us to interrupt each other, constantly, so that we share the experience of telling and shaping one story, our feet planted comfortably into soil. I wish I could share this with the world.

I doubt that a facilitated e-panel without food, wine, or in-person comraderie will serve to recreate the Kitchen Table Conversations that I've come to look forward to during almost every half-potluck (some cooking must take place before hearts bleed). But I do wonder what would happen if people could actually listen in to us at our most vulnerable, most desperate. I wonder what people would do if we dared say what we say over jollof rice, fried plantains, pepper soup, and egwusi... if we let loose the rawness we've been trained to sugar coat as tokenized peoples at podiums in western conferences.

“I have come to believe over and over again that what is most important to me must be spoken, made verbal and shared, even at the risk of havinIn any case, it's Women's History Month, which makes this panel featuring Queer African voices -- and this on-going series (yes, I intend to keep hosting conversations like this) -- even more important. Despite a variety of forums and media honoring women this month, queer African women (past and present) aren't being celebrated for their work and their bravery. But whose fault is that? Mainstream media's? Psssh. I gave up on that a long time ago. In fact, I'm grateful for the lack of coverage I see, and thus, the motivation to continue encouraging queer African women and trans people everywhere to continue making waves, making media, and making trouble.

So mark your calendars for Wednesday March 23rd (12PM-1PM EST), and stay tuned for more from the Kitchen Table Conversations series. It's going to be fun!

#VivaAfrika

---------------

Kitchen Table Conversations: LGBT African Diaspora Speak on Culture, Queerness, and New Media Spectra, the sassy host and moderator of this panel, is an award-winning queer Nigerian writer and women's activist. She is the founding director of Queer Women of Color and Friends (QWOC+ Boston), a nationally recognized grassroots  organization serving the needs of LGBTQ people of African descent and allies in New England, and the director of QWOC Week, New England's first pride festival exclusively intended to raise awareness of health and social justice issues impacting queer/trans communities of color. She is the owner of Spectra Events, a socially-conscious event planning and production company that brings together her eclectic interests in Art and Music, Social Entrepreneurship, Technology, and Philanthropy, and routinely blogs about all things women, leadership, politics, and Africa.

Kagendo Murungi is a Kenyan filmmaker, activist and writer with a background in international sexual and gender rights advocacy and organizing for social and economic justice with working class and poor LGBT communities in New York. She was a founding member of Uhuru-Wazobia, an educational, advocacy and social membership organization for LGBT Africans founded in 1995, and co-director of Liberation for All Africans, an ad hoc committee of African gender non-conforming people, organized in response to a spate of anti-lesbian rapes in South Africa in 2007. She helped institute the Africa Program at the International Gay & Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC) and served on the international grants panel of the Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice.
 
Akwaeke Z Emezi was born and bred in the south of Nigeria, and is an Igbo and Tamil free love advocate, genderqueer Nutri-C addict, and natural hair aficionado. In the space where parathas and palm oil meet, she dances reverence to dope beats and follows the Christ. As a queer bard, blogger and drag performer, Z infects a message of self-awareness laced thoroughly with love and bravery, believing that only in knowing and accepting oneself utterly can we truly be free. A current Brooklynite, they adore traveling and beautiful people, and are constantly pushing for a life free of fear and full of marvelous.
 
Bukky Kolawole is the queer Nigerian founder of First Generation group, an organization based in Brooklyn New York that seeks to empower the diaspora to postively influence their communities by raising their voices collectively. She is also a licensed clinical psychologist (you can call her Dr. Bukky) who is interested in utilizing her expertise with behavioral change for the benefit of social change and building community. Her private practice caters to adolescents and adults in NYC, and is particularly passionate about meeting the needs of the LGBTQ community.
 
Iyayi-Osazeme ‘Lobuhle’ Odigie-Oyegun is a British-Nigerian, South-African-bred food interlocutor, who thinks in the language and poetry of food. She is the head chef and owner of Khandja Kalabash a Harlem based boutique culinary firm, specialising in afro-fusion cooking and the preservation, appreciation and proliferation of African culinary practices & cuisines. She hopes to queer the African Culinary Experience by combining traditional and contemporary methods and ingredients to introduce new dimensions of flavour to African cuisine. She believes that food is connected to every essential part of the human experience, and is a candid way of expressing LOVE. In the battle against homophobia, bigotry and racism, cuisine is her tool of choice! Several more panelists to be announced soon.
 
Submit Questions to the Panelists! You are invited to submit questions to the panelists ahead of time commenting in the box to the right. A handful of questions will be selected for the panel and will be presented anonymously (unless requested otherwise). Questions may be edited for brevity.
 
Listening Details
Date: Wednesdsay March 23rd
Time: 12PM-1PM
Bookmark this link to listen to the show here.

  1. Today's Best
  2. Top Shows
  3. Best of BTR
    1. Loading

      Death of the Information Age

      Topher Morrison talks about the death of the information age and the birth of the collaboration age and much more.

    2. Tessa Watkins on Romance

      Tessa Watkins knows that romance can be found in unexpected places, particularly when women stop searching for sizzle and embrace plain old fun.

    3. Bright Blue Gorilla:

      Robyn Rosenkrantz and Michael Glover are Bright Blue Gorilla: Filmmakers and Musicians from Los Angeles. This husband-wife duo has been traveling the world since 1990 doing concerts and making independent feature films.

    4. Comic Con Recap

      As 150,000 depart from San Diego's Comic-Con, Blogcritics recaps the weekend of panels, pressrooms and parties with three of our comic-con team. Exclusive audio clips, and the latest on new shows like Legends and Dig and the new seasons of all the top serie

    5. David Pares and The UFO Network

      David Pares is an adjunct professor at several colleges, including the University of Nebraska where he is the faculty advisor for their Mutual UFO Network student organization.

    6. Celtics Beat

      Larry H. Russell may not have a co-pilot for this week’s show. But the business class section is full.

    7. Florida Politics

      Anastasia Apa joins Southern Politics to discuss Florida politics and more.

    8. Gennady Golovkin vs Daniel Geale

      Boxing’s fastest rising star, WBA/IBO Middleweight World Champion GENNADY “GGG” GOLOVKIN who will defend his titles against two-time world champion DANIEL “The Real Deale” GEALE.

    9. Food Fights Adam Richman

      That's Entertainment host, Tammy Jones-Gibbs welcomes television personality and food enthusiast and host of the new NBC's cooking competition, "Food Fights

    10. The Great American Lobster Fest

      The New England Seafood Company, The Foxhole Chicago, Green Curtain Events and Navy Pier /SMG have partnered to launch The Great American Lobster Fest, Chicago’s first outdoor lobster and weekend music festival. 25 bands, live lobster daily, Navy Pier.

    11. Clippingbook CEO Jorge Mata

      Host Thomas White welcomes Jorge Mata, Chairman and CEO of Clippingbook, along with Neil Gaydon, President and CEO of SMART Technologies to discuss tech trends and the secrets to building a culture that supports big ideas and innovation.

    12. Filmmaker Kyle Olson

      Filmmaker Kyle Olson previews "Letters to Ashleigh," his inspirational documentary based on a true story about the senseless murder of teenager Ashleigh Love. A red-carpet premiere of this touching film is scheduled for August 9.

    13. Germany’s Fairy Tale Trail

      Visit Germany’s Fairy Tale Trail: You might wonder about the origination of your favorite Fairy Tale characters like Snow White, Red Riding Hood or Cinderella. Travel Brigade finds the answers for you as we take a journey on Germany’s Fairy Tale Trail.

    14. What If You Had A Second Chance

      Kevin Hansen is the man with over 50,000 regrets - all entrusted to him by anonymous strangers who have confessed the biggest regrets of their lives on his popular website, Secret Regrets. What is the one thing in your life that you wish you could do over?

    15. Selena Gomez Moves On

      Selena Gomez has been spotted cozying up to a sexy new mystery man after her split from Justin Bieber and we break down the details of her possible new romance.

    16. Best of Chefs

      In this episode of Travel Today with Peter Greenberg we interview the top chefs at hotels around the world.

    1. Loading

      Rodney Perry Live

      On his show, Comedian Rodney Perry covers arts and entertainment, everything from comedy and politics to music and acting, with his signature comedic slant.

    2. Saturday Mornings With Joy Keys

      Joy Keys provides her listeners with insight to improve their lives mentally, physically, monetarily and emotionally. Past guests on the show have included Meshell Nedegeocello, Blair Underwood, in addition to an impressive list of CEOs, humanitarians and authors.

    3. Small Business Unstuck

      Host Barry Moltz gets small businesses unstuck. He has founded and run small businesses with a great deal of success and failure for more than 15 years. This is a business radio show where he shares all the craziness of small business. It’s that craziness that actually makes it exciting, interesting and totally unpredictable.

    4. The Bottom Line Sports Show

      The Bottom Line Sports Show is hosted by former NBA stars Penny Hardaway, Charles Oakley, Mateen Cleaves. Tune in to get the inside scoop on what's happening in sports today.

    5. Hits Radio

      Hits Radio covers basketball, sports culture and entertainment with past guests including Jason Kidd, Robin Lundberg and Chris Herren.

    6. The Halli Casser-Jayne Show

      Listeners get an earful on The Halli Casser-Jayne Show, Talk Radio for Fine Minds. Whether it’s the current political cocktail or the latest must-read award-winning book, Halli tackles all topics and likes to stir — and sometimes shakes — things up.

    7. America's Most Haunted

      Official Internet radio show of forthcoming epic paranormal investigation book by Eric Olsen and "Haunted Housewife" Theresa Argie.

    8. World Footprints

      Award-winning World Footprints is a leading voice in socially responsible travel and lifestyle. Hosts Ian & Tonya celebrate culture and heritage and bring a unique voice to the world of travel.

    9. Football Reporters Online

      Football Reporters Online is a group of veteran football experts in the fields of coaching, scouting, talent evaluation, and writing/broadcasting/media placement. Combined, the group brings well over 100 years of expertise in sports.

    10. Small Business Roundtable

      Host John Martin interviews the nation's leading entrepreneurs and small biz experts to educate small business owners on how to be successful. Past guests have included Emeril Lagasse and Guy Kawasaki.

    11. Sylvia Global

      Sylvia Global presents global conversations pertaining to women, wealth, business, faith and philanthropy. Sylvia has interviewed an eclectic mix from CEOs and musicians to fashion designers and philanthropists including Randolph Duke and Ne-Yo.