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Wanda's Picks Radio Special Broadcast

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Today we will feature King Sunny Adé, musical ambassador who is known for a musical style he made popular, "JuJu." Born into a Nigerian royal family, the artist/entrepreneur told me about how he began his musical career, why he took the name, "Sunny" and the work he has done as a member of the cultural arts ministry in Nigeria. He was on a tour with his latest album, "Seven Degrees North," when I decided to celebrate my birthday at his concert. It was also a day of freedom and jubilation--Juneteenth, a day that honors the Emancipation of black people in America. Adé’s father was a church organist, while his mother was a trader. Adé left grammar school in Ondo under the pretense of going to the University of Lagos. There in Lagos his mercurial musical career started (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/King_Sunny_Ad%C3%A9). As he spoke to me via phone in a conversation which was in two parts, as we got disconnected, I asked him about the legacy of slavery and how his family addressed the issue, how the Nigerian government addressed this issue. I recall his answer was that the "slavery" was complicated and most Africans were silent because if they were royal then perhaps they participated and benefited from the trafficking. Also, what did African descendants want from African nations they left behind: money, land, other resources...an apology? It was an interesting conversation, one I hope to have with others on both sides of the question: victims and perpetrators. Similar to the Japanese interred in America during WW2 receiving reparations, the Africans in the Diaspora spread out because of the Transatlantic Slave Trade need justice on all sides of the TRIANGLE, so that perhaps the breath of our ancestors whom we name and honor each year at the Maafa Ritual, who rise up each fall during what is called "hurricane season," might finally find the peace their spirits deserve. But that's not happening as long as their children's children's children suffer.

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