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I am here to report that the struggle as we know it has gone off the rails. Over the past month, in the absence of a social life due to the pandemic, I have spent countless hours on the live audio chat app Clubhouse with mostly Black people talking about all the issues Black people talk about these days. These conversations have left me disillusioned and skeptical of the current moment in our culture, one ostensibly defined by an increased commitment to rooting out racism, white supremacy and patriarchy but that in practice entails much that bewilders and alarms me…


In an article for Reason magazine, John McWhorter, a black linguist and commentator, decries what he calls the new religion of anti-racism, which casts all white people as sinners and all people of color as sage and noble victims that must be listened to and deferred to. In this paradigm, white people are born racist whether or not they want to be or believe themselves to be, and therefore should work to seek enlightenment and something akin to spiritual salvation, anti-racist activists wield righteous anger and verbal laceration on Twitter against all parties and persons deemed to be offending, whether…


“Que emoção estar de volta.” Eu penso comigo mesmo enquanto saio rapidamente do aeroporto para o calor abafado da manhã e entro em um Uber esperando. Me sinto como um veterano nisso tudo. É a minha terceira vez no Brasil e a segunda na cidade de Recife, Pernambuco: vim aqui há quase um ano para o carnaval de Olinda, a cidade histórica situada na costa atlântica do Brasil desde 1535. Foi a única vez na minha vida em que as faltaram palavras. Descrever a magia do carnaval pernambucano no Brasil vai muito além dos meus talentos como escritor e não…


Leia esta historia em português.

“It is so good to be back.” I think to myself as I stride briskly out of the airport into the sultry early morning heat and duck into a waiting Uber. I feel like an old hand at this. It is my third time in Brazil and my second in the city of Recife, Pernambuco. I came here almost a year ago for the carnaval of Olinda, the historic city that has stood on Brazil’s Atlantic Coast since 1535. It was the the only time in my life words failed me. To describe the magic…


This article is part of a series. You can read Part 1, where I describe the delights of Dakar and the memorable characters I meet as I explore it, and Part 2, where I get swindled and have a horrible misadventure trying to get in and out of the desert.

It’s 6:30 am and I’m taking what I think is my sixteenth shit since midnight. I am in the throes of full-blown food poisoning and despite the frequent trips to the bathroom, my stomach will not calm down. I am weak and dehydrated and in pain. I creep back to…


This article is part of a series. Read Part 1, where I describe the delights of Dakar and the memorable characters I meet as I explore it.

I’m having a bad day. I’m crouched, perspiring, cranking the jack against a flat tire on the roadside of a highway in the desert. I wipe the sweat off my brow and glance murderously at a Peul man named Bashir, who I have only just realized played me for a fool. How did I get here?

It began when I arrived in the city of St. Louis, the former colonial capital of French…


“Bismillahi,” the Indian woman exhales, breathing heavily as she takes a step up the Monument de la Renaissance Africaine, the 160-foot bronze statue that has come to symbolize the city of Dakar, capital of the West African nation of Senegal. At least I think she’s Indian. “Bissmilahi,” she repeats, taking another step. From my position seated on the steps, I turn my head to observe her.

“Oh don’t mind me, I’m old.” Somehow, she has figured me for an English speaker. I walk over and introduce myself. I accompany her up to the statue, one step at a time, intermittently…


PROLOGUE: RUSSKIY SAMOLET

A voice came on the flight PA system. First, a string of words in rapid Russian. And then, the same voice speaking English in a Russian accent. “Ladies and gentlemen, your flight has been cancelled for personal reasons”. I heard an American-accented voice a few rows behind me voice an incredulous “Huh?!”. I echoed his sentiment voicelessly.

“Personal reasons?!” What the fuck does that mean? I looked around and my mostly Russian fellow passengers sported passive expressions as if she had just announced that it was 22 degrees and sunny in Moscow. I was not sunny. I had been sitting…


Esta é uma longa história sobre viajar. Viajando em muitos sentidos da palavra. Viajar e aprender. Primeiro através do país muito real do Brasil, e depois pelo país fictício de Wakanda, e como adquiri uma consciência que não me deixou desde então.

Eu fiz uma traduccao Em primeiro lugar, apresentações. Eu sou um homem nigeriano. Nasci na cidade de Lagos, no sudoeste da Nigéria, há cerca de 25 anos atrás. Talvez mais especificamente, eu sou um homem yoruba. Isso significa que eu falo a língua yoruba. Nasci na terra dos Yorubas, onde as pessoas que falam a língua tem vividos…


This is a long story about travelling. Travelling in many senses of the word. Travelling and learning. First through the very real country of Brazil, and then through the very fictional country of Wakanda, and how I acquired a consciousness that has not let go of me ever since.

First of all, introductions. I am a Nigerian man. I was born in the city of Lagos in southwestern Nigeria some 25-odd years ago. Perhaps more specifically, I’m a Yoruba man. That means I speak the Yoruba language. I was born in Yorubaland, where Yoruba-speaking people have lived for thousands of…

Tope

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