Ndeithi Kariuki, print on bamboo paper, 24" x 18"
Kenyan artist, Ndeithi Kariuki, does not limit his subjects to the African continent. He looks for Africana inspiration from within the continent and beyond. That's how he stumbled upon star musician John Legend (see above). John Legend and Common received an Oscar for their performance of Glory in the movie Selma. They performed Glory at the Oscars to narrate the struggle of the United States to become an inclusive democracy.
Yesterday, I had the opportunity to sit down with lead sociologist, Prof. Nikki Jones, of University of California, Berkeley to discuss urban justice and racial justice in the United States. Her areas of expertise include urban ethnography, urban sociology, criminology and criminal justice, with a special emphasis on the intersection of race, gender, and justice.
Our discussion focused on the #BlackLivesMatter campaign that has now gone global (see Time magazine cover above) - putting a focus on the United States. Dr. Jones reiterated that black males are not the only demography affected by police brutality, and she urges us to take a step back and think more critically about how both black young women and men are affected by systemic violence and persistent surveillance. Looking at the two as oppositional is detrimental. The solution lies in looking at the intersectionality of the various parties - black men, women & the criminal justice system - to come up with a holistic solution. A black feminist lens offers a new critical way of looking at the problem at hand.
Dr. Jones also gives a quick guideline on how to remedy the current wave of gentrification happening in the United States as cities become popular to live in again. The newcomers, she says, should use their social capital to collaborate with those who have been living in the community for generations. Diversity is the building block of a vibrant and innovative economy.
Mugo Chats with Lead Sociologist Prof. Nikki Jones