10 January 2018 ~ 0 Comments

Japanese Speak Up on Blackface in Japan

Japanese Speak Up on Blackface in Japan

日本語でのコメントが下に掲載されています Happy New Years to all! #BlackEye is back! To begin the year I’m gonna do something I began last year: I’m gonna let Japanese people talk about Blackness in Japan. After all, when all is said and done, Japanese people will decide for themselves whether Blackface is a good look for an advanced nation […]

03 January 2018 ~ 0 Comments

The Seven Principles of Kwanzaa Illustrated Pt. 3: The Land of Ujima

The Seven Principles of Kwanzaa Illustrated Pt. 3: The Land of Ujima

The third principle of Kwanzaa is Ujima, and I’ve seen Ujima best illustrated, surprisingly, here in Land of the Rising Sun, which I’ve rechristened for the purposes of this post: The Land of Ujima. Enjoy! The Land of Ujima I mentioned previously in my piece on Umoja that though Kwanzaa is an African-American holiday, that […]

03 January 2018 ~ 0 Comments

The Seven Principles of Kwanzaa Illustrated Pt. 2: My Name is Baye

The Seven Principles of Kwanzaa Illustrated Pt. 2: My Name is Baye

Maybe you’ve wondered how an American, from Brooklyn, got an African name like Baye. Well, it was a result of the 2nd principle of Kwanzaa, Kujichagulia. Kujichagulia: My Name is Baye! Me and Kujichagulia go way back! It was always my favorite day of Kwanzaa…as a child I was, er, encouraged to memorize the meanings […]

02 January 2018 ~ 0 Comments

The Seven Principles of Kwanzaa Illustrated Pt. 1: Forging Umoja Abroad

The Seven Principles of Kwanzaa Illustrated Pt. 1: Forging Umoja Abroad

This year, I took the liberty of writing personal messages illustrating what the Nguzo Saba (Seven Principles of Kwanzaa) mean to me and how they’ve impacted my life since I first celebrated the holiday at 6 years old. So I shared some thoughts on each day of Kwanzaa. I posted these on Facebook as I […]

17 December 2017 ~ Comments Off on What the World Needs Now…is More Kwanzaa!

What the World Needs Now…is More Kwanzaa!

What the World Needs Now…is More Kwanzaa!

This month for you guys I’ve put together a special holiday #BlackEye focused on the African-American celebration known as Kwanzaa. I’ve been celebrating Kwanzaa since I was 6 years old, back when the holiday was barely established. But now it has gone global with millions of Kwanzaa revelers all over the globe. The reasons for this […]

08 October 2017 ~ Comments Off on How to Win in Japan? “Compete at the Japanese Level!”

How to Win in Japan? “Compete at the Japanese Level!”

How to Win in Japan? “Compete at the Japanese Level!”

In Part Deux of our Conversation, the New Malian President of Kyoto-Seika University explains how he came to win, and won, in Japan!

06 October 2017 ~ Comments Off on Japan Writers Conference 2017: Black Eye is in da House!

Japan Writers Conference 2017: Black Eye is in da House!

Japan Writers Conference 2017: Black Eye is in da House!

The 11th Annual Japan Writers Conference will be held this (long) weekend October 8th and 9th (Sunday & Monday), at Nihon University College of Art, Ekoda Campus. And once again I’ll be presenting. Last time, back in 2015, some of you might remember that I presented at the conference in Kobe. My subject was activism […]

04 October 2017 ~ Comments Off on A Chat with the New African President of a Japanese Uni

A Chat with the New African President of a Japanese Uni

A Chat with the New African President of a Japanese Uni

President-elect Sacko’s first years in Asia were during the tumultuous 1980s. He was fresh out of Africa for the first time, studying engineering and architecture in China, partying and enjoying life abroad…and avoiding being lynched by racist mobs of Chinese students in the days just prior to the Tienanmen Square massacre.

27 September 2017 ~ Comments Off on Autumn in New York: Advising a Japanese Friend about NYC

Autumn in New York: Advising a Japanese Friend about NYC

Autumn in New York: Advising a Japanese Friend about NYC

This conversation took place between me and a student in a cafe in Yokohama: Student: So, I have some news. Me: What is it? Student: My company is sending me to New York at the end of October! Me: Really? That’s great news! Student: Is it? Me: Well, yeah. Aren’t you excited? Student: A little…but […]

26 September 2017 ~ 2 Comments

Is Baye-Sensei a Nee-Gah, Too?

Is Baye-Sensei a Nee-Gah, Too?

I had noticed from our first meeting that the girl was a bit outspoken, compared to her Japanese classmates, and not shy about her English ability whatsoever. This is remarkable because generally the English-speaking students at my schools have only spoken to me in English when their friends were not around or totally buried the ability for fear of becoming outstanding or even ostracized (it’s been known to happen). But Risa seems to be unaware of these possible outcomes